MUSKEGON COUNTY, Mich. — This week the Muskegon Area Transit System went live with a new route map that includes fewer routes, eliminates Saturday service, and no longer includes a routes to the communities of Whitehall and Montague in northern Muskegon County.
"We have been working for two years to identify how to improve the system," said Jim Koens, MATS manager.
The changes follow a significant study of the system in 2019, including a community events where riders were asked for input on potential changes to service.
Koens says there may be fewer routes, but the ones MATS transitioned to beginning Monday should result in fewer transfers for riders.
"The routes are more direct now, offers people and opportunity to get to and from their destination quicker," said Koens said.
The cost of a one-way ride remains $1.25 and 60 cents for reduced fare riders.
"We're going to operate a system that's within our revenue sources," said Koens. "And also helps to provide the best service we can with those resources."
Passengers are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity to learn the new routes for free during the month of October.
MATS won't resume collecting fares from riders until Monday, Nov. 2.
"Come out and test theses new routes and figure out how it works better for you," said Koens.
New printed maps are available at the downtown terminal located at 351 Morris Ave. or can be viewed on the MATS website, www.matsbus.com.
The new routes operate Mondays through Fridays 7 a.m. and 5:51 p.m. except on observed county holidays.
MATS is working to develop a new "microtransit" service that could begin in 2021 to fill gaps not served by the new route map.
MATS can be reached by phone at (231) 724-6420.
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