Dec. 10, 2004
MRide increases ridership on AATA and U-M systems
ANN ARBOR, Mich.—Ridership on the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority (AATA) fixed routes and the University of Michigan buses has increased since the August implementation of the MRide program, officials from both transit systems announced today.
MRide provides free rides on all AATA fixed-route buses to all active U-M students, staff and faculty.
“Overall, our system has experienced a 12 percent increase in the number of boardings during the fall semester compared with the same time period last year,” Greg Cook, AATA executive director, said. “We are very pleased that larger numbers of students and staff have found the MRide program to be beneficial to them.”
From September through November, AATA provided rides to 1,220,000 passengers, an increase of 134,000 over the same period in 2003. The route with the largest gain, a 55 percent increase, was Route 2—Plymouth, which connects northeast Ann Arbor with U-M's central and medical campuses.
The U-M transit system, which carries passengers to and from different areas of the University campus, experienced an increase of 128,000 passengers, or 7 percent of total ridership.
“MRide is working,” said Dave Miller, U-M's director of Parking and Transportation Services. “More students and staff are riding the AATA buses to and from campus, and then riding the U-M buses to move from one campus area to another.
“With more people riding mass transit, streets and parking areas in our community have a little less congestion,” Miller said. “University students also have found a convenient way to access off-campus retail establishments and places of employment seven days a week.”
Officials from the two transportation systems have been soliciting campus input this fall to determine the highest priorities for increasing service hours by 8,000 annual hours beginning in late January 2005. More than 400 students, staff and faculty have provided suggestions.
“With more transportation options and expanded service, our entire community is benefiting from the MRide program,” Cook said.
The MRide program, which began Aug. 1, is provided through a five-year agreement between AATA and the U-M. The contract is valued at approximately $1.8 million per year to AATA, with U-M contributing $700,000 and the remainder of the funding provided through the Federal Transit Administration.
The Ann Arbor Transportation Authority was chartered in 1969 by the City of Ann Arbor as a special-purpose unit of government. AATA is supported through local, state and federal funds, and farebox revenues. AATA operates 27 public transit routes, paratransit services, and carpool-vanpool matching and other transportation services to facilitate mobility throughout the urbanized areas of Washtenaw County.
More information about the MRide program:
More on the U-M's Parking and Transportation Services: