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Posted on Thu, Mar 29, 2012 : 1:16 p.m.

AirRide shuttle service from Ann Arbor to Detroit Metro Airport to start Monday

By Ryan J. Stanton

U.S. Rep. John Dingell and the director of the Michigan Department of Transportation will be in Ann Arbor on Friday to celebrate the launch of a new airport shuttle service.

The Ann Arbor Transportation Authority is launching the AirRide service, which will provide 12 daily roundtrips from Ann Arbor to the Detroit Metro Airport.

The service, officially starting on Monday, will be operated though a public-private partnership with Michigan Flyer, a subsidiary of Indian Trails.

A new website for AirRide is now public and includes schedules.


AATA CEO Michael Ford

AirRide also will connect passengers to destinations in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties by connecting to the SMART bus system.

AATA officials said they've heard Ann Arbor-area residents asking for a public transportation route to Detroit Metro Airport for several years. They said AirRide will offer low-cost fares and parking, reliable service and convenient pick-up and drop-off options for passengers traveling between Ann Arbor and the airport.

Several state and local leaders are expected to be on hand for the AirRide announcement at 11 a.m. Friday at Kensington Court Hotel, 610 Hilton Blvd.

That includes Dingell, MDOT Director Kirk Steudle, AATA CEO Michael Ford, AATA Chairman Jesse Bernstein, AATA Board Member David Nacht, Mayor John Hieftje and Gordon Mackay, president of Indian Trails.

Tickets are expected to be offered at an introductory rate of $10 for a one-way trip. The regular adult fare would be $12 with a reservation or $15 without a reservation. The standard price for roundtrips would be $22.

Discounts would be offered for seniors, the disabled and children. Volume discounts also may be available for groups of up to eight people traveling together.

A proposed partnership with the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority would allow for parking at the Fourth and William parking structure for just $2 per trip.

Plans call for AirRide buses to pick up passengers at the corner of Fourth Avenue and William Street across from the Blake Transit Center downtown and at a stop near the Briarwood Mall near Interstate 94 on Ann Arbor's south side.

At Detroit Metro Airport, the AirRide buses would drop off and pick up passengers at the international arrival level of the McNamara Terminal, and at the ground transportation center at the North Terminal.

New low-emissions Michigan Flyer buses offering free wireless Internet and restroom amenities are expected to be used for all trips.

A look at the AirRide schedule now posted online:


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.



Thu, Feb 28, 2013 : 5:43 p.m.

Why all the negativity? AirRide is a fantastic service for those who can't afford to get a cab, which costs something around forty dollars, to the airport. For twelve dollars, college students and other people get on a nice, spacious bus and get to the airport and not have to worry about paying for the extremely overpriced parking. It's great that Ann Arbor has this service available to all its citizens.


Sat, Apr 7, 2012 : 5:40 a.m.

Yeah I have to agree with the negatives on this one. There are a lot of people who will surely suffer at the cost of the tax payers, again. I guess our money is not our money, but the transit systems money. Not only are they going to destroy taxi services, they will kill income tax too. Then people will be homeless at the shelter and we will be paying for them twice. Nice services A2. Kill the Taxi.

Linda Peck

Fri, Mar 30, 2012 : 1:31 p.m.

I doubt this will eliminate the private sector services. The private sector services are when you want them and at your door. These local private services are really great and lots of people use them and will continue to use them. I am very happy to see the new bus route to the airport, also!

Monica R-W

Fri, Mar 30, 2012 : 6:37 a.m.

Sounds good! Looks like we'll be using this idea for our summer vacation. Thanks AATA!


Fri, Mar 30, 2012 : 4:17 a.m.

The price is way too cheap and we're going to subsidize those who can't afford it? Sounds like voodoo economics to me...........It's a good service but I'll guarantee they haven't priced it correctly


Fri, Mar 30, 2012 : 3:55 a.m.

R.I.P private sector locally run and owned van service to the airport. Welcome, tax subsidized, public sector, out of state run bus service.


Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 12:56 a.m.

mum - If the AATA was not 84% tax payer subsidized, I would say, sure let the market forces play out. But, what private company can compete with an 84% subsidy (per the AATA annual report, fares cover only 16% of AATA's costs).


Fri, Mar 30, 2012 : 4:08 a.m.

Why not let the market forces play out? Why not let the consumers decide?


Fri, Mar 30, 2012 : 2:18 a.m.

Taxpayer money supporting AATA inside Ann Arbor is bad enough, but now we have to subsidize trips to the airport? I hope lawsuits are plentiful with this program.


Fri, Mar 30, 2012 : 1:26 p.m.

He can afford the cost of gas and the parking at DTW. I for one cannot. I think this is a great idea and love it. Now to convince a few people to do so as well.


Fri, Mar 30, 2012 : 4:03 a.m.

"but now we have to subsidize trips to the airport?" Mass transit is illegal?


Fri, Mar 30, 2012 : 1:51 a.m.

I am so glad that this shuttle will be available! I will be using it for sure in May. Mr. Ford, we need a regular bus that goes to Chelsea and back to Ann Arbor. I have taken the shuttle but it starts so early and so i can't use it at the 7 am start time. Maybe extend a Jackson Road bus once or twice a day?


Fri, Mar 30, 2012 : 1:17 a.m.

Great! Using taxpayer's dollar's to close down more private businesses. This service is already offered in AA by privately run services. We paid $25.00 a person and they picked us up at our house. You can bet that with Gov't fund's, it's costing you more then $22.00! USE THE PRIVATE SERVICES!


Fri, Mar 30, 2012 : 4:05 a.m.

The private shuttle I used that picked me up from my house cost more than $30. I'll take the lesser expensive AATA shuttle. Why not let the consumer decide for themselves?


Thu, Mar 29, 2012 : 10:31 p.m.

Well there goes my private sector job!THANKS

say it plain

Thu, Mar 29, 2012 : 8:54 p.m.

Is the parking really $2/ trip!? That's cheap-o indeed! I too am aware that this is a new partnership, but an already existing service, albeit less comprehensive and a little more expensive (parking, at the Sheraton near Briarwood, is $2/day right now, for instance!) I would welcome telling us again about the costs of this partnership... I am happy to have it available, but I would be willing to pay the costs currently charged by the Michigan Flyer service and surely hope that this isn't costing too much extra of taxpayers...

Kristin Judge

Thu, Mar 29, 2012 : 8:48 p.m.

With the cost and inconvenience of parking at DTW, I will be a frequent rider. Thanks AATA for this great service!

Dog Guy

Thu, Mar 29, 2012 : 6:25 p.m.

Not beginning, just being taken over at our tax expense. Another layer of administration has been added at yet more expense.


Thu, Mar 29, 2012 : 8:10 p.m.

Do you know the expense? Perhaps it's self-funding? I'm sure you've done research though, so please share your learnings on this so we call review the same information that you've reviewed so thoroughly.


Thu, Mar 29, 2012 : 5:33 p.m.

This is wonderful! I am a daily rider of the AATA bus system, and love it. I do not have a car, and go everywhere on the bus. I just wish the Megabus would add more destinations! I'd love to go to New York.