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Voters defeat DATA millage

August 7, 2013

ESCANABA — A majority of voters in Escanaba and Wells townships chose to defeat two millages in support of the Delta Area Transit Authority; the millages would have provided operational funding for......

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(15)

uphoosier

Aug-07-13 12:44 PM

Kudos to the township residents for properly recognizing government waste.

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arealyooper

Aug-07-13 1:37 PM

Wow the voters actually got it right this time!!!

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yooper1

Aug-07-13 3:12 PM

Wow, this is very sad news for the 8600 people in Wells and Escanaba Township. None of the townships have bus service in Delta County. I dont't think most of the voters realize that voting no mean that their family, neighbors and friends will not be able to use the bus if they need to. Have you ever tried to put a wheelchair in a Taxi? Not to mention the 2 Taxi companies in Escanaba are running illegal every time they have a rider on board out of the city limits of Escanaba. They are not registered legally in the state of Michigan and don't have taxi meters in them. The State police has warned them and wrote them tickets and they refuse to comply.

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Kitty409

Aug-07-13 3:17 PM

Escanaba and Wells Township have never contributed their tax dollars to the operating budget of DATA. Since those townships defeated the millage, that is still the case.

DATA's operating budget is mostly comprised of state and federal dollars. Approximately 55% of the budget is from federal and state collected fuel taxes, which would go to transportation programs in other areas if DATA didn't claim them, and the rest is made up from millages collected from the property taxes of City of Escanaba and City of Gladstone residents, which increases their tax approximately $3 per month. The state of Michigan matches those millages, again with fuel tax dollars, which again would go to other transportation agencies if DATA didn't claim them.

If you don't want your fuel taxes to go to DATA, by all means stop fueling your vehicle. If DATA were to shut down, you'd still pay the same fuel taxes, but they'd likely go to similar transportation agencies running downstate.

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yooper1

Aug-07-13 3:19 PM

LeviB57 DATA has never collected any tax money in Wells or Escanaba Township, that's why there is no bus service there. I hope to see them run it again with more advertising this time to let voters know NO = no bus service. Yes = Good bus service.

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uphoosier

Aug-07-13 4:26 PM

The argument that state and federal funds will be spend elsewhere is bogus. It's not state and federal money, it is hard earned cash taken from one of your neighbors. Within Escanaba and Gladstone, DATA spends $11 per ride. That is too much. I might support expanded service if the DATA managers could give some projections as to how many riders would be served and at what cost. Instead, the only argument they had was that state and federal matching funds were going elsewhere. Shame on them. That is real money being taken from a worker and spent on someone else. Convince me it is well spent.

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Kitty409

Aug-07-13 4:49 PM

***********michigan.gov/documents/treasury/217508DeltaAreaTransitAuth20130211_411265_7.pdf

Here's where I got my information, uphoosier. Where did you get yours?

Let's say you have to run errands after work on Wednesday. You have to go to the bank, to the post office, to Walmart for prescriptions, and to Elmer's for groceries. If you can just hop in your personal vehicle and do all those things, you don't give it another thought. Someone with barriers to transportation--i.e. disabilities or age, has to rely on public transportation to do all those things. At $1 per ride for Escanaba and Gladstone residents, all of those errands would cost the rider $5 total. If they had to take a tax, it would cost that person $35. If you are on social security receiving $800 PER MONTH, where is that extra $30 PER WEEK going to come from? Are you going to give it to them? You know what that millage would have cost you? $30 PER YEAR. Think it over.

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Kitty409

Aug-07-13 4:51 PM

*taxi, not tax

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uphoosier

Aug-07-13 5:59 PM

Kitty, I use3d the same source for my info. That $1 the rider pays covers less than 10% of what it costs DATA to give them the ride. The rest is paid by government subsidies - the millages and the state and federal matching funds. The matching funds are not government money, they are taxes placed upon working Americans that are then distributed to DATA so they can give rides for $1 each. Yes, some people have a tough time paying for transportation, but here are some things to remember about DATA.

1) The $1 subsidized ride is not income based. Even a rich Republican can ride for a buck. 2) DATA has not provided any information about the need for township service or how much it will cost. The only argument provided for the millage was " We need it to get the matching state and federal funds" That is just stupid.

3) That scenario you present actually cost $55 from DATA (cost is $11 per ride). The rider pays $5, and taxpayers pay $50. At $7 per ride, the taxi would b

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yooper1

Aug-08-13 8:33 AM

DATA has two routes currently on that runs between Gladstone and Escanaba and uses Walmart as a hub along with one that circles Escanaba west side and south side and uses Walmart as a hub. Both shuttles meet each other to transfer riders once an hour. How do you expect DATA to offer a route in the Townships if there is no operating support to provide bus service from them. It's obvious that some of you have never ridden DATA bus but still feel the need to pick it apart. All of us or one of our friends or family will need to use DATA bus at some point in time. Its a shame that DATA is only available to residents that live in the City of Gladstone and Escanaba.

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MikeDavis

Aug-08-13 5:02 PM

yooper1 you are a complete liar. No tickets have ever been written, and they are legally able to operate any where in the state.

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MikeDavis

Aug-08-13 5:09 PM

Kitty, you also are wrong, that trip would cost $16.

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taxiguy

Aug-09-13 12:42 AM

Always interesting to read what people write when they think they know the law. I have been working with JN Taxi for nearly 14 years. About 12 years of that as a manager. If you would like to debate whether we are operating legally, I am willing. The Escanaba City Council gives us authority to operate in Escanaba. That authority enables us to operate in all States. Just like we are not able to stop Gladstone Taxi from picking up in Escanaba, other cities have no power to stop us from picking up in those cities. There are exceptions, such as airports. They are governed differently and "award" contracts. If we had t have meters, why have we "gotten away with it" for so long?

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taxiguy

Aug-09-13 12:49 AM

We are regularly inspected by Escanaba Public Safety. Every 3 months. The City Council renews our operating permit each year. EVERY driver must get approved by Public Safety every year. And every time we have to re-up, there is a fee. $30 per driver 45 per company. JN Taxi pays about $1000 per month for the 4 vehicles for insurance. Our gas taxes and sales taxes are about $20,000 per year. DATA pays how much in gas and sales tax? ZERO. If you want to debate, I'm here. Read my letter to the editor from last week and then tell me where I was mistaken. I have had 3 former drivers who work at DATA. A couple of them worked for me at the same time as DATA. I know what am talking about. It isn't hearsay, it's firsthand knowledge.

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taxiguy

Aug-09-13 12:55 AM

Once again, I will re-state my position. Escanaba, and the whole area, need a bus service. Some wheelchair-bound people cannot get out of their chair and fold it up and put it in the trunk. My contention is that it (DATA) is not run efficiently. Too many buses running empty; 24 hour advance dispatch required; Too any BIG buses when smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles would be better.

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