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.