ANN ARBOR, MI – The Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority (TheRide) has announced that it was selected to receive $2.1 million in federal funding from the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG). This was a part of SEMCOG’s Carbon Reduction Program. The program called for transit agencies within the region to submit projects that would have a positive impact on carbon reduction. TheRide’s High-Capacity Transit Corridor Service Enhancement project for the Washtenaw Avenue Express Bus Service was selected for this program.
TheRide’s Washtenaw Avenue Express Bus Service is included in the agency’s Long-Range Plan, TheRide 2045. The limited-stop Express service will allow for more frequent, faster, and reliable service along the corridor, enhancing the connections between Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti. The service is slated to begin operating in 2024. The anticipated Washtenaw Avenue express service could reduce carbon dioxide emissions by an estimated 1,057 kilograms per day, the equivalent emissions of about 84 typical cars on the road every day.
“TheRide is thrilled to have been awarded funding from SEMCOG as part of their Carbon Reduction Program, and we thank them for this opportunity,” Gretchen Johnson, Senior Project Manager of Planning and Innovation at TheRide said. “The Washtenaw Avenue Express Bus Service not only will provide faster service for our citizens, it also plays a crucial role in our communities’ sustainability and social equity goals.”
The operating funding will be for three years and brings additional operating funds into the community, which are typically generated by only local sources. The Carbon Reduction Program was recently established by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act in 2021. The program allocates money to states and metro areas to fund projects that reduce carbon emissions.
“SEMCOG is pleased to support enhanced transit service for Washtenaw Avenue, one of the most significant mobility corridors in Washtenaw County,” said Amy O’Leary, Executive Director of SEMCOG, the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments. “In addition to benefitting everyone who lives, works, and commutes along this corridor, cleaner air improves quality of life and health outcomes for each community,” said O’Leary.
To help reduce the spread of COVID-19, TheRide continues to enforce the established preventive measures to keep both riders and drivers safe:
- Face masks are recommended to be worn, though not required.
- The driver is to be approached for emergencies only.
- Buses are cleaned with CDC-recommended protocols.
- Plastic barriers are added to separate drivers and riders on fixed-route buses.
- Sanitation supplies are 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 is available at 734-996-0400 and on TheRide.org.