Battle Creek to launch countywide public transit pilot

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Posted at 5:18 PM, Mar 04, 2021

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — While Uber and Lyft have been in West Michigan for a few years, there are some areas that don't have access to rideshare programs.

That's the focus of a new pilot program in Calhoun County.

It's the first-ever countywide public transportation program that will be accessible right from your smartphone.

It will be a rideshare service that will take anyone anywhere in Calhoun County.

"For this service, we want people to know that this service is available for everyone. Whether you are 13 to 113, this is a perfect service for you," said Battle Creek Transit Mobility Manager Kristy Grestini.

Battle Creek Transit and other local transit agencies are launching the first ever countywide public transportation program under the name BCGo.

Users can request rides with as little as 30 minutes' notice.

"This rideshare program is just like Uber and Lyft. Users who have used that service in other cities will be familiar with how this application works," said Grestini.

The pilot program is made possible through a Michigan Department of Transportation Service and Initiatives grant for 12 months.

While it is a rideshare service, there could be another person picked up or dropped off during your trip as well.

"You can just book it from your smartphone at any time of the day. Once you book your ride on there, you really want to take advantage of all of the features. You will get a text alert that says when your vehicle is approaching your destination. You will also get a text alert when the vehicle has arrived for your trip," said Grestini.

The app will also have messaging features where you can message the driver, and the driver can message you. Drivers will be from Battle Creek Transit.

While it's not a free service, your trip is based off of mileage and will never be more than $15.

"Depending on where you’re going and how many miles your trip has from your origin to your destination will depend on the fare you pay. The fare does range anywhere from $3 to $15," said Grestini.

Each additional rider is $3.

With COVID, there are restrictions in place for both riders and drivers to follow, including a mask mandate and no more than two passengers at a time unless from the same household.

The app will be available for download on the Apple App Store and Google Play starting on Friday. Rideshare services will be available starting Monday.

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