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Posted on Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 5:58 a.m.

AATA says increased Route 4 service between Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti to begin in January

By Ryan J. Stanton

Bus service along Washtenaw Avenue between Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti will significantly increase starting Jan. 30, officials say.

The Ann Arbor Transportation Authority's governing board approved the proposed plan last week.

AATA officials said public feedback has been enthusiastic about the plan to double the number of weekday trips that operate on Route 4, primarily along Washtenaw Avenue, between the Blake Transit Center in downtown Ann Arbor and the Ypsilanti Transit Center.


Passengers board buses at the Blake Transit Center in downtown Ann Arbor. Soon there will be improved AATA service between Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti.

Ryan J. Stanton |

Chris White, AATA's service development manager, said the proposed service improvement is part of long-range plans for more frequent service east of US-23, where most of the current demand originates, more reliable service and reduced overcrowding on trips.

It also helps with the goal of more direct and faster service to and from the University of Michigan's Central Campus and the Blake Transit Center.

Current service on Route 4 operates between the two cities every 30 minutes mid-day and every 15 minutes during morning and afternoon peak service hours.

Additional peak trips also operate between the University of Michigan Medical Center and the Ann Arbor city limits at US-23. Route 4 has the highest ridership among all of AATA's routes. More than 800,000 trips are taken each year and more than 3,000 trips are taken on an average weekday. "Increased frequency will benefit current riders and encourage new riders,” White said in a statement. “It is a critical element in the effort to 'Reimagine Washtenaw Avenue,' which is a cooperative effort of every governmental unit along the corridor." The service plan includes:

  • Mid-day — four trips per hour in each direction (service every 10-20 minutes)
  • Peak hours — eight trips per hour in each direction (service every 5-10 minutes)
  • Peak hours — discontinue service on trips that operate only between the U-M Medical Center and US-23
  • Mid-day and peak hours - every other trip to provide service to the U-M Medical Center. Remaining trips to provide service directly to the Central Campus Transit Center

In addition to the increase in service on Route 4, AATA also is continuing with plans to launch bus service to the Detroit Metropolitan Airport, expand its vanpool program and increase the service area of its Night Ride late-night taxi service in the near future.

It also was announced this week that AATA will receive another $2.1 million federal grant to help offset the costs of new hybrid-electric buses.

The agency also plans to launch a redesigned website in early 2012 to provide the community with improved functionality, design and real-time tracking tools. AATA officials are asking for public feedback on the redesign through an interactive online survey.

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's e-mail newsletters.



Thu, Nov 24, 2011 : 9:55 a.m.

I would LOVE a once-an-hour all night express between the bus stations. Living in Ypsi but working in A2, the bus is super convenient, but like many restaurant workers I don't get out of work in time for a return route. Charge $5 instead of $1.50 and I'd still be saving money!


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 8:06 p.m.

We use this service a lot and glad to hear this. The every 30 minutes suck when you miss the first one and needed to be on it. Glad to hear this service is coming available.


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 2:42 p.m.

So, who's paying for this one? Last I heard, Ypsi couldn't afford to pay for what they had: <a href=""></a> Wild guess here: AATA manager are building an empire funded by AA taxpayers. Pretty soon they will be too big to be allowed to fail.


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 8:36 p.m.

Why should I pay for Ypsi's bus, whether I ride it or not. I want to ride a pony. Will you pay for it for me? I want a spotted one.

Steve Burling

Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 4:09 p.m.

Do you even ride the bus? Or are you one of those folks who just drive yourself everywhere you want to go? This is great news for the folks who use that route. I'd love to see increased service along the routes that I use, too.