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Posted on Thu, Dec 20, 2012 : 10:02 a.m.

AATA hoping to recruit more community partners for Adopt-a-Stop program

By Ryan J. Stanton

With a new year on the way soon, one of the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority's resolutions is to continue building on the success of its Adopt-a-Stop program — while at the same time moving ahead with planned upgrades to many of its bus stops.

AATA officials say they're hoping to recruit more community partners for the Adopt-a-Stop program, which was initiated as a way to help keep the agency's 1,500 bus stops clean and safe for passengers. The program has grown from seven partners in 2005 to 120 in 2012.

Adopt-a-Stop sponsors pick up litter at their designated stops, empty the trash cans and recycle or dispose of the trash properly. They also clear snow around the stops.


A passenger waits at a bus stop on South Main Street in front of Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor in this photo from 2010.

Ryan J. Stanton |

Jeff Murphy, the AATA's bus stop and Adopt-a-Stop program coordinator, said individuals, businesses and community organizations that want to participate can contact him through The agency plans to ramp up efforts to promote involvement in the program.

"We welcome other community members who want to join with us in making our bus stops cleaner, safer and more accessible," Murphy said.

AATA officials say complaints of litter and debris around bus stops have decreased significantly since the program's implementation. Partners are recognized for their work with stickers placed on the site and are acknowledged in the AATA's schedule book and website.

The AATA typically requires a minimum amount of passenger activity to install certain amenities such as shelters and benches. But because maintenance costs are reduced when a community partner adopts a stop, agency leaders say that gives more options to provide rider amenities.

As part of ongoing efforts to maintain and improve its bus stops, the AATA this year installed shelters for the first time on Stone School at Eisenhower and Plymouth Road at Beal Avenue.

The agency also replaced old shelters at 14 locations: Chidister Place, Pauline Park Place, Stone School at Birch Hollow Drive, Cranbrook Tower, Target on Waters Road, Maple Road at Pennsylvania Avenue, Maple Road at Sequoia Parkway, Miller Road Park-and-Ride and Carpenter Place.

Other 2012 bus stop improvements:

  • Concrete pads were installed to improve accessibility at 31 bus stops
  • New benches were installed at 16 bus stops
  • Map and schedule cases were added at 10 new locations
  • Route information was installed at the Central Campus Transit Center
  • Mid-block pedestrian crossings were installed on Packard west of US-23 and Carpenter south of Packard at Carpenter Place

Murphy said many of the projects are coordinated with the municipalities in which the AATA operates, and there's a focus on stops with high use by individuals with wheelchairs.

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 email newsletters.


Arno B

Fri, Dec 21, 2012 : 7:07 p.m.

Yes they only install shelters where there is "adequate activity." I wish they would travel along North and South Maple a few times and see the varying amount of people huddling in the dust, rain, wind and snow from the Alanon Center to way past Krogers. A lot of the old folks sit on overturned grocery carts while waiting. The AATA has money to advertise happy riders; however I haven't seen many of those advertisements lately. I'm sure that the AATA could find many contented riders waiting in the rain, wind, and slush. What is so pathetic about the AATA's lack of transit stop shelters is their grandiose spending schemes with money suddenly available for a new Blake building, delusions of grandeur dealing with county-wide and "regional" transit empires, etc.


Thu, Dec 20, 2012 : 4:45 p.m.

This is a win-win situation when the adopters are local businesses or legitimate community organizations. Unfortunately, the AATA has been remiss in ignoring that they may be providing an advertizing opportunity for organizations that are offensive to the riders, sometimes on purpose. A particularly egregious example is that the bus stop next to Beth Israel Congregation has been "adopted" by the group that has been harassing the synagogue during its services since 2003.


Thu, Dec 20, 2012 : 4:36 p.m.

The bus stop by my house has litter all around it, all the time. It is so comforting to know my tax dollars are susidizing the lack of respect from ignorant and ungrateful that use AATA's services. How about some waste receptacles at the stops? The drivers could empty them out into something attached to the bus, and maybe pickup the litter that the riders who support their livelihood leave laying around.

Alan Goldsmith

Thu, Dec 20, 2012 : 4:10 p.m.

Does the CEO of AATA still have his 10K a year private vehicle allowance?