A group is drumming up support for a plan that would increase and connect bus service in Berrien County.
The prevailing plan would consolidate the four existing public transportation systems, add new routes--including one to South Bend and one to Michigan City-- and connect smaller rural communities that currently don’t have public transit services.
It would create a public transit route between the north county urban areas of Benton Harbor and St. Joe and the south county urban area around Niles.
The plan was developed by outside transportation consultants and has been presented to the public for review.
Pat Brandstatter is the chair of the committee for the transportation service plan. He said for some people, particularly the 8.5 percent of the county population without access to a car, this transit could be life-changing.
“We have so many people that need public transportation from the standpoint of health, education, food, jobs, you know, quality of life issues and even entertainment and thing like that.”
Brandstatter said the next step is to lobby for support in the county council and in local municipality governments, before a final plan could be adopted and implemented.
“Rather than have those studies sit on a shelf and collect dust,” Brandstatter said. “I believe it’s our job to see that they start acting on these things and change the narrative.”