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Tuesday, February 24, 2004 www.imninc.com/tourism   VOLUME 3 ISSUE 1  
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A publication of the Michigan State University Tourism Resource Center and Department of Park, Recreation & Tourism Resources
 
THE MTB TEAM
Editor-in-Chief:
Donald F. Holecek

Editor & Publisher:
Lori A. Martin

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02-24-04 – In November 2003, 319,185 cars crossed the Mackinac Bridge compared to 320,785 in November 2002, and in December 2003, 248,869 cars crossed the Bridge compared to 262,338 in December 2002.  January 2003 was the only month of the year in which more cars crossed the Bridge than during the same month in 2002.  In total, 4,528,569 cars crossed the Bridge in 2003, down from an annual total of 4,733,207 cars in 2002.
 
11-21-03 – According to the Mackinac Bridge Authority, 451,732 cars crossed the Bridge in September 2003 compared to 493,683 in September 2002, and 414,221 cars crossed the Bridge in October 2003 compared to 416,971 in October 2002.
 
10-10-03 – The trend of a reduced number of cars crossing the Mackinac Bridge continued in August 2003 when 673,205 cars crossed the bridge, compared to 692,396 during the same month last year.
 
08-28-03 – For the past six consecutive months, the number of cars crossing the Mackinac Bridge (going in both directions) has been lower than during the same months last year.  In July 2003 only 638,340 cars crossed the bridge, compared to 685,603 last July.
 
07-31-03 – The Mackinac Bridge Authority reported that only 464,103 cars crossed the bridge in June 2003, down from 493,491 last June.
 
07-03-03 – Michigan bridge crossing counts have been down significantly every month this year with the exception of January.  Only 370,850 cars crossed the bridge in May 2003, down from 383,865 in May of last year.
 
06-11-03 – According to the Mackinac Bridge Authority only 246,103 cars crossed the bridge in April 2003.  This is the lowest car count for April on record going back through 1995 when the Center first began collecting this data.
 
05-02-03 – 245,427 cars crossed the Mighty Mack in March 2003, down from 256,872 during the same month last year.
 
03-24-03 – 230,336 cars crossed the Mackinac Bridge in January 2003, while only 226,199 cars crossed it in February 2003. 
 
02-07-03 – The number of cars crossing the Mackinac Bridge in December 2002 was 262,338, up from 250,870 in December 2001 and 232,964 in the same month of 2000.
 
12-20-02 – The number of cars crossing the Mackinac Bridge in November 2002 was lower than the number of cars crossing it in the past two Novembers.  November was also the first month since April of this year that bridge crossing counts were lower than those experienced in the same month of last year. 
 
It is significant to note that yesterday (December 19) the Mackinac Bridge Authority voted in favor of increasing one-way automobile bridge crossing fares for non-commuters from $1.50 to $2.50.  This is the first time fares have increased since 1961.  The increase, which takes effect May 1, "will preserve the financial and physical integrity of the bridge," authority chairman William Gnodtke said. 
 
The fare increase is expected to raise an additional $16 million a year, most of which will go toward maintenance of the five-mile-long bridge. One project alone—stripping the bridge of its paint, cleaning the bare metal and repainting it—is expected to cost $73 million over 10 years, bridge administrator Robert Sweeney said.  When the bridge opened in 1957, the one-way fare for a passenger car was $3.25. It was raised to $3.50 on Jan. 1, 1961, and to $3.75 four months later. The fare was cut to $1.50 on Jan. 1, 1969.
 
It remains to be seen whether this increase will have an impact on the number of tourists who cross the bridge.
 
11-26-02 – The number of cars crossing the Mackinac Bridge in October 2002 was 416,971, up from 392,496 in October 2001 but lower than the 429,446 experienced in October 2000.
 
10-26-02 – The number of cars crossing the Mackinac Bridge in September 2002 was 6,287 cars greater than in September 2001 and 25,225 cars fewer than in September 2000.
 
09-27-02 – August 2002 experienced the largest number of cars crossing the bridge of any month illustrated on the above graph.  It was a strong conclusion to a summer of busy bridge traffic.
 
09-05-02 – Similar to last month, the amount of traffic crossing the bridge in July 2002 is higher than it was in the same period during the past two years.
 
07-29-02 – The number of cars crossing the Mackinac Bridge in June 2002 is slightly higher that it was in June 2000 and 2001; this makes it the first month this year that the count exceeded those in the same month of the prior two years.
 
06-28-02 – The Mackinac Bridge experienced an increase in traffic during the month of May 2002 as compared to the same month last year.

05-23-02 – As we move into the summer months, it will be interesting to track the number of cars, which cross the Mackinac Bridge.  Unfortunately, in the latest month for which data are available, April 2002, it appears that fewer people went back and forth between the upper and lower peninsulas than in the past two Aprils.
 
04-17-02 – During many months of 2001 the number of cars crossing the Mackinac Bridge were lower than in the prior year.  It is likely that the decreases experienced in September and October were related to the events of 9/11.  December 2001 likely experienced greater bridge traffic due to much lower amounts of snow than in the same month a year earlier.

Published by Lori A. Martin
Copyright ©2004 Michigan State University Board of Trustees. All rights reserved.
Published by the Tourism Resource Center and the Department of Park, Recreation & Tourism Resources. MSU is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity institution.
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