BITA Transportation Plan Update
The Beaver Island Transportation Authority (BITA) was awarded a grant through the Michigan Department of Transportation Metropolitan Transportation Planning and State and Non-Metropolitan Planning and Research Program for a study to update BITA’s transportation plan. The last study was completed in 2004. Mp2planning LLC has been selected to complete the project.
BITA is the owner of the M/V Emerald Isle. The vessel was launched in 1997 and provides scheduled ferry service from Charlevoix to Beaver Island. BITA has an agreement with the Beaver Island Boat Company (BIBCO) to operate the vessel through early 2023. BITA provides dollars sought through federal and state programs for vessel maintenance and support equipment for the operation.
Mp2planning will be conducting surveys and produce a final report to include: Surveys of those using the ferry service (Island residents, property owners, and others) to determine customer needs and increase ridership. Mp2planning will also evaluate the BITA and BIBCO organizational structure, passenger fare rates, and future infrastructure needs. Two public meetings will be held June 24th. The first at 10:00 AM at the Beaver Island Community Center and the second at 6:00 PM at the Font Lake Park (be sure to bring a lawn chair). Mp2planning will also meet with various business owners and community leaders on an ad hoc basis. These surveys, public meetings, and individual meetings will allow Mp2planning LLC to explain the process of updating the plan and ensure public input. A final report will be completed by late fall.
Any questions can be directed to Mary Cook, Executive Director, Beaver Island Transportation Authority, 231/448/3049.
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.
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.