From The Petoskey News-Review
BOYNE CITY — Boyne City residents will have to go about five miles farther east to catch an Indian Trails bus ride after Dec. 1.
On Tuesday, Indian Trails will discontinue service to a bus stop at the McDonald’s Restaurant on Division Street in Boyne City. The next closest bus stop is at the Mobil E-Z Mart in Boyne Falls.
The change comes despite a request by Boyne City officials that Indian Trails and the Michigan Department of Transportation reconsider the change.
About a month ago, Boyne City officials received notice that Indian Trails was considering extending its service to Sault Ste. Marie. The route had previously ended in St. Ignace. On Monday, city officials learned that the change had been decided.
Chad Cushman, vice president of business for Indian Trails said the Boyne City stop and stops in Onaway, Tower in Northern Michigan; Epoufette, Naubinway, Nadeau, Carney, Bagley, Daggett, Stephenson, Wallace and Calumet in the Upper Peninsula and a location in Wisconsin will be removed from the company’s service route to offset the extra miles added to the service system between Saint Ignace and Sault Ste. Marie
Cushman explained that Indian Trails’ service is subsidized by the Michigan Department of Transportation and because of the state’s budget crisis, it won’t subsidize additional miles on its rural routes.
He said the locations that were chosen had a history of very low ridership. In 2008, the Boyne City stop had 131 passengers, or about 2.5 passengers per week. During the same year, Tower and Onaway combined had 67 passengers.
Cushman said even with all of the service eliminations — including the 4,380 annual miles from the Boyne City stop — the Sault Ste. Marie route will still add 27 unsubsidized miles for the bus company.
He said bus service will continue in Boyne Falls on roughly the same schedule as was offered in Boyne City with stops around 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. daily.
For more information on Indian Trails bus service, call (800) 292-3831 or visit www.indiantrials.com.