The Ann Arbor Area Transit Authority (AAATA) announced they are accepting feedback for proposed service changes ahead of its implementation. These changes are due to a 5-year property tax millage increase approved by voters in 2022.
"TheRide has been working hard to finalize the proposed service changes that our community approved in 2022," said Forest Yang, deputy CEO of Planning & Innovation at TheRide. "We’re excited to bring improved service to our community and we encourage the public to learn about the proposed changes and provide feedback."
TheRide currently offers limited hours and stops in Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township, impacting Eastern Michigan University students. The proposed changes would affect this and much more, including extended service hours, more frequent trips, and expanded late-night and holiday service.
Extended Hours and Service Frequency
Under the proposal, weekday hours would be 6 a.m. to midnight for routes 3: Huron River; 4: Washtenaw; 5: Packard; and 6: Ellsworth. On Saturdays, hours would be 7 a.m. to 11:50 p.m., and Sunday hours would be 8 a.m. to 9:45 p.m.
The frequency of buses on those routes would also be altered on weekends, with buses running every 30 minutes from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Sundays. Buses would run every 60 minutes after 6 p.m. on both weekend days.
Late-Night Service Expansion
Additionally, the FlexRide late night and holiday service would be extended to include all of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township, north of Textile Road. Currently, only part of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township are included in the service area.
The proposal also includes adding a limited-stop express route linking Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti along Washtenaw Avenue as early as April 2024. That bus would run Monday through Friday. Stops include the Ypsilanti Transit Center, Arborland Mall, and Blake Transit Center.
Student input is critical, as EMU has been personally affected by these changes and will be in the future.
"The University previously paid the AAATA to operate a dedicated bus line that regularly looped between the main campus and the College of Business (COB) when it was located at the Owen Building off-campus,” said Leigh Greden, chief of staff at Eastern Michigan University. “There continue to be full-route AAATA bus stops on Washtenaw near McKenny Hall, Cross Street near Boone Hall, and Huron River Drive near the Campus Wellness Center, as well as other locations near campus."
Public comments about the new changes are being accepted until Nov. 23. This feedback will be used to adjust the service proposals, and a finalized version of the plan will be released in the spring of 2024.
Feedback can be provided in numerous ways:
- Fill out this web form, and scroll down until you see “Add public comment”
- Attend an in-person session
- Call 734-794-1882
2700 S. Industrial Hwy.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Free bus passes for TheRide are available to students (while supplies last) at the Service EMU center located in the Student Center on the second floor near the north entrance. Each bus pass is valid for 30 days starting from the time of use, and students may obtain one free bus pass each month.