Congratulations to MPTA Member, Ed Benning

Flint Mass Transportation Authority's General Manager/CEO, Ed Benning was presented with the Robert P. Gerholz Award last night at the Flint and Genesee Chamber 's Art of Achievement Awards. The award is presented to organizations and individuals who show exemplary community leadership and give more than what's asked.

Mark Koerner Joins Foster Swift

Foster Swift welcomes attorney Mark T. Koerner from The Koerner Law Group. Mark’s practice focuses on municipal law (with substantial experience in transit, drain and labor and employment matters), business law, technology law, as well as related litigation. Mark will be based in the firm’s Lansing office.

A mid-Michigan native, Mark earned his Bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University. He then attended the John Marshall Law School, where he earned his Juris Doctor and a Master of Laws in Information Technology.

Because of his experience in a wide variety of legal areas, Mark is frequently requested to present at conferences and seminars on numerous topics. Recently he has presented on a selection of labor and employment topics, including the FLSA, FMLA, FOIA, OMA , and hiring/firing issues, as well as on social media policies and best practices.

Mark is licensed to practice in all Michigan courts and has appeared before both the Michigan Court of Appeals and Michigan Supreme Court. He also maintains his law license in Illinois. He is a member of the State Bars of Michigan and Illinois, as well as the Ingham County Bar Association.

Mark is an active participant in a wide variety of community organizations, including the Capital Area Humane Society, Ele’s Place, Haslett Community Church, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, and the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.

Since 1902, Foster Swift Collins & Smith, PC has provided comprehensive legal services to businesses, municipalities and individuals. The firm employs 100-plus attorneys and over 100 support staff in six locations; Lansing, Detroit, Southfield, Grand Rapids, Holland and St. Joseph. For more information about the firm, its attorneys and to access recent publications, visit

MTA Opens New Your Ride Center

Flint’s Mass Transportation Authority has opened the newly built Davison Your Ride service center with a ribbon cutting ceremony today. The center, which will accommodate the city of Davison, Davison Township, Richfield
Township, Otisville and Forest Township, is the latest addition to the MTA’s Your Ride centers.

The Davison location is larger than previously built centers because it will cover both Davison and Otisville as well as surrounding townships. The garage will hold 21 El Dorado vehicles. The facility has lightening protection and has a back up IT server room and generator.

Two tanks, one holding propane and one containing unleaded gas are also on the 7.2 acre property. This will enable the vehicles to fill up on site. The fuel tanks also have canopies over them.

“The need for transportation services in our community, continue to grow. This new expanded facility provides us the opportunity to meet current and future needs in the Davison, Davison Twp, Richfield and Otisville areas,” Ed Benning, General Manager, CEO stated.

MTA board, and community members attended the ribbon cutting event.

American dream comes true for El Salvadoran native who receives 2018 Bus Operator of the Year Award from The Rapid

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The recipient of the Interurban Transit Partnership (“The Rapid”) 2018 Bus Operator of the Year Award is an El Salvadoran who’s made the American dream come true in Grand Rapids.

Yemny Garcia was born in Central America’s smallest country and came to the United States when she was 11 before arriving in Michigan 14 years later. Today, the Grand Rapids mother of three daughters is being recognized with The Rapid’s highest honor for public service on National Transit Driver Appreciation Day.

“The Rapid’s bus operators like Yemny keep our community moving,” said Michael Bulthuis, The Rapid’s Marketing and Communications Manager. “They maneuver through traffic and weather conditions of all kinds to get our riders safely to work, school, appointments, and everything in between. And on top of ensuring the safe and timely arrival of passengers to destinations, they also must check fares, give directions, and ensure that the needs of passengers are met accordingly.

“Let’s be honest, bus operators make multitasking look second nature. And most do it all with a smile – especially Yemny,” Varga said. “I’m proud to say Yemny Garcia epitomizes the hard-work ethic that demonstrates all the qualities we celebrate on National Transit Driver Appreciation Day.”

The Rapid’s annual Bus Operator of the Year Award is based on monthly performance reviews of the Greater Grand Rapids public transportation system’s approximately 300 drivers by supervisor staff in combination with peer driver input. Garcia earned the accolade based on her winning attitude and willingness to help passengers over her 12-year employment record with The Rapid.

Garcia, who praised her mother for inspiring her to pursue a bus driver career in the historically male-dominated public transit operator industry, credited her colleagues and the passengers she greets daily for motivating her to do her best.

“It’s amazing. It’s a privilege,” Garcia said about the award. “To my passengers, thank you for riding The Rapid. Thank you for being part of this community. So, respect us, value us, as we are. And for our drivers, keep on doing the good work every day we go out there.”

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