Michigan Transit Manager Named "Hometown Hero"

Mr. Tom Pirnstill, Manager of Claire County Transit Corporation, has been named a "hometown hero." Mr. Pirnstill, who together with his wife Paula founded the annual Paula Pirnstill Memorial Health and Safety Fair held in Farwell on the third Saturday of April each year, has been chosen to receive a 2015 Hometown Health Hero award.

Each year, Michigan Health Policy Champions honors individuals and organizations who have been “champions” for public health in the public policy arena in their communities and the state of Michigan. Michigan’s annual Hometown Health Hero Award recognizes the accomplishments of individuals and organizations that have gone above and beyond their normal duties to make a positive impact on the health of their local communities.

The presentation of the award will be held in the Capitol Rotunda in Lansing on April 15 at 11:30 a.m.

For more on Mr. Pirnstill's work see

Getting to Work the MTA Way

What public transportation agency provides the largest full service work related commuter system in the state of Michigan? The Mass Transportation Authority.

Since 1997, Flint’s Mass Transportation Authority has taken an aggressive approach to the changing needs to supply workers with transportation to jobs in other communities as far away as Troy, Saginaw, Lapeer, Brighton, Howell, Ann Arbor and Shiawassee County.

Last year the MTA provided over 2.2 million rides for work related transportation allowing individuals to access their jobs throughout Genesee County and the six (6) adjoining counties.

Current indications suggest that this number will grow exponentially over the next several years and will exceed 4 million annual trips in the near future.

The Flint and Genesee County community will continue to look for expanded work related transportation service as new economic development takes place. This development will offer a wide variety of employment opportunity well beyond the county line, stretching along I-69, the I-75 corridor and US-23.

The MTA stands out as one of the county’s prime resources for connecting its citizens to new opportunities enabling them to provide a living for their families back here at home. These Genesee County citizens might work outside the county, but they continue to bring income back home increasing the strength of our local economy and increasing the standard of living in the area.
The MTA’s goal is to continue providing essential transportation services to connect individuals with opportunities to improve their lives and to grow our community’s economy.

The Mass Transportation Authority (MTA) has commissioned a study of the I-75 corridor from Bay City to Detroit utilizing State and Federal planning monies to determine the feasibility of providing public transportation services to meet the needs of today and into the future. In many parts of the United States, low cost bus service is operated on the shoulder of the freeways and or in a commuter HOV lane. The study once completed will provide recommendations on the best alternative to address the growing number of commuters traveling the freeways to access jobs in other communities.

Other studies will be undertaken to look at the I-69 and US-23 corridors. These studies once completed will provide additional recommendations to prepare us for the possibility of a large transportation hub that integrates I-75, I-69 and the US-23 corridor.

The Flint Mass Transportation Authority is extremely proud of the position that it is taking on being the leader to pioneer these opportunities and services that will lead us into the future and continue to grow our economies and opportunities for the many residents of our community.

ALTRAN working feverishly to return to normal

by Dan Giroux, WLUC

WETMORE -- They’re certainly not back to normal yet, but ALTRAN is operating once again.

ALTRAN is temporarily operating out of the LMAS building in Wetmore. Currently they are handling about four buses out of a normal ten. The buses were operating for critical patients needing transportation to medical appointments in Marquette as well as for school children in the area on Friday. According to Operations Manager Kathy Kolbus, ALTRAN would not be running without the help of the fire department.

"It's amazing the amount of information that we have that they saved for us. Without them, we would not be up and running today and we definitely would not be up and running within a week’s time without all that information they saved for us," said Kolbus.

Buses have been loaned to ALTRAN from across Upper Michigan and even Northern Lower Michigan. With the help from other transit operations, ALTRAN is hoping to be close to 100 percent next week.

For updates see the original story

The Rapid welcomes Veronica Lowe as its new Transportation Manager

Grand Rapids, MI –Last month, The Rapid strengthened its team by welcoming Veronica Lowe as the new Transportation Manager.

Lowe brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experience, having been a leader in public and pupil transportation for more than 24 years. Prior to joining The Rapid, Lowe served in a diverse set of roles, including Chief of Paratransit and Taxi Operations in Prince George’s County, MD, Director of Transportation for Frederick County Public Schools, (Frederick, MD), Transportation Supervisor for Grand Rapids Public Schools, Manager of Your Ride Paratransit service in Flint, MI, and Coordinator of Community Education Transportation for Grand Rapids Public Schools. Her work accomplishments include implementing cost saving measures, drastically reducing department overtime, and reducing employee absenteeism through accountability.

She has further demonstrated her commitment to public transportation by serving in over a dozen professional associations and committees, adding to her expertise in leadership, team building, development, planning, and customer service. Lowe’s educational experience has also given her the tools necessary to lead, earning an MBA in Leadership Studies from Baker College, Center for Graduate Studies in 2005.

Lowe’s daily responsibilities will include overseeing a staff of approximately 275 bus operators and 12 supervisors within the transportation department, as well as developing and implementing departmental policies, administering departmental operating budgets, and identifying and implementing training needs and programs.

“We are pleased that Veronica has joined The Rapid as Transportation Manager,” said Rapid Chief Operations Officer Brian Pouget. “A Grand Rapids native, she brings a rich background of service in both public and pupil transportation. Veronica’s experience in Michigan and Maryland has prepared her well to lead the 280+ employees of the Transportation Department.”

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