On-demand transit service BCGo will continue for at least another year

·2 min read

Calhoun County's on-demand transportation service, BCGo, will continue for at least another year, thanks to funding from the Michigan Department of Transportation.

Battle Creek Transit announced Friday it has received $300,000 in continuation funding from MDOT to operate BCGo.

The service, launched March 8, 2021, was initially funded as a 12-month pilot program through a $395,505 grant from the MDOT. The intent was to demonstrate the effectiveness of on-demand, county-wide public transportation, according to local officials.

The latest MDOT funding will extend BCGo service through at least late spring/early summer of 2023, officials said. Beyond that, Battle Creek's transit team and local leaders throughout the county will continue discussions about the next steps to "continue providing critical public transportation services."

“This extension gives us the ability to focus on the data we’ve already collected, and really develop a transportation model that works for Calhoun County,” Battle Creek Transit’s Mobility Manager Kristy Grestini said in a press release announcing the extension. “BCGo has already proven to be successful in our community, but this additional funding gives us the opportunity to build on what we have already been providing, and really demonstrate what a county-wide micro-transit system could do for our community in the future.”

BCGo allows users to book trips straight from their phones using a mobile app. It's a shared-ride service, so the app will match multiple passengers headed in the same direction, maximizing ridership to limit unloaded miles.

Since its launch in 2021, more than 2,500 users have created accounts with BCGo, and the service has received more than 45,000 trip requests.

BCGo has provided about 9,800 passenger trips since its inception – with only two minivans serving 718 square miles at reduced passenger capacity due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kellogg Co. announced in June a $150,000 investment in BCGo to purchase two new vehicles, bringing the fleet to four. The new minivans are expected to arrive by the end of 2022, officials said.

BCGo service is available from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

For more information, call Battle Creek Transit at 269-966-3474 or visit bcgomi.com/.

Contact reporter Greyson Steele at gsteele@battlecreekenquirer.com or 269-501-5661. Follow him on Twitter: G_SteeleBC

This article originally appeared on Battle Creek Enquirer: On-demand transit service in Battle Creek will continue for another year