Outreach in Action

Public transportation options in and around Stockbridge

 by Jo Mayer and Paul Crandall

Getting from point A to point B when you have no working vehicle presents a challenge in lots of places, but especially in rural locations like the Stockbridge area. Fortunately, we do have public transportation options, which can be a life-saver for many Outreach clients and can be used for a fun family outing at low-to-moderate cost. Most of the area public bus systems use a “reserve a ride” system and often pick up riders at their doorsteps. Options for getting transport in and around the Stockbridge area are listed here.

Washtenaw County and beyond: The cheapest current option for Stockbridge area residents comes from Washtenaw County and is known as the WAVE bus. Transportation on this bus from the Stockbridge area to Chelsea is currently FREE to all riders, thanks, in part, to funding assistance from Chelsea Hospital. WAVE operates a door-to-door bus program including pick-ups within 3 miles of downtown Stockbridge. The bus also stops at Veterans Memorial Park and the southwest side of the town square.

WAVE bus rides are available to anyone who needs a ride, regardless of age or disability status, and the bus has a wheelchair lift for those who need it. When making reservations, mention any special needs you may have, and make reservations as early as possible because of seating and schedule constraints. Reservations can be made several weeks ahead. Regular, recurring appointments (also known as, “standing rides”) are available for those who have a regular appointment each week at the same time, day, and place.

To reserve door-to-door rides: Call 734-475-9494, Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:15 p.m. If your call is directed to WAVE’s voicemail system, leave your name and telephone number and a dispatcher will return your call when available. (For more info about WAVE services, look online at www.ridethewavebus.org/scio-township.html.

Livingston County: The system in Livingston County is Livingston Essential Transportation Service, or LETS Transportation. LETS crosses county lines to pick up passengers from Stockbridge to bring them into Livingston County and vice versa. LETS also provides dial-a-ride service to anyone to travel to any destination in Livingston County.

Regular fares are determined by the distance traveled within Livingston County. In general, riders pay $2.00 one-way for each township they pass through with the maximum regular fare of $6.00 one-way. So someone making a Livingston County-to-Stockbridge trip would pay $6 each way. Children five and under, when accompanied by an adult, ride FREE. If you have a disability, or are 60+ years of age, you ride at a half fare.

LETS Mobility Manager Nikki Grover advises that riders call as soon as they can to schedule, adding that the service hopes to have a bus placed in Unadilla for Unadilla-Pinckney service soon. Options for payment include cash at the time of the ride or setting up an account funded by cash, check, or credit card. LETS also offers a mobile App called “Lets Go L.E.T.S.” that can be used to book a ride. Important: You can only make reservations by speaking with a dispatcher or by using the app. No reservations will be taken by voicemail. Find a link to the app here: www.livgov.com/lets/

If reserving LETS by phone, call 517-546-6600 between 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. LETS also provides transportation to dialysis centers and provides limited regional service to Ingham, Genesee, Oakland, and Washtenaw counties for medical appointments. (These trips cost extra.)

Ingham County: Capital Area Transportation Agency (CATA) shuttles people around the Lansing area, on the MSU campus, and beyond.

For those living outside the Lansing metropolitan area, there is CATA Rural Service (CRS), which operates Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. CRS can be used for any trip by anyone within the rural Ingham area. One-way regular fares range from $2.25 to $3.25, depending on the length of the trip. Discounted fares may also be available, ranging from $1.00 to $1.50 one-way.  Transfers to a CATA service of equal or lower fare value are free (riders should request their transfer ticket upon boarding.)  Veterans of all U.S. Armed Forces and Reserves with a valid ID ride FREE on all CATA services.

CATA also offers a SPEC-Tran bus to transport persons with disabilities who are unable to use the fixed-route service. This SPEC-Tran service requires ADA certification and advance reservation.

Rural service, Spec-Tran, and fixed-route bus passes can be purchased online at www.cata.org/Fares/Buy-Online/Products. Children under 42 inches tall ride free when accompanied by an adult. To schedule a CATA ride, call 517-394-CATA (ext. 2282). Ride reservation hours are Monday through Friday 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday/Sunday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit www.cata.org/ for more information on CATA services.

Jackson County: Jackson Area Transportation Authority, JATA, covers rural areas in Jackson County through its curb-to-curb Reserve-A-Ride programs. There are two categories of Reserve-A-Ride service:

  1. Reserve-A-Ride for People with Disabilities (PWD): This service is required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for people who cannot ride fixed-route bus service due to a disability. Drivers will help passengers on/off the bus and to/from the first outside door of the building, upon request, whenever possible. Customers must be certified by JATA for this service. One-way fares from outlying townships within Jackson County are $3 for those who qualify.
  2. Reserve-A-Ride General Public: This is a first-come, first-serve transportation service. Anyone can ride and there are no eligibility requirements. Fares from outlying townships are $10.50 one way for adults and students and $3 for those over 60 or for people with disabilities. Subscription appointments are available if you have a regular appointment each week at the same time, day, and place.

Reservations are required for Jackson County Reserve-a-Ride services and can be made by calling 517-788-8410 between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information, visit mijata.org/.  Make your reservations early; same-day service is not usually available.

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