Beaver Island Transportation Authority (BITA)

The Beaver Island Transportation Authority (BITA) is the owner of the M/V Emerald Isle. The vessel is operated by the Beaver Island Boat Company (BIBCO) and is a “scheduled fixed route ferry service” providing transportation to and from Charlevoix, Michigan to Beaver Island, Michigan. The M/V Beaver Islander is owned by BIBCO and is also used for the scheduled fixed route service.

BITA was formed in 1993 pursuant of Public Act 196 to form a transit system in the greater Beaver Island area. Through federal, state, and local funding the M/V Emerald Isle was designed and launched in 1997. In 1993 BITA and BIBCO signed a thirty year management agreement to operate the ferry service.

A New Boat Is Looking Promising For Beaver Island

January 27, 2023 - A new boat is looking promising for Beaver Island. A vessel was designed in 2012 and until recently was not able to be funded. A grant from the Federal Transportation Administration (FTA) for 6,628,285 million was recently awarded and a Michigan Infrastructure Grant of $14,000,000. The Michigan Department of Transportation is also funding the Beaver Island Transportation Authority (BITA) $90,0000 to conduct a study to determine what type of propulsion system besides diesel could be utilized. This study will take place over the next year. Once completed, an estimate of the cost of a new vessel and yearly upkeep can be determined. The configuration of the dock will also be evaluated.

View Press Release from Senators Peters and Stabenow

Ferry Survey and Beaver Island Transportation Plan

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) in conjunction with Michigan State University are conducting a statewide ferry study.   Over the next few months there will be individuals riding the boat and requesting passengers participate in a survey.  Another study was conducted locally updating the Beaver Island Transportation Plan last year and those results can be viewed ⇒Here⇐

Questions can be directed to Mary Cook, Executive Director, Beaver Island Transportation Authority, 231/448/3049.

Emerald Isle - BITA

The BITA Board is comprised of five members appointed by St. James Township. The board meets monthly on the second Tuesday,12 noon, at the BITA building. Financial assistance is received annually through the Michigan Department of Transportation Act 51. BIBCO retains all revenues and pays BITA the local match of fifty percent for operating assistance and ten percent for capital grants.