The Facts About the Five-Year Metro Millage Proposal
What’s on the ballot?
On the March 10 ballot the Central County Transportation Authority (CCTA) is requesting to replace an existing millage of up to .75 mills, which has been in place since 2016 with a ballot issue for 0.9 mills to support the Metro Bus System for the next five years.
What is the annual cost to the homeowner?
People who own a $150,000 home ($75,000 taxable value) have been paying about $4.69 per month under the 2015 millage. If approved, this replacement millage will cost about $5.63 per month. The proposed millage would result in an increase of $11.25 per year.
How is the millage used?
The existing millage of up to .75 mills has been used to extend operation hours and add service on Sundays. Additionally, Metro has been able to update and purchase new vehicles, update the myStop mobile app that tracks buses, introduce a new payment system, Token Transit, and begin the introduction of new bus stop signs.
How does the Metro Bus System serve Portage?
Metro serves the City of Portage seven days a week with seven routes. Route 1-Westnedge travels from downtown Kalamazoo to Crossroads Mall and has the second largest ridership totals for Metro (behind Route 16-Lovell). Two high ridership bus stops include Crossroads Mall (141,320 passengers) and Westnedge at Meijer (80,522 passengers). The stop at Crossroads Mall is also an active transfer location for Route 26-West Centre and Route 27-East Romence. Routes 2-Portage, 4-Oakland, 12-Duke, and 13-South Burdick connect Portage residents to shopping, medical, and school locations in the area.
How is CCTA governed?
CCTA is governed by 11 representatives of the local governmental units served by Metro, including Portage City Council members Jim Pearson and Chris Burns.
How is the system funded?
The local funds, along with rider fares, leverage state and federal allocations and grants for Metro’s system, which provided more than 2.8 million rides last year on a total budget of $18 million.
How is CCTA improving?
Within the past five years, Metro has been improving the passenger experience at the bus stop. In Portage, bus stop improvements, sidewalk modifications and new shelter installations have occurred with the help of the City of Portage Department of Public Works. New shelters were installed in 2019 at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church on Milham Avenue and the new Selinon Park Apartments on Centre Street, thanks to community partnerships.
More information on Metro’s services, including the bus and Metro Connect, can be found at kmetro.com or by calling 337-8222.