Virtual Townhall Meetings Scheduled
ANN ARBOR, MI – The Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority (TheRide) will introduce its next phase of temporary service restoration. The temporary service plan includes a reorganized and simplified network of routes focused on travel to essential destinations and increased frequency on busy corridors to reduce overcrowding.
“We are taking a cautious and measured approach to phase service back in, focusing on the safety of our riders and drivers, while still allowing for social distancing,” Bryan D. Smith, Deputy CEO of Operations at TheRide said. “The reorganized route structure is a temporary response to address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and to maintain long-term financial sustainability.”
The temporary route structure minimizes route variations and most route interlining. This approach will make it easier to add overflow service as ridership increases. It also makes it possible to provide more frequent service to allow for social distancing, which is important because a full bus during the pandemic is only twenty passengers or one third of what it was pre-COVID.
Starting August 30, the temporary route network will operate most routes from 6:00 a.m. – 9:15 p.m. Monday – Friday and 7:00 a.m. – 8:15 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. High demand routes will operate every 15 minutes during peak travel times and most routes will operate every 30 minutes, seven days per week. The number of passengers will be limited to promote social distancing and additional buses will be used to back up routes to reduce overcrowding.
In addition, instead of providing a fixed-route along corridors with low ridership and low density, FlexRide (demand response) service will be offered. This includes late night and service on holidays when our fixed routes do not operate.
Beginning August 1, A-Ride service will be operated directly instead of using a subcontractor. While same-day service has been suspended, A-Ride will continue to operate the exact same service area that was provided pre-COVID. Service hours will also continue to match those of fixed routes. In addition, beginning on August 1, GoldRide cardholder access to A-Ride will be suspended. GoldRide cardholders will still to be able to ride fixed routes at no charge.
To learn more about the temporary service plan details, visit TheRide.org, call 734-794-1882 or attend a virtual townhall meeting. In addition to accepting comments during the virtual townhall meetings, the public may comment in the following manner:
Email: Planning@TheRide.org, use “Temporary August Service Plan” in the subject line
Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority
c/o Temporary August Service Plan
2700 S. Industrial Highway
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
The virtual townhall meetings will be conducted through Zoom at the following times:
- Tuesday, August 4 at 12:00 PM
- Thursday, August 6 at 6:00PM
- Tuesday, August 11 at 12:00PM
- Thursday, August 13 at 6:00PM
- Tuesday, August 18 at 12:00PM
- Wednesday, August 19 at 6:00PM
- Thursday, August 20 at 12:00PM
Participants will be able to join the town hall by phone and computer. To find out how to participate in a virtual townhall visit TheRide.org or call 734-996-0400.
TheRide encourages the public to ride for essential travel only. To reduce the spread of COVID-19, TheRide has established the following preventive measures and restrictions to keep both riders and drivers safe:
- Customers are required to wear a face covering, per state law
- The driver is to be approached for emergencies only
- Buses cleaned with CDC recommended protocols
- Transit centers are open for customer transactions only
- Social distancing signs are posted at transit centers and in buses
- Fewer passengers allowed on each bus
- Plastic barriers added to separate drivers and riders
- Sanitation supplies provided to employees
- Masks, gloves and face shields are provided for drivers use
- Lost and Found collection has been temporarily suspended
The latest information on TheRide’s routes, schedules and detours are available at TheRide.org or by calling (734) 996-0400.