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Bridge bus to keep rollingContact: Dawn Garner 906-786-1830 ext. 323Agency: Transportation
September 29, 2003 -- Governor Jennifer M. Granholm announced today that the International Bridge Bus will keep running between Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan and Sault, Ontario.
"Thanks to the spirit of international cooperation and partnership this vital community link will continue to operate," said Governor Granholm. "This is more than just a bus; it's a lifeline for seniors who depend on it for mobility, for college students who have no other way to get to school, and hard-working employees who depend on it to get to work. The bridge bus helps keep the economies of both Saults strong."
Rising costs and lower toll revenue forced the Joint International Bridge Authority to seek assistance in subsidizing the bus more than a year ago. Representatives from the cities of Sault, Ontario and Sault, Michigan, Lake Superior State University, JIBA, and the Michigan Department of Transportation have been diligently working to find a solution.
"When I became aware of the situation, it was clear that it would require commitment and leadership for all those who became involved," said State Representative Scott Shackleton, "from the initiative the IBA took to bring the parties to the table, to the effective response of MDOT Director Gloria Jeff, who personally oversaw the negotiations."
The five stakeholders have all pledged $8,000 to keep the bus in service.
"The agreement is for one year, during which we'll evaluate the plan," says International Bridge General Manager Phil Becker.
Bus riders will play a role as well. General passenger fares will be raised to $1.50.
Prior to the agreement, the bridge bus was scheduled to stop operating on Tuesday, September 30, 2003.
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