The goal of BCATS is to assist in the development and preservation of a safe, effective, well-maintained, efficient, and economical transportation system for the Battle Creek metropolitan area which minimizes its negative impacts on the physical and social environments and related land use. The BCATS area includes the Cities of Battle Creek and Springfield as well as the Charter Townships of Bedford, Pennfield and Emmett and the Townships of Leroy and Newton.
BCATS' organizational structure consists of a Policy Committee, Technical Committee and staff. You can find out more about each group through the links to the left. Also to the left is a "Members" tab which lists all of the units of government participating in the BCATS organization.
The Battle Creek Creek Area Transportation Study was organized in May, 1974, in response to two events. The first event was the adoption of a comprehensive plan for Calhoun County, Michigan. The plan necessitated the development of a group to address the transportation component of the plan. The second event was the designation of the Battle Creek area as an "urbanized area" by the U.S. Census Bureau following the 1970 Census. The designation made it possible for local units of government to receive federal transportation funds, if there was a local transportation planning effort which was organized according to federal regulations. The regulations required a "continuing, comprehensive transportation planning process carried out cooperatively by states and local communities." This came to be known as the "3C" planning process.
From its organization in 1974 until 1981, the BCATS effort was part of the Calhoun County Department of Planning and Development Coordination. In 1981, BCATS was formally reorganized as an Intermunicipality Committee under Michigan Public Act 200 of 1957. The units of government forming the Intermunicipality Committee all adopted resolutions to form the entity. The Policy Committee was designated as the governing body of BCATS and bylaws were adopted.
Shortly thereafter, another major change went into effect for BCATS. The Policy Committee was designated by the governor as the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for the Battle Creek urbanized area. Prior to that time, the Southcentral Michigan Planning Council (SMPC) had been designated as the MPO for both the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo urbanized areas. BCATS did not have the final local approval of its plans and programs, the SMPC also had to approve. The change in the MPO designation gave the Battle Creek area more control over its own process.
Also in fiscal year 1981, the BCATS staff office was moved from the County Building in Marshall, Michigan to the Battle Creek Transit administrative offices in downtown Battle Creek. This put the office within the urbanized area. In 1988, the staff office moved to the City of Springfield City Hall in Springfield, Michigan, also within the urbanized area. The staff office is currently still at this location.
Click here for an audio version of the above "About BCATS" section