News

TheRide Introduces New, Innovative Solution to Secure Wheelchairs on Buses

ANN ARBOR, MI -- The Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority (TheRide) is proud to announce the first installation of QUANTUM, a virtually autonomous wheelchair securement station manufactured by Q’Straint. QUANTUM is redefining transit safety by combining securement expertise, intelligent technology, and the latest in modern design. It is the only wheelchair securement system available that gives complete independence to passengers with mobility devices.

The new wheelchair securement stations are made possible because TheRide was awarded $187,000 of grant funds from the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) as part of their Michigan Mobility Challenge grant initiative. “This initiative uses technology and innovation to address mobility gaps for seniors, persons with disabilities, and veterans in Michigan,” said Jean Ruestman, MDOT Administrator of the Office of Passenger Transportation. The grant funds awarded to TheRide are being used to install Quantum Wheelchair Securement equipment on ten of TheRide’s buses.

“Everyone at TheRide is very excited about being able to provide new advances in mobility for our riders with disabilities. We are especially grateful for our partners; the Center for Independent Living, the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, Kiel, and Q’Straint, for their support during this nine month pilot,” Julia Roberts, Project Lead at TheRide said.

Thanks to a PlanetM grant and Mcity’s support, individuals who use wheelchairs and other mobility devices were given a chance to try out the Quantum wheelchair securement system on Monday, March 26. As part of the installation, TheRide motor coach operators (MCOs) are being trained to help answer rider questions and will aid passengers if needed.

According to Mike Laidlaw, Q’Straint Senior Regional Manager, the virtually autonomous wheelchair securement provides more autonomy for individuals with disabilities, provides greater protection of the individual’s head and neck, speeds up boarding and allows for less maintenance on the vehicle.

To learn more about the QUANTUM wheelchair securement station visit TheRide.org/AboutUs/Initiatives/New-Mobility.

The latest information on TheRide’s routes, schedules and detours is available in the Ride Guide, at (734) 996-0400 and on TheRide.org.

MTA Announces Arrival of New CNG Vehicles

Flint’s Mass Transportation Authority (MTA) has received 13 new compressed natural gas 40 foot coach vehicles. Twenty-two more vehicles will be arriving within the next 10 months. These 35 vehicles will replace 24 year old diesel coaches well beyond their useful life (normally 12 years).

Within the next 30 days these new advanced design alternative fuel vehicles will be placed throughout the fixed route system serving the greater Flint area.

The new CNG fleet will be fueled at the newly built public/private fuel station owned by Consumer’s Energy. The station is located at the MTA’s Grand Blanc Service Center. Over the past several years, the MTA has reduced its use of fossil fuel diesel from 1.4 million gallons annually to an expected low of 300,000 gallons. This reduction provides for a sustainable future while operating in a clean energy environment for our community. “We are extremely proud of our progress to attain a 100% alternative fuel fleet, while working to reduce the carbon footprint and creating a clean operating environment,” MTA General Manager/CEO, stated.

Congratulations to MPTA Member, Ed Benning

Flint Mass Transportation Authority's General Manager/CEO, Ed Benning was presented with the Robert P. Gerholz Award last night at the Flint and Genesee Chamber 's Art of Achievement Awards. The award is presented to organizations and individuals who show exemplary community leadership and give more than what's asked.

Mark Koerner Joins Foster Swift

Foster Swift welcomes attorney Mark T. Koerner from The Koerner Law Group. Mark’s practice focuses on municipal law (with substantial experience in transit, drain and labor and employment matters), business law, technology law, as well as related litigation. Mark will be based in the firm’s Lansing office.

A mid-Michigan native, Mark earned his Bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University. He then attended the John Marshall Law School, where he earned his Juris Doctor and a Master of Laws in Information Technology.

Because of his experience in a wide variety of legal areas, Mark is frequently requested to present at conferences and seminars on numerous topics. Recently he has presented on a selection of labor and employment topics, including the FLSA, FMLA, FOIA, OMA , and hiring/firing issues, as well as on social media policies and best practices.

Mark is licensed to practice in all Michigan courts and has appeared before both the Michigan Court of Appeals and Michigan Supreme Court. He also maintains his law license in Illinois. He is a member of the State Bars of Michigan and Illinois, as well as the Ingham County Bar Association.

Mark is an active participant in a wide variety of community organizations, including the Capital Area Humane Society, Ele’s Place, Haslett Community Church, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, and the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.

Since 1902, Foster Swift Collins & Smith, PC has provided comprehensive legal services to businesses, municipalities and individuals. The firm employs 100-plus attorneys and over 100 support staff in six locations; Lansing, Detroit, Southfield, Grand Rapids, Holland and St. Joseph. For more information about the firm, its attorneys and to access recent publications, visit www.fosterswift.com.

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