Transportation Services

 Transportation Services in Pictured Rocks

In 2019, Trailspotters of Michigan is outsourcing all their North Country Trail transportation services to local providers like taxi public transit, limos, and where it exists, Lyft.

In Pictured Rocks, the national park has authorized only two transportation providers: our company and Alger County Transit (ALTRAN).

We have directly competed with ALTRAN for almost 10 years. Our challenge is they benefit from being a heavily subsidized, tax supported operation, where, we are a private business. In short, their rates are far below market value and cost. They run at an operational loss but can afford to do so as they are subsidized by federal and state gas taxes. Interestingly, their customers would call us for trip planning advice, Q&A, and we have rescued hundreds of their customers. We can no longer support our competitors customers.

Combine that with the fact we have run at a loss in Pictured Rocks for several years. As I’m sure you are aware, we cannot run at a loss for long.

Therefore, we decided the best course of action was to partner with ALTRAN and offer them all the services we conduct that they do not. Last second shuttles, off schedule runs, serving Chapel & Mosquito Trailhead, shuttlebacks, trip insurance, map and books, carspotting, gear rental, Q&A, trip planning advice, 24/7 phone and text monitoring, rescues, and more. We offered all these services and even offered to handle all their phone reservations.

We made this proposal in good faith and offered these services at no cost to ALTRAN.   For reasons unknown, they declined our generous offer.

ALTRAN offers a basic schedule. They do not serve the Chapel Trailhead. ALTRAN also does not run off schedule, does no rescues, nor man their phones outside of office hours. They close registrations a week out and if there isn’t a shuttle already running when you call with less than 7 days, they will not accept your reservation. You’ll need to take that into consideration when planning transportation with them.

We still offer all our non-transportation services like trip planning and gear rental. Please keep in mind that we are no longer supporting ALTRAN customers for free with advice and planning, you must purchase a trip planning package. By doing so, you get unlimited planning plus copies of both my books, maps, etc. Check it out by clicking here. 

Thank you for your understanding.

Tom Funke
President, Trailspotters