When will the new BTC be ready?
The new Blake Transit Center is now open!
What did the BTC construction entail?
The project involved demolishing the existing one-story building at 331 S. Fourth Ave. and constructing a new two-story transit center that serves as TheRide's main downtown hub.
Why did we need a new BTC?
The new transit center was necessary to meet growing passenger demands and allow TheRide to better accommodate riders. Ridership has increased more than 80% since the mid-1980s, with more than 5,000 riders arriving and departing daily through the Blake.
What is included in the new facility?
The new 12,019-square-foot building includes space for a main customer service lobby, improved restrooms, offices for TheRide and getDowntown staff, conference rooms, a staff break room, and a basement for storage and mechanical equipment.
Is the new structure environmentally friendly?
Yes -- The new BTC features state-of-the-art environmental elements and received LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council for environmental excellence. The structure's environmentally-friendly features include a snowmelt system that will reduce use of salt during winter months; energy efficient heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and lighting systems; and roof storm water runoff collection for "gray water" use, such as flushing toilets.
What did the planning process include?
The planning process has included extensive community outreach and engagement, particularly regarding the center's design, helping TheRide ensure that the facility will meet the needs of customers and employees and allow the transportation agency to expand to address future needs.
How was the new BTC funded?
The $8.1 million project represents the first time TheRide has successfully utilized federal Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) and Small Business Enterprise (SBE) programs, which foster growth in local economies by providing opportunities for small businesses and firms owned by women and minorities.
How did TheRide work with local and regional businesses and partners?
TheRide has transit center-related contracts with Washtenaw County-region small businesses totaling $1.1 million, exceeding the standard federal goal of 10 percent of total project cost by nearly $1 million. Construction on the new facility will be coordinated with the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority and Ann Arbor District Library to minimize disruption to the area near the city's new underground parking structure across from the Blake Transit Center.