September 15, 2011
Ann Arbor Transportation Authority (TheRide) Board Approves Annual Operating Budget
Ann Arbor, MICH – The Ann Arbor Transportation Authority (TheRide) board of directors approved a FY 2012 operating budget of $30.36 million today. The budget will maintain and improve TheRide’s core services, appropriately fund TheRide’s 2012 work plan, and allow TheRide to continue to support the implementation of the countywide Transit Master Plan.
“TheRide is committed to meeting not only today’s transit needs, but those in the future and this budget and the work plan reflect these goals," said TheRide Board Chair Jesse Bernstein.
According to TheRide CEO Michael Ford, next year's work plan is aggressive. It includes continued development of a countywide transit network, improving core services and expanding service options, including piloting shuttle service to the airport; expanding vanpool services countywide; improving service along Washtenaw Avenue, TheRide’s busiest corridor; and launching a new website with improved trip planning and real-time applications.
The work plan also includes developing and implementing a five-year information technology plan, expanding the current bus garage capacity, expanding NightRide service to Ypsilanti and redeveloping the Blake Transit Center.
TheRide board of directors also issued a resolution today stating that TheRide funds designated for the Washtenaw and Livingston Railway (WALLY) will not be expended until the results of stakeholder discussions are brought before the board.
The WALLY project is included in the Transit Master Plan as a possible long-term commuter transportation improvement to help meet the needs of the region’s commuters. TheRide project managers plan to hold meetings with identified stakeholders before asking for additional funding for the rail line’s development.
“Because we are committed to using public tax dollars as efficiently as possible, the board will ask for renewed commitments for WALLY from the State of Michigan, local communities and others important to the success of the project before spending additional resources,” said Bernstein.
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