Capital Area Transportation Authority
|Slogan||Wherever Life Takes You|
|Headquarters||4615 Tranter Street|
|Service type||bus service, express bus service, paratransit|
|Hubs||CATA Transportation Center (CTC)
MSU-CATA Transportation Center (MSU-CTC)
|Fleet||122 buses (59 hybrids)
52 small buses
55 low floor vans
|Daily ridership||49,700 (Q1 2015)|
|Fuel type||Diesel, Diesel-electric hybrid|
|Chief executive||Sandy Draggoo|
The Capital Area Transportation Authority (CATA) is the public transit authority that operates mass transit bus service and paratransit within the metro Lansing, Michigan area, including service on the campus of Michigan State University.
CATA operates both bus transit and paratransit service across a 559-square-mile (1,450 km2) area throughout metro Lansing including Michigan State University. CATA logged 10,896,146 riders in fiscal year 2016, an overall ridership decline of 4.7% from the previous fiscal year.
CATA has approximately 300 employees, of which nearly 200 are bus operators. It does not operate on these seven major holidays:
- New Year's Day
- Memorial Day
- Fourth of July
- Labor Day
In 2016, 46% of CATA's operating revenue came from local sources, another 30% from state sources, and 24% came from fares and additional sources.
Referred to as "fixed route service", CATA's standard bus service operates on over 30 routes with both rigid 40 ft (12 m) and articulated 60 ft (18 m) buses. CATA's fleet consists of low floor buses manufactured by New Flyer. The bus service hub is at the CATA Transportation Center (CTC) in downtown Lansing, with a satellite hub on the MSU campus (see below). In August 2006, CATA added the first three hybrid electric buses to its fleet (New Flyer DE40LFR), making CATA the first company in Michigan to operate hybrid buses. Since then it has continued to purchase more, including articulated hybrid models.
Fixed route buses use a GPS-based system manufactured by Luminator USA that periodically plays a voice-recording of the bus's location over the loudspeakers. This is particularly useful to the visually impaired and users who are unfamiliar with the area. All buses are also equipped with fold-out ramps for users in wheelchairs.
CATA operates a satellite hub, called the MSU/CATA Transportation Center, on the Michigan State University campus. This center serves as a hub for CATA's MSU-based routes; it also consists of a large public parking ramp. Many of the MSU-area routes are called "Spartan Service". This means that the route only operates during the MSU fall and spring semesters. This includes all routes numbered 30–36 and 39, Lot Link and Night Owl. Other routes (routes 1, 23, 25 and 26) are partially Spartan Service, that is, they run more frequently and/or longer into the night during the semesters.
CATA significantly altered its intra-campus (routes 30–39) Spartan Service bus routes serving Michigan State University beginning Fall 2009. Changes include Routes 30 & 31 having extended weeknight hours, Routes 34-36 having service only on the weekends, and the creation of Route 39, linking University Village and Spartan Village to the main campus. As a result, both Routes 31 & 32 saw route changes as well. Since August 25, 2014, Route 31 no longer changes into Route 30 at East Neighborhood, and vice versa.
Starting August 2014, a program called CATAnow has been created to provide immediate departure times at any of the bus stops. Passengers can use either their mobile devices or their computers by entering the bus stop number and the optional route number(s), and they will receive the departure times in seconds. It is also free to use this service.
CATA operates several paratransit services using small buses and mini vans. One service, Spec-Tran, is offered to persons with disabilities who are unable to use fixed route service. The "Night Owl", offers rides across the MSU campus every night from 2 am to 7 am (9 am on weekends) in order to give students a safer way to traverse campus at these hours.
Michigan/Grand River Avenue Transportation Study
CATA partnered with metropolitan municipalities beginning in the summer of 2009 to study and evaluate transit improvements to Route 1, which runs from downtown Lansing to the Meridian Mall. Improvements being evaluated include enhancing the existing bus system, adding bike lanes, improving intersections, or upgrading the existing route from a bus line to a bus rapid transit line, light rail, or a modern streetcar line. The CATA Board of Directors formally adopted bus rapid transit as the locally preferred alternative for the corridor on February 16, 2011. This authorized the transit to submit an application to be part of the Federal Transit Administration Small Starts program, which would provide substantial funding for the capital costs of construction this line. The propsal was moved to the FTA's project development phase in April 2013, which includes getting funding for an environmental review and design and engineering activities. Citing a potential lack of federal funding for the project from the Trump administration, the authority's board voted in April 2017 to suspend the project until federal funding could be committed to the project.
Fixed routes (as of September 2014)
- Route categories
- Routes 1–16 are Lansing-area routes.
- Routes 20–26 are east-area routes (East Lansing, Okemos, Haslett). However, there is no Route 21.
- Routes 30–36, and 39 are MSU-area routes and all are entirely Spartan Service (i.e. they only run during MSU fall and spring semesters and are marked "Entire route" under the "Spartan Service" column)
- Routes 46 and 48 are limited stop commuter routes. Route 41 was a limited stop commuter route, but is now discontinued.
- "(Limited)" indicates that the route only stops at certain points
- "(Trolley)" indicates that the route is run using trolley-style buses. Bicycles cannot be brought on this route.
- All CATA bus routes are wheelchair accessible .
|Route Name||Starting Point||Terminus||Operates||Spartan Service||Direction||Operation Hours|
Downtown Lansing – Meridian Mall
|CATA Transportation Center||Meridian Mall||Daily||Extended weekend night hours||Bi-Directional||5:25 AM to 11:30 PM (Mondays to Fridays); 8:00am to 11:30pm (Saturdays) Until 1:30am (Fridays and Saturdays during Spartan Service); 8:50 AM to 7:10 PM (Sundays)|
South Washington – Pleasant Grove
|CATA Transportation Center||Sheffield & Bayview||Daily||No||Bi-Directional||5:40 AM to 10:38 PM (Mondays to Fridays); 8:30 AM to 10:23 PM (Saturdays); 9:30 AM to 6:23 PM (Sundays)|
Willow – Lansing Mall
|CATA Transportation Center||Lansing Mall||Daily||No||Bi-Directional||5:30 AM to 10:10 PM (Mondays to Fridays); 8:30 AM to 9:55 PM (Saturdays); 9:30 AM to 5:55 PM (Sundays)|
Entertainment Express (Limited) (Trolley)
|Washington & Washtenaw||Albert & MAC||Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights||No||Bi-Directional||7:30 PM to 3:00 AM (Thursdays to Saturdays)|
South Cedar – Edgewood
|CATA Transportation Center||Edgewood Villas||Daily||No||Bi-Directional||5:29 AM to 10:37 PM (Mondays to Fridays); 7:42 AM to 10:24 PM (Saturdays); 8:43 AM to 6:26 PM (Sundays)|
Cedar – Jolly Connection
|Jolly Cedar Plaza (Social Security Administration on request)||Salvation Army at Jolly and Washington||Weekdays||No||Bi-Directional||7:50 AM to 4:20 PM (Mondays to Fridays)|
Aurelius – Jolly-Dunckel
|CATA Transportation Center||Beau Jardin & Dunckel||Weekdays||No||Bi-Directional||6:03 AM to 7:40 PM (Mondays to Fridays)|
Pennsylvania – Holt
|CATA Transportation Center||Davlind & Aurelius||Daily||No||Bi-Directional||5:30 AM to 11:30 PM (Mondays to Fridays); 7:20 AM to 11:15 PM (Saturdays); 7:50 AM to 7:15 PM (Sundays)|
South Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. – Hill Vocational Center – S. Pennsylvania Meijer
|CATA Transportation Center||South Pennsylvania Meijer||Daily||No||Bi-Directional||5:55 AM to 10:55 PM (Mondays to Fridays); 7:45 AM to 10:35 PM (Saturdays); 8:15 AM to 6:35 PM (Sundays)|
North Lansing – Turner
|CATA Transportation Center||Thomas & Hall||Daily||No||Bi-Directional||6:10 AM to 10:50 PM (Mondays to Fridays); 8:30 AM to 10:40 PM (Saturdays); 9:00 AM to 6:40 PM (Sundays)|
Waverly – Colonial Village
|CATA Transportation Center||Deerfield & Holmes||Weekdays||No||Bi-Directional||6:20 AM to 7:40 PM (Mondays to Fridays)|
West Michigan – Waverly
|CATA Transportation Center||St. Joseph & Waverly (During breaks)
LCC West Campus (During academic year)
|Daily||No||Bi-Directional||6:10 AM to 10:55 PM (Mondays to Fridays); 8:30 AM to 10:40 PM (Saturdays); 9:00 AM to 6:40 PM (Sundays)|
Groesbeck Area – Lake Lansing Meijer
|CATA Transportation Center||Lake Lansing Meijer||Weekdays||No||Bi-Directional||6:05 AM to 6:45 PM (Mondays to Fridays)|
North Grand River – Old Town – Airport
|CATA Transportation Center||Grand River & Waverly||Daily||No||Bi-Directional||6:00 AM to 10:55 PM (Mondays to Fridays); 8:30 AM to 10:40 PM (Saturdays); 9:00 AM to 6:40 PM (Sundays)|
E. Kalamazoo – Lake Lansing Meijer
|CATA Transportation Center||Lake Lansing Meijer||Weekdays||No||Bi-Directional||6:40 AM to 6:45 PM (Mondays to Fridays)|
W. Lake Lansing Road – Eastwood Towne Center
|CATA Transportation Center||Lake Lansing Meijer||Daily||No||Bi-Directional||6:13 AM to 10:45 PM (Mondays to Fridays); 8:30 AM to 10:30 PM (Saturdays); 8:30 AM to 6:30 PM (Sundays)|
South Harrison – Jolly-Dunckel
|Shaw & Farm Boarding Area||Beau Jardin & Dunckel||Daily||No||Bi-Directional||6:40 AM to 10:30 PM (Mondays to Fridays); 8:25 AM to 11:00 PM (Saturdays); 9:35 AM to 6:15 PM (Sundays)|
MSU – Haslett – Meridian Mall (to Meridian Mall)
|Shaw & Farm Boarding Area||Meridian Mall||Monday thru Saturday||No||Clockwise||6:05 AM to 9:15 PM (Mondays to Fridays); 7:50 AM to 7:30 PM (Saturdays)|
MSU – Okemos – Meridian Mall (to Meridian Mall)
|Shaw & Farm Boarding Area||Meridian Mall||Monday thru Saturday||Weekdays: Runs more frequently
|Counterclockwise||6:05 AM to 9:15 PM (Mondays to Fridays); 7:50 AM to 7:30 PM (Saturdays)|
East Lansing – Lake Lansing Road
|MSU Parking Ramp 5||Lake Lansing Meijer||Daily||No||Bi-Directional||6:10 AM to 11:15 PM (Mondays to Fridays); 8:30 AM to 11:00 PM (Saturdays); 8:30 AM to 7:00 PM (Sundays)|
North Harrison – Abbot
|MSU Parking Ramp 5||Lake Lansing Meijer||Daily||Weekdays: Runs more frequently
|Bi-Directional||6:20 AM to 10:15 PM (Mondays to Fridays); 8:30 AM to 11:00 PM (Saturdays); 8:30 AM to 7:00 PM (Sundays)|
Abbot – Chandler
|MSU-CTC/Ramp 1||Chandler Crossings||Daily||Weekdays: Runs more frequently & extended night hours
Saturday: Extended night hours
|Bi-Directional||6:55 AM to 11:30 PM (Mondays to Thursdays); 6:50 AM to 11:15 PM (Fridays); 9:30 AM to 11:15 PM (Saturdays); 9:30 AM to 6:30 PM (Sundays)|
|#26 Late Night
Abbot – Chandler Late Night
|Chandler Crossings||Albert & MAC||Thursday, Friday, and Saturday Nights||Entire route||Bi-Directional||11:15 PM to 3:00 AM|
South Campus/Wilson Hall – East Campus via IM East
|Matilda Wilson and Lynne Holden Halls||East Campus Boarding Center: Akers, Conrad, Hubbard, and Fee Halls||Weekdays & Weeknights||Entire route||Bi-Directional||7:00 AM to 2:30 AM|
Brody Complex – East Campus via Vet Med
|Brody Neighborhood||East Campus Boarding Center: Akers, Conrad, Hubbard, and Fee Halls||Weekdays & Weeknights||Entire route||Bi-Directional||7:00 AM to 2:30 AM|
Commuter Lot 89 – Clinical Center
|MSU-CTC/Ramp 1||Commuter Lot 89 Shelter #3||Weekdays||Entire route||Bi-Directional||7:00 AM to 7:00 PM|
South Campus/Holden Hall – MSU Union/West Circle Neighborhoods
|Lynne Holden and Matilda Wilson Halls||MSU Union||Weekdays||Entire route||Counterclockwise Loop||7:00 AM to 7:15 PM|
Brody Complex – University Village
|MSU-CTC/Ramp 1||Brody Neighborhood||Weekends||Entire route||Counterclockwise Loop||9:15 AM to 2:30 AM|
South Campus/Wilson and Holden Halls – Spartan Village
|MSU-CTC/Ramp 1||Spartan Village||Weekends||Entire route||Bi-Directional||9:00 AM to 2:15 AM|
East Campus via Vet Med
|MSU-CTC/Ramp 1||East Campus Boarding Center: Akers, Conrad, Hubbard, and Fee Halls||Weekends||Entire route||Counterclockwise Loop||9:15 AM to 2:30 AM|
University Village – Spartan Village
|Shaw & Farm Boarding Area||Spartan Village||Weekdays & Weeknights||Entire route||Bi-Directional||6:45 AM to 2:15 AM|
|#41 (#1 Limited)
Downtown Lansing – Meridian Mall (Limited)
|CATA Transportation Center||Meridian Mall||Daily (3 Trips In Morning & Evening)||No||Bi-Directional||Discontinued|
|CATA Transportation Center||Cedar & Kerns||Weekday Rush Hours||No||Peak Direction||7:00 AM to 8:00 AM (AM Trips); 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM (PM Trips)|
|CATA Transportation Center||M-52 & I-96||Weekday Rush Hours||No||Peak Direction||6:30 AM to 8:00 AM (AM Trips); 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM (PM Trips)|
CATA offers a variety of payment methods and fares.
Cash and CATACash
Riders paying by cash use the following fare structure for each one-way trip. All transfers from one route to another are free and valid up to two hours. Transfer may not be used to make a return trip; stopovers on issuing line is allowed.
- Seniors, disabled, all Medicare card holders, and students: $0.60
- Children under 42 inches (110 cm) tall: Free if accompanied by fare-paying rider. Limit is 3.
- All others: $1.25
- Zone 2 fares of Route 3 between Lansing Mall and the intersection of Saginaw and Waverly Roads, which cost $2.50, have been discontinued since August 25, 2014.
CATACash cards are issued through the farebox as change during cash transactions.
Tokens and passes
Riders may use one CATA token for a one-way trip; again, transfers to another route are free. Tokens may be purchased for $1.25 each or in sets of 10 for $10.00 at various retail outlets around the area. They cannot be purchased on board buses.
Various bus passes are available that may be used on any numbered route (except commuter lot pass). They may be purchased at various retail outlets in the area or online at CATA's website. There are also passes for paratransit services such as CATA Rural Service and Spec-Tran.
- 10-Ride Pass: $10.00 ($6.00 for seniors, disabled, Medicare card holders, and students)
- 31-Day Pass (unlimited rides for 31 days): $35.00 ($18.00 for seniors, disabled, Medicare card holders, and students)
- Student Semester Pass (unlimited rides for one semester, for students only): $50.00
- MSU Commuter Lot Pass (unlimited rides on Route 32 only): $20.00 for one semester, $33.00 for two semesters
Bicycles on CATA
Bicycle racks are installed on the front of all CATA buses, except the trolley-style buses. Each bus can accommodate up to three bicycles. Non-safety bicycles, such as recumbents and tandems, are not allowed.
CATA also rents out bike lockers located in downtown Lansing and East Lansing.
CATA is governed by a board of directors:
- Four members representing the City of Lansing:
- Pete Kuhnmuench
- Robin Lewis
- Robert W. Swanson (Chair)
- Anne Wilson
- Two members representing the City of East Lansing:
- Rory Neuner
- Nathan Triplett
- Two members representing Meridian Township:
- Donna Rose
- Dan Opsommer
- One member representing Lansing Township:
- Diontrea Hayes
- One member representing Delhi Township:
- Douglas Lecato (Vice Chair)
- One non-voting member representing Ingham County:
- One non-voting member representing Michigan State University:
- John Prush
CATA won APTA's America's Best Transit System award for 1991 in the medium-size category, and again for 2007 in the 4–30 million annual passenger trips category. This award is given to systems with great efficiency and cost-effectiveness, a high safety rating, and a stable operations base, among other criteria.
In 2003, Sandy Draggoo, CATA's executive director, received the APTA Outstanding Public Transportation Manager in North America award.
In 2008, CATA was recognized by Metro Magazine as one of the Ten Best Places to Work in Transit. The article chronicled CATA's family-like culture, recognition of hard work, extreme efficiency, the Open-door policy of the executive office, and the pride CATA's workers mentioned in their employee surveys.
Current Bus fleet
|510–571||New Flyer D40LF||?||40'||102"||62|
|572–587||New Flyer DE40LFR||2006-2010||40'||102"||16|
|588–619||New Flyer XDE40||2011-2015||40'||102"||32|
|6000–6003||New Flyer DE60LF||2003||60'||102"||4|
|6004–6006||New Flyer D60LF||2005-2006||60'||102"||3|
|6007–6011||New Flyer DE60LFR||2007-2009||60'||102"||5|
- "First Quarter 2015" (PDF). Public Transportation Ridership Report. American Public Transportation Association. Retrieved 11 July 2015.
- "About | CATA". CATA. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
- "Operations". CATA. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
- "Michigan/Grand River Avenue Transportation Study". Retrieved 25 January 2017.
- "CATA 2011 Community Report" (PDF). CATA. Retrieved 7 November 2011.
- Robinson, Laurie (25 April 2013). "CATA Bus Rapid Transit Advances to Project Development Phase". CATA News. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 25 January 2017.
- LeBlanc, Beth (19 April 2017). "CATA board shelves plans for BRT". Rebecca Poynter Steckler. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
- "Ten Great Transit Systems to Work For", Metro Magazine, September–October 2008, p. 40 (print edition).
- 2006 CATA Community Report
- Lansing State Journal: CATA logs 10 million riders over year
- Lansing State Journal: 'Little ol' farm girl' wins transit award
- Archive.org repository of CATA website since 1996