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Posted on Fri, Sep 2, 2011 : 5:58 a.m.

AATA to offer football shuttles to and from Big House starting with Saturday's game against Western

By Ryan J. Stanton

The Ann Arbor Transportation Authority is offering an easy and convenient option for University of Michigan football fans hoping to avoid traffic congestion and parking chaos.

Starting with Saturday's home game against Western and continuing throughout the fall football season, the public transit agency will allow fans to hop aboard shuttle buses at 18 hotel and parking sites throughout the city and ride to and from the Big House.

Six additional hotels will be served indirectly at nearby pick-up sites, AATA officials said, noting the service will operate for all eight home games this fall.

Hotel parking may be limited to hotel patrons. The shuttles run every 20 minutes starting two hours before game time, with the last shuttles leaving 30 minutes before game time. Return shuttles run for an hour after each game.

Tickets are $1.50 each way for adults and can be purchased at most of the hotel sites, as well as in advance by mail, online at, or in person at AATA's offices at 2700 South Industrial Highway.

Riders are encouraged to purchase round-trip tickets, as drivers do not carry change. Reduced fares are available for those who qualify.

Ann Arbor officials last week warned that a new traffic control plan negotiated between the city and U-M for the fall season may lead to more traffic congestion at major arteries and freeway ramps than residents and visitors are used to on football Saturdays.

The new traffic plan includes continuing the conversion of the two-way traffic on Ann Arbor Saline Road from East Stadium Boulevard to I-94 to one-way southbound for the post-game traffic.

The plan does not include any pre-game traffic control operations, or the manual operation of the traffic signals at other major intersections such as South State Street and Eisenhower Boulevard, or South State Street and Briarwood Drive.

The exception to that is the Sept. 10 night game against Notre Dame, during which the full historically provided services will be in effect.

That AATA today released this list of Football Ride boarding locations:

Free Park & Ride Lot Shuttle Locations:

  • Plymouth Road Park & Ride Lot (North Shuttle)
  • Miller Road Park & Ride Lot (West Shuttle)

Paid Parking Shuttle Locations (Downtown Shuttle):

  • Fletcher Street Parking Structure
  • Fourth & William Parking Structure
  • Pizza House (for Forest Street & Church Street Parking Structures)
  • Thompson Street Parking Structure

Hotel and Other Shuttle Locations:

North Shuttle

  • Holiday Inn near the University of Michigan (parking for Guy Hollerin’s restaurant and hotel guests only)

South Shuttle

  • Sheraton Ann Arbor Hotel
  • Hampton Inn South
  • Kensington Court Ann Arbor
  • Red Roof Inn
Indirect service:
  • Comfort Inn & Suites - board at Red Roof Inn
  • Courtyard by Marriott - board at Sheraton
  • Fairfield Inn -- board at Sheraton
  • Holiday Inn Hotels & Suites - board at Sheraton
  • Holiday Inn Express (tickets available at Kensington Court)

Downtown Shuttle

  • Bell Tower Hotel
  • Campus Inn
  • Michigan Union

East Shuttle

  • Ann Arbor Regent Hotel & Suites
  • Days Inn
Indirect Service:
  • Comfort Inn (tickets available at Days Inn)

West Shuttle

  • Clarion Hotel and Conference Center
  • Weber's Inn (parking for Weber's patrons only)

During each home game, Routes 4, 6, 7, 8, 15 and 16 will be placed on detour.

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.



Fri, Sep 2, 2011 : 8:57 p.m.

I have traditionally paid when i get on. I tend to take it down to the stadium but walk back due to the buses getting caught in post game traffic. I love the idea of buses only lanes though


Fri, Sep 2, 2011 : 5:09 p.m.

So can you pay when you get on or do you have to have a pre purchased ticket?


Fri, Sep 2, 2011 : 8:41 p.m.

We have used these shuttles for several years - very convenient. Never had a problem paying (cash) as we boarded, but you do need to have exact change. Expect your trip to the stadium to take 15-20 minutes, and your return trip anywhere from 1 to 3 hours, depending on traffic.


Fri, Sep 2, 2011 : 3:35 p.m.

Keep in mind if you open other parking areas up, there's going to be drunken tailgate parties there....more area to clean there will necessarily be a charge. I mean, I think there's more than enough parking how we do it now. I think we should leave this discussion alone and let the status quo be...keep the shuttles for the students and hotel guests....others park near the stadium and pay the high prices.


Fri, Sep 2, 2011 : 2:55 p.m.

The UofM has their own fleet of buses. They already have thier buses on their regular routes that pick up students going to the game, however why do they not offer shuttles to non students and open up some of their real estate for game day public parking? additionally, as the offices are not usually used on the weekends why don't the management of The Wolverine tower and the 777 building open up their lots for game day parking (heck even charge a fee) and then arrange for the AATA to run shuttles from there as well.


Fri, Sep 2, 2011 : 4:02 p.m.

how about a Vet's park shuttle?


Fri, Sep 2, 2011 : 2:21 p.m.

@KJMClark - The big question that leaves unanswered with this solution is where do the people riding the shuttle park? The current shuttle really only serves hotel guests...the hotel parking lots do not have extra room. There is, in general, a shortage of ez in and out parking spots for a crowd of over 100,000 here in Ann Arbor. I don't think the current situation is all that bad to bother to spend time putting together bus only and detailed plans of how this shuttle system would work. Its like 7 Saturdays of hell throughout the year for the people who don't want to go to the game. It's part of the cost of living in Ann Arbor if you ask me.


Fri, Sep 2, 2011 : 4:07 p.m.

If you were to read the article there are shuttles from many of the parking structures as well as the free parking at park and rides on Miller and Plymouth. As a life time Ann Arborite the games don't bother me much since I grew up dealing with it, however I think buses are a great idea. More funding for the AATA hopefully will be generated. If it would improve the situation that would be great. Imagine not planning your weekends around football traffic!


Fri, Sep 2, 2011 : 11:20 a.m.

Now *that* could be a solution. Just make sure the police are instructed to keep the buses moving, and stop other traffic when needed to let a bus go through. Better yet, dedicate a lane to only buses. Best - charge the bus ride as part of the price of the ticket, *and* provide the dedicate bus lane. So you can take the free shuttle bus you've already paid for, or you can sit in traffic. If you really want to move people efficiently, buses make much more sense.


Fri, Sep 2, 2011 : 1:06 p.m.

I like your idea of giving buses priority. I don't think a bus only lane could be implemented in the next 24 hours - this is Ann Arbor we're talking about, they'll need to hire consultants - but the officers directing traffic could easily give the buses priority.