City seeks Dial a Ride tax hike

ALPENA — In 2006, the City of Alpena entered into an agreement with Thunder Bay Transportation Authority to maintain public transportation services in the city via TBTA and Dial a Ride.

In November, voters will have to determine if it wants to continue with the agreement by voting on a property tax request of 1 mill for the service to continue for four years.

The cost for property owners in the city would be about $50 for a home that has a value of $100,000 and a taxable value of $50,000.

The current rate for the tax is 0.65 mills.

City Planner Adam Poll, who is also on the TBTA board, said that, in years past, voters have chosen to pass renewals of the millage instead of having TBTA increase rider fees. He said that is a good thing, because many of the riders are low-income, elderly, or students.

“An increase in fares would impact those who can least afford it,” Poll said.

In 2018, TBTA served 91,726 passengers, 80% of whom were city residents. So far this year, there have been 66,202 passengers. At that rate, at the end of the year, the number of passengers should be in 90,000 range.

If passed by the voters, the millage would generate about $243,215, all of which will be dedicated to the public transportation service.

The millage request will be on the ballot for the Nov. 5 election.

Steve Schulwitz can be reached at 989-358-5689 at sschulwitz@thealpenanews.com. Follow him on Twitter @ss_alpenanews.com.