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Posted on Thu, Jun 27, 2013 : 12:37 p.m.

Federal grant approved for $600,000 Lansing-to-Ann Arbor Michigan Flyer service increase

By Ben Freed

A federal grant to aid expansion of the Michigan Flyer route that runs from the Lansing area to the Detroit Metro Airport, with a stop in Ann Arbor, was approved in a contentious 10-9 vote by the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission Wednesday, according to a report from MLive Lansing.


With the new federal grant, the Michigan Flyer will now make 12 trips every day between the Lansing area and Detroit Metropolitan Airport.

File photo

The vote paved the way for Michigan Flyer, a subsidiary of Indian Trails, to receive nearly $600,000 from the federal government to help offset the cost of running four additional routes per day from Lansing to Ann Arbor. Michigan Flyer said it will use the money to help with operational costs and the purchase of a new motorcoach.

A previous vote at the commission’s meeting last month resulted in a 9-9 tie which was broken Wednesday by Ingham County Commissioner Brian McGrain. McGrain told MLive that he would likely have voted against the proposal but was swayed by an outpouring of constituent support for the increased routes.

The Capital Region International Airport, the main opponent of granting the funds, argued that it would be too difficult to compete against a subsidized competitor. The Flyer’s route brings Lansing-area travelers to DTW and the Capital Region Airport claims that increased bus service would result in an annual loss of $1 million in revenue.

With the new routes, Michigan Flyer will increase its number of daily trips between Lansing and Ann Arbor from eight to 12.

Ben Freed covers business for You can sign up here to receive Business Review updates every week. Get in touch with Ben at 734-623-2528 or email him at Follow him on twitter @BFreedinA2



Sat, Jun 29, 2013 : 11:47 p.m.

I think it's pretty obvious that if anybody thought they could provide the service and make enough money to keep it viable they would have already done it. That's why federal subsidies exist. They help to provide needed services to the citizens who need them.


Thu, Jun 27, 2013 : 10:05 p.m.

Federal grants are not free money. Someday, our grandchildren are going to have to pay these bills.


Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 4:58 a.m.

And that means cutting all the programs that help the poor and middle class while giving huge subsidies to oil, banks, rich farmers, and large tax breaks to the "job creators".

Ben Freed

Thu, Jun 27, 2013 : 5:57 p.m.

MegaBus currently offers trips from Ann Arbor to the following locations: Chicago, Cleveland, NYC, Pittsburgh, State College and Toledo. A major part of the Michigan Flyer's services involve people traveling to and from Detroit Metro Airport which does not have a MegaBus stop. This isn't to say there couldn't be one in the future, but at the moment the Flyer is the primary method of public transportation from Lansing and Ann Arbor to the metro airport.

Bertha Venation

Thu, Jun 27, 2013 : 5:32 p.m.

Does it have special Nerd seating? If so, it could save us citizens some $$.


Thu, Jun 27, 2013 : 5:16 p.m.

@Usual, AGREE!

Usual Suspect

Thu, Jun 27, 2013 : 5:33 p.m.

Unless the route is too short to fit their business model, I suppose.

Usual Suspect

Thu, Jun 27, 2013 : 5:02 p.m.

It seems somebody like MegaBus could do this without the need for involving public money.


Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 2:37 p.m.

I am sure if that were true then they would have started doing it before this service started.