HOUGHTON - For many people without a vehicle in the Copper Country, getting around can be a problem, and some people with a vehicle may be looking for alternatives. A new survey is aimed at finding out what the area's transportation needs are.
Jerald Wuorenmaa, assistant planner with the Western Upper Peninsula Planning and Development Region in Houghton, said the survey for the yet-to-be-completed Getting Around the Western U.P. website will ask people in Baraga, Gogebic, Houghton, Iron, Keweenaw and Ontonagon counties what they would like to see available as far as transit, carpooling, and non-motorized transportation are concerned.
Wuorenmaa said the current survey - which can be seen at wuppdr.org - is a companion to another study for the Michigan Department of Transportation WPPDR did recently.
"This was sort of associated with a transit plan we finished last December," he said.
That plan was more localized to Baraga, Houghton and Keweenaw counties, however, Wuorenmaa said.
"The study was done to find gaps and overlaps in service," he said. "(The current survey) was one of the recommendations from there."
The current survey, which will be completed by April 30, will help WUPPDR in its creation of the Getting Around the Western U.P. website, Wuorenmaa said. Both are being funded by an MDOT Service Development and New Technology Program grant.
Although the current survey will help with construction of the website, Wuorenmaa said some of it is done.
"We already have a lot of the basic design done," he said.
The website should go live by the end of 2012, Wuorenmaa said.
Although the website will allow people to see the various transportation options in the western U.P., including biking and walking trails, Wuorenmaa said the main thrust of the survey is to determine residents' transportation habits.
When completed, Wuorenmaa said the Getting Around the Western U.P. website, will have a search application for finding various transportation possibilities, including buses, taxis, private companies and bicycle and walking trails. There will be information about contacts, bus fares, maps and even bus-riding etiquette.
"The main content is going to be information about transit providers in the U.P.," he said.