ANN ARBOR, MI – The Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority (TheRide) Board of Directors approved a Long-Range Transit Plan at its July 21, 2022 meeting. The approved plan, TheRide 2045, provides a vision, a long-term system plan and shorter-term implementation steps for public transit in the Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti area. The plan focuses on improving social equity by increasing access to jobs and housing, reducing commute times, and increasing service frequency and overnight service, while also contributing to a cleaner environment and a more vibrant economy.
TheRide 2045 Long-Range plan lays out a shared vision and strategy for transit through 2045. The plan will guide the development of future projects and budgets to ensure that TheRide’s activities are aligned to achieve the vision outlined in the plan.
“TheRide 2045 will effectively advance the organization toward the key goals defined by the Board and echoed by the broader community. It is a transformational plan that will make transit faster and more attractive, and fundamentally change how transit is provided in the Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti Area,” TheRide Board Chair, Eric Mahler, said.
TheRide 2045 responds to the growing needs of the communities with a blueprint for preserving and expanding transit services and access to local and regional destinations. It is an ambitious vision that will require partnerships, additional investment, and leadership. Through this plan, TheRide can facilitate and help fulfill our communities’ shared objectives of a future of improved economic, social and environment vitality.
According to Matt Carpenter, TheRide CEO, “The plan focuses on addressing social equity gaps by improving affordable and accessible transportation to jobs, education, services, and housing, improving our environment by giving travelers efficient transportation alternatives, and supporting a strong economy by better connecting businesses and people. The plan can deliver these benefits through a series of improvements and expansions to transit services and infrastructure.”
Key benefits of TheRide 2045 include:
- Growing ridership by providing an even more attractive and convenient transit service, designed to reduce travel times, make travel more direct, better match service to demand, and provide access throughout the week with longer hours of operation.
- Addressing socio-economic equity gaps by improving accessible and affordable transportation to work, education, medical, shopping, and social destinations for lower opportunity communities that rely on transit and through focusing enhancements on low opportunity areas.
- Improving environmental outcomes by attracting more people out of their cars and introducing low emission buses.
- Enhancing economic vitality by growing access to jobs and retail, incentivizing more walkable, vibrant, and healthy communities, and by reducing overall community costs for transportation; and
- Advancing the goals of municipal policy documents.
During an 18-month public engagement process, the community generally communicated a strong desire for transformational change and a strong support of the recommendations included in the plan. This process entailed significant public and stakeholder engagement. A Public Advisory Group (PAG) met throughout the plan’s development and provided guidance throughout the process. There were more than 4,475 points of interaction received through in-person and virtual engagement sessions, surveys, email, and phone.
“We appreciate the thousands of people who took the time to review and provide feedback during the 18-month long public engagement process. We heard from nearly 1,400 people in our community. We worked with our consultants to analyze the responses and, as an outcome, developed our final plan. Through this plan, TheRide can help lead our communities toward a future with greater social equity, environmental benefits, and access to jobs,” said Forest Yang, TheRide’s Deputy CEO of Planning & Innovation.
To stay up-to-date on the latest information on TheRide’s Long-Range Plan, visit the project’s website.