The Barry County Transit has been awarded the Federal Transportation Administrator's award for the ”Outstanding Rural Transit System,” Director Bill Voigt told Barry County Commissioners to a round of applause. “It’s very humbling and rewarding to receive the award, based not only on improvement in ridership but service for those with disabilities,” Voigt said Sept. 13.
During 2015, The transit’s ridership increased by 30 percent overall, including a nine percent increase in senior rides and a 20 percent increase in rides for those with disabilities. The increase was due to awareness presentations and the decision to access the outer areas every service day rather than to assign individual days of the week, Voigt said. They also extended service hours until 7:30 p.m. on some routes.
The Michigan Department of Transportation, Office of Passenger Transportation, nominated the transit back in April, which Voigt said in itself was an honor. “We were the only one in Michigan to be nominated. We are just a reflection of the great support of the entire community.”
Voigt thanked those in the “collaborative effort,” the clients, agencies and departments and the oversight board made up of WBCH’s Ken Radant, and Barry County Commissioners Howard Gibson and Jon Smelker. Voigt will travel to Ashville, North Carolina to accept the award at an Oct. 3 presentation.
Photo: Barry County Transit Director Bill Voigt.