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Mackinac Island Transportation Authority Announces Completion of Transportation Master Plan

The Mackinac Island Transportation Authority (MITA) announces completion of the first ever extensive Transportation Study and Master Plan for the water ferry system servicing Mackinac Island. This Plan (funded predominantly by the State of Michigan through a grant from the Michigan Department of Transportation) reflects intensive community input on ferry service schedules, terminals, vessels, infrastructure and funding required to sustainably support not only peak season, but also year-round passenger and freight services. The resulting Master Plan delivers a comprehensive vision for the future of the ferry transportation service in the Straits of Mackinac.

Key needs and goals identified through community and stakeholder engagement included:
• Increase number and frequency of winter sailings, including Sunday service
• Increase winter service reliability, including ice and inclement weather capability
• Provide earlier and later sailing times throughout the year
• Improve aging vessel fleet, including winter service vessels
• Increase availability and reduce cost of long-term covered/indoor parking
• Reduce system capital and operating costs through realized efficiencies

Key recommendations of the Master Plan include:
• Expansion of ferry service year-round with earlier morning and later evening sailings
• Expansion of winter ferry service with additional Monday-Saturday daily sailings, and new Sunday sailings
• Modernization of the ferry fleet for increased capability, reliability, and environmental sustainability while reducing operating and maintenance costs
• Increase system efficiency through combined passenger and freight service on select vessels
• Realize ferry system cost reductions through ferry operator collaboration of schedules, staffing, fleet resources, purchasing, and other efficiencies
• Harness financial tools available through MITA governance and public/private partnerships for funding of system improvements and reduction of ticket fares

More information about the Master Plan, including a downloadable version of the complete Master Plan document, can be found at (www.mackinactransit.org). Questions may be directed to Katie Pereny at kep@mackinactransit.org.