A new Transit Master Plan is in the works for Livingston County.

The Livingston County Board of Commissioners recently approved a resolution authorizing an agreement with AECOM Great Lakes to provide consulting services for a countywide comprehensive transportation study in an amount not to exceed $150,000. The study is being funded by a Service Development and New Technology grant awarded by the Michigan Department of Transportation.

It’s been more than a decade since a comprehensive transportation study was done for Livingston County. Since that time, the county’s population has increased and demographics have shifted to more transit-dependent citizens. There has also been an increase in “riders of choice”, such as commuters and school-age children who enroll in public school alternatives.

Livingston Essential Transportation Service Director Doug Britz says there was various information derived from the 2007 study, which looked at the past, present and future. He says it was determined at that point in time they were doing all they could, unless additional funding could be found to expand. The new study will look at a variety of different types of modes of transportation and what public transit can do within the county. The new study will also include a non-motorized component to evaluate potential connectivity of existing pedestrian and bike routes.

Britz says they’re looking to identify different areas of need and determine if more concentration would be beneficial in outside areas, perhaps a line haul with stops along Grand River or maybe M-59 or M-36. He tells WHMI they earlier received a $50,000 appropriation from the Board of Commissioners to expand service, which they’ve been able to leverage with federal and state dollars. He says they’re thankful for that needed funding to expand in outer communities and he hopes the new transit plan will reinforce that they are doing the right things. (JM)