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Transit Established in 1981 to Help

February 17, 2020

Dear Editor:
Clare County Transit was founded in Harrison in 1981, housed in a lean-to, and had a fleet consisting of two vehicles.

We were founded out of a concern that the elderly, low income, and mentally/physically challenged had no economical transportation to go to doctor’s appointments, pick up medical prescriptions, grocery shopping and general travel.

In 1983 the Michigan Department of Transportation partnered with Clare County to support the mission of public transportation.  Today we continue to strive to ensure all citizens of Clare County have access to reliable and economic transportation. 

In the Transit’s original Constitution and By-Laws, the purpose is listed as “This Corporation shall be to provide transportation for the citizens of Clare County including elderly and disabled persons.” We hold to that original premise to this day providing safe and economical transportation to passengers regardless of age or physical ability.

CCTC drivers also act as extra “eyes and ears” while out and about in Clare County. Our drivers have reported accidents, fires, and even life threatening injuries over the years and are proud to assist the residents of the county in this fashion. 

By implementing a county-wide millage in 1991 the voters demonstrated their support and desire to have a public transportation system available to all citizens in our county.   This millage has been renewed continually at the same level seven times, over the last 29 years and the community’s support has been greatly appreciated. 

As in all businesses, inflation, insurance, fuel, and the general cost of doing business increase over time. Transit management is constantly monitoring expenses and passenger trends and making adjustments in order to be as efficient as possible and provide the best service we can at our current funding levels.

In the face of growing expenses we have been forced to reduce our daily service hours as well as discontinue service on Saturdays.

While this has allowed us to reduce our fleet size in order to save on fuel and insurance expenditures it has, unfortunately, reduced the options for residents of Clare County to have the freedom of travel provided by CCTC. These adjustments have resulted in reduced ridership.   

Because of the rising expenses and in order to provide the best transportation possible, we are asking on March 10th for a 0.2 mill increase that is set to expire in 2022. 

This millage is projected to add less than $6.50 to the average property tax for Clare County.

The funds raised by this millage will place CCTC on a more sustainable financial footing and allow us to reevaluate recent changes to service. 

We thank all patrons that use Clare County Transit and the fine residents of Clare County who support it. Clare County Transit looks forward to providing you the safe, reliable and economical transportation you have come to expect.

If you have any comments, questions, or concerns please feel free to contact me (Tom Pirnstill, Director) at director@clarecountytransit.org or call (989)539-1474.
Tom Pirnstill

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