WAVE ridership is holding steady, according to the latest reports.
Dexter City Council member Jim Carson updated the council on the service’s numbers at the Nov/ 23 council meeting. While the local totals are down compared to last year, the numbers can be skewed by the loss of a few people who had used the service regularly.
The two lines used in Dexter: the Monday through Friday Community Connector (#3) saw ridership fall from 14,171 in FY 2014 to 13,548 this year. The Dexter School District Bus saw ridership increase from 4,788 to 5,708.
Overall, WAVE had 44,095 riders in 2015, compared to 44,373 in 2014.
The service had 44,971 riders in 2013.
Those numbers will be impacted by an expansion of the AAATA service which will connect with WAVE buses at the Meijer in Scio Township by May 2016.
The voters in the township supported a new 10-year millage (generating $403,000 in the first year) to have the AAATA buses move beyond Wagner Road to Zeeb Road every 30 minutes.
There will be parking for commuters at the Meijer lot.
“Some time there will be a shelter there,” Carson said.
While only 13 percent of Scio voters turned out 69 percent voted for it. Since Dexter participated in the planning of the millage, it will reap the benefits.
The new links will help the city’s community connector with Chelsea expand.
“It will drastically reduce our cost,” Carson said. “It’s huge for Dexter.”
In 2017, WAVE will sign a contract with AAATA to have buses stop at Jackson and Baker roads.
The goal is to draw more people from the townships and communities through the door to door service and to the connections on Jackson Road, Carson said.
“It will be continuous service on a 30-minute loop,” Carson said. “It will almost be like a figure-eight what we’ve designed.
“We could do it now, but we need buses to run that.”
Dexter will be getting a new bus for the local routes. The community’s high ridership numbers have appeared to result in it getting new buses on regular intervals, Carson said.
Under action items:
The council approved a recommendation to allow Northern United Brewery to expand its tasting room to include a dining area and food service. The council approved two conditions for the special land use permit:
The total area of the tasting room cannot be more than 15 percent of the total gross floor area of the plant.
The sewer discharge must be at or below permitted levels. This could take a year to achieve as the company has to monitor discharge levels and see how a test treatment system works onsite.
The council also approved text amendments allowing a tasting room as an accessory use.
The council approved a special land use permit for Hotel Hickman for outdoor seating next to the city-owned site where the restaurant sits. The owners agreed to trim the eating area roof to avoid infringing on the city’s air rights easement.