(231) 325-3000 or
toll free (866) 325-3380
Hours of Operation
Monday – Friday
5:00am - 8:00 pm
6:00 - 5:00
14150 Us Highway 31
Beulah, Michigan 49617
Hours of Operation
Monday - Friday:
Welcome to Benzie Bus!
We look forward to serving you!
A special welcome to our new Executive Directer, Bill Kennis
MEDIA ADVISORY – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 13, 2014
Contact: Josh Stoltz, Board Vice Chair Phone: 231-640-0200
Benzie Transportation Authority Email: josh@ecoSEEDS.org
Benzie Bus Hires New Executive Director
HONOR, Mich. – The Board of Directors of the Benzie Transportation Authority voted unanimously on Wednesday to hire William Kennis of Frankfort as Executive Director of the Benzie Bus system. He will start in his new position on March 17.
Kennis has led several successful organizations, most recently including the Traverse City History Center. He has broad experience in leadership, sales, and marketing, and previously served as board treasurer of the Troy Chamber of Commerce and board president of a private school in Rochester Hills.
Kennis earned his Executive Masters in Business Administration from Michigan State University and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Finance, and Economics from Central Michigan University, where he served as student body president for two years.
“We’re happy that after receiving 25 quality applications for the Executive Director position from across the country, the best candidate was right here in our backyard,” said Beverly Holbrook, Benzie Bus Board Chair. “Mr. Kennis is innovative and has a track-record for bringing positive organizational change. He is personally vested in the success of Benzie Bus as a homeowner and rider.”
Pamela Evans, consultant for Rotary Charities of Traverse City’s NorthSky Nonprofit Network, helped facilitate the search and hiring process by gathering employee and board member input, providing professional guidance, and assisting with advertising and development of interview questions. In addition, Benzie County Administrator Karl Sparks acted as the facilitator of the candidate interviews, which were held in an open meeting on March 5 at the Benzie Bus Station in Honor.
Kennis has been a Frankfort homeowner for 10 years and actively supports youth sports and the Boy Scouts, as an Assistant Scout Master and Cub Master. He is married to Donna Kennis. They have three sons, RJ, Mitch and Gabe.
Kennis has a strong network in the Grand Traverse region. He is a 2013 graduate of the Leadership Grand Traverse program operated by the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce and was recommended for the Benzie Bus leadership position by Tom Menzel, Executive Director of the Bay Area Transportation Authority (BATA), which serves Grand Traverse and Leelanau counties.
“We look forward to working closely with Mr. Kennis and his staff on finding innovative and creative ways to add value to the respective areas that we service,” said Mr. Menzel at BATA. “We know that he believed in collaboration with others while working at the History Center, and we feel that approach will put our two organizations in philosophical alignment going forward.”
At Benzie Bus, Kennis inherits a skilled team of drivers, dispatchers, mechanics, and managers, including Operations Manager Chad Hollenbeck, who has served as Interim Executive Director since November. “We are grateful to Chad, who has delivered consistent service standards that our customers have come to expect. He worked tirelessly leading us through this transition,” stated Ms. Holbrook, Benzie Bus Board Chair.
Throughout 2014, Kennis and Hollenbeck will collaborate to lead a major study of the transportation needs of Benzie County residents and visitors, using grant funds recently awarded by the Michigan Department of Transportation and Rotary Charities of Traverse City. The results will guide the design and implementation of future routes and services within Benzie County, as well as links to neighboring counties.
The mission of Benzie Bus is to connect people of all ages and abilities to our community and promote independence and prosperity through a safe and convenient public transit system. Approximately one-third of riders are senior citizens (60 and older), another third are people with disabilities (including some seniors), and among the rest are students and numerous commuters and shoppers strengthening the local economy.
The Benzie Bus system operates countywide Monday through Friday from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Benzie Bus also offers hourly connections – from approximately 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., by reservation only – to the BATA bus system at Ric’s Food Center in Interlochen. The full fare on Benzie Bus costs $3 for a one-way trip, and the discounted fare is $1.50 for senior citizens, people with disabilities, and children ages 12 and under. Discount passes are also available. For more information, or to schedule a ride, call Benzie Bus at 231-325-3000 or toll free at 866-325-3380. Visit the bus system online at www.BenzieBus.com.
Benzie Bus can currently take anyone within the boundaries of Benzie County to any location within Benzie County. Reservations can be made by calling (231) 325-3000 or toll free 1-866-325-3380 during regular business hours.
To see our Flex Route Schedules, click here.
Benzie Bus also provides rides to Traverse City via our Interlochen Connector. For a detailed schedule, click here.
Bike racks are installed on some of the buses. Click here for more information.
Our "East TC Service" travels to the east side of Traverse City.
The "East TC Service" will depart the Benzie Bus station at 6:40 a.m., Monday through Friday, ONCE a day.
$5.00 Full Fare / $2.50 Reduced Fare
10 punch cards available: $50.00 Full Fare / $25.00 Reduced Fare
Please call (231) 325-3000, ext. 1 to schedule a ride or Toll-free (866) 325-3380
To schedule a return ride back to Benzie County,
please call BATA @ (231) 941-2324
***BENZIE BUS RESERVATION PROCEDURES***
IT IS STRONGLY RECOMMENDED MAKING
RESERVATIONS 24 HOURS IN ADVANCE
RESERVATIONS MADE THE SAME DAY NEED TO BE MADE A
MINIMUM OF 4 HOURS IN ADVANCE
PLEASE BE PREPARED TO BOARD THE BUS 15 MINUTES PRIOR TO YOUR SCHEDULED PICK UP TIME. MAXIMUM BUS WAIT TIME IS 3 MINUTES
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