February 16, 2012
AATA Board approves public transit service between Ann Arbor and Detroit Metro Airport
ANN ARBOR – Ann Arbor-area residents will soon have a more affordable and convenient option for getting to Detroit Metro Airport. The Ann Arbor Transportation Authority (TheRide) Board of Directors approved a resolution today to create a public-private partnership with Michigan Flyer (a subsidiary of Indian Trails Bus Company) that will provide public transportation to the airport.
“Throughout the transit master plan development process we were told by residents that they needed a convenient, affordable and reliable way to get to the airport,” said TheRide CEO Michael Ford. “Partnering with Michigan Flyer will help us fill that need.”
The new service, named AirRide, is expected to begin in April and will provide twelve daily round trips from Ann Arbor to Detroit Metro Airport and will be operated by Michigan Flyer on behalf of TheRide. Michigan Flyer currently operates eight round trips between Ann Arbor and Detroit Metro Airport for $15 one-way.
The AirRide partnership will provide for four additional trips and provide reduced, more affordable fares on all twelve regularly scheduled trips. Tickets for AirRide will be offered at an introductory rate of $10 for a one-way trip. The regular adult fare will be $12 with a reservation, or $15 without a reservation. Discounts for seniors, people with a disability, and children will also be offered.
“We are very pleased to partner with TheRide to improve public transportation service for travelers to and from Ann Arbor,” said Gordon Mackay, president of Indian Trails, the parent company of Michigan Flyer. “Public transportation helps to alleviate highway congestion, saves energy and expense for consumers, and improves the environment.”
Gov. Rick Snyder has made increased public transportation collaboration in Southeast Michigan a priority for his administration. The new AirRide service will further demonstrate TheRide’s commitment to providing regional transportation solutions.
“This new partnership improves regional transportation options by connecting the Ann Arbor transit system with the SMART bus system for Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties," said Mackay.
Plans call for AirRide buses to pick up passengers at two Ann Arbor locations for all 12 daily trips and at a third stop for the four Ann Arbor only trips. One stop will be located at 4th Ave. and William St. across from the Blake Transit Center, and a second stop will be located at the Kensington Court Hotel near I-94 on Ann Arbor’s south side. The third stop in Ann Arbor will be at the Central Campus Transit Center (CCTC). At Detroit Metro Airport, the AirRide buses will drop off and pick up passengers at the International Arrival level of the McNamara Terminal, and at the Ground Transportation Area of the North Terminal. When returning from the airport to Ann Arbor, passengers will be able to wait inside the terminal to view the AirRide service as it approaches.
A proposed partnership with the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority will also allow for parking at the Fourth Avenue and William parking structure near the Blake Transit Center for just $2 per trip, with a two week maximum stay. Parking will also be available at Kensington Court Hotel for $2 per day. New low emissions Michigan Flyer buses, offering free wireless Internet and restroom amenities will be used for all trips.
“TheRide is deeply appreciative of the commitment made to the AirRide project by our community partners -- the Ann Arbor Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, the City of Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority, Detroit Metropolitan Airport, Kensington Court, Michigan Flyer and the University of Michigan -- in helping us to better serve Washtenaw County residents and visitors,” Board member David Nacht said.
TheRide is also engaged in discussions with the Ann Arbor Convention and Visitors Bureau and the University of Michigan to assist with promotional support for the new service.
“There are still some operational details to be worked out, but in the end the convenience and affordability of the service combined with the cost effective public-private partnership could make the AirRide a win for the entire region,” said Ford.
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