You are viewing this article in the AnnArbor.com archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see MLive.com/ann-arbor
Posted on Mon, Oct 10, 2011 : 3:31 p.m.

Report: Ann Arbor could support light rail and bus rapid transit

By AnnArbor.com Staff

The Ann Arbor Connector Feasibility Study has found that the city has all of the necessary attributes for advanced transit technology, including light rail and a bus rapid transit system, according to a news release.

The study's findings will be presented at the Ann Arbor City Council's work session at 7 p.m. Monday at city hall in the second-floor council chambers, 301 E. Huron St.

The study, started in 2009, is a collaborative effort of the city of Ann Arbor, the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority, the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority and the University of Michigan.

Eli Cooper, transportation program manager, said the study stemmed from a transportation master plan that highlighted opportunities on corridors around the city.

The connector study looked at travel patterns in the north-south corridor and determined that three transit systems would be feasible — bus rapid transit, light rail transit and elevated technology.

According to the release, current and future ridership levels support a high-capacity system, especially between the University of Michigan’s North Campus and downtown Ann Arbor, but there also are economic, land use and environmental benefits associated with improved transit.

Officials say the high-capacity transit systems would not replace the current bus system operated by the AATA.

Cooper said the next step will be to hear feedback from the City Council, as well as stakeholder partners, so that they can determine how to proceed. An additional alternatives analysis study would be the next step in determining the transit system that may be pursued.

Visit www.aaconnector.com or www.a2gov.org for more information.

This meeting also will be televised live on Community Television Network’s Comcast Channel 16 and is available via live web streaming.

Comments

Gardener1

Tue, Oct 11, 2011 : 1:30 p.m.

A light rail system sounds like a great idea. A system from the four corners of Ann Arbor as well as around the University would maybe eliminate some of the buses and be more efficient for the riders. The students and faculty would need less campus and downtown parking. On the few times a year I visit Detroit, I usually use their monorail.

Carole

Tue, Oct 11, 2011 : 10:36 a.m.

Dumb, dumb, and dumber. There are definitely more important items that need to be addressed.

D

Tue, Oct 11, 2011 : 4:33 a.m.

Hmm....this sounds like more of a Shelbyville idea,

Vivienne Armentrout

Tue, Oct 11, 2011 : 2:33 a.m.

The full report can be found here: <a href="http://www.a2gov.org/government/publicservices/systems_planning/Transportation/Documents/Feasibility%20Report%20-%20Low%20Res.pdf" rel='nofollow'>http://www.a2gov.org/government/publicservices/systems_planning/Transportation/Documents/Feasibility%20Report%20-%20Low%20Res.pdf</a>

whatsupwithMI

Tue, Oct 11, 2011 : 1:48 a.m.

---- The connector study looked at travel patterns in the north-south corridor and determined that three transit systems would be feasible — bus rapid transit, light rail transit and elevated technology. According to the release, current and future ridership levels support a high-capacity system, especially between the University of Michigan's North Campus and downtown Ann Arbor, but there also are economic, land use and environmental benefits associated with improved transit. ---- So this means that the &quot;area&quot; could support what, exactly? And what is &quot;area?&quot; from this article, that seems to mean &quot;north campus&quot; (operative word is campus) to &quot;downtown&quot; (translated = &quot;the food court&quot;). And &quot;rail&quot; system .... like Detroit's famous 2.9-mile &quot;bum mover&quot;? At least the distance traveled would be comparable. I am all in favor of local TRAIN systems that go where people want to go. Looking at the local freeways, that means &quot;train&quot; system reliably moving from AA to the Engineering-and-Welding-hub-employment-centers along I-94 to downtown Detroit. And the spiderweb includes AA, Ypsi, and up into the white-flight suburbs N of Detroit. I don't know that I care about moving folks from apartments-on-North-UM-AA-campus to building on campus central. There is the existing bus service for that.... if you folks wish to tax the heck outta yourselves for THAT, go for it.

Ron Granger

Tue, Oct 11, 2011 : 12:57 a.m.

Events in other cities have demonstrated time and again that these studies are notoriously inaccurate - especially when they come from such biased sources. The cost to taxpayers ends up being enormous, and it never ever stops. It just keeps going. This is like Ed Mcmahon telling you that you've already won. Given the traditionally *intensely* subsidized nature of such systems, one wonders how much the the University is willing to commit over the short and long term. Or are they going to sponge off of Ann Arbor services as they typically do? I mean, we are already gifting them our park land and building them a parking structure. If that parking structure actually becomes a train station, where are the train riders going to park? 78% of it is dedicated to the University.

golfer

Mon, Oct 10, 2011 : 8:33 p.m.

we are ok with money. take the art fund away. put in idle law. put up more crosswalks and you can get all the money you need. welcome to ann arbor the home of the strange council.

Stephen Landes

Mon, Oct 10, 2011 : 8:23 p.m.

&quot;The study, started in 2009, is a collaborative effort of the city of Ann Arbor, the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority, the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority and the University of Michigan.&quot; All of the organizations in this collaborative effort have a vested interest in collecting more money and spending it -- that is how they grow their empires. Just because Ann Arbor COULD support all the light rail, elevated systems, and rapid transit doesn't mean Ann Arbor SHOULD do those things. What we have is another study done by groups that want to take and spend our money to build what comes naturally to those whose job it is to build. What we need is a group of people to think through what we want to be and whether or not the actions that will be proposed in this study are right for us. We certainly can't look to City Council or the DDA to represent the citizens of Ann Arbor.

RUKiddingMe

Mon, Oct 10, 2011 : 10:35 p.m.

Nobody's overruling them, foobar. That new train station 100 yards away from the existing train station was a given more than 2 years ago. We just get to watch them not be able to give any good reason for it. I hope you're in here with us giving your money to them and watching them waste it. Are you enjoying that water rate hike, by the way?

foobar417

Mon, Oct 10, 2011 : 10:21 p.m.

If an AA.com poster says there is INSURMOUNTABLE evidence in ALL CAPS, then it must be true. Thank goodness AA.com posters are here to overrule our elected representatives and make the world a better place.

RUKiddingMe

Mon, Oct 10, 2011 : 9:50 p.m.

tegel, these organizations have already pushed for massive new development in the face of INSURMOUNTABLE evidence that it is not necessary, assuming currently nonexistent demand, and is massive expansion of non-revenue-generating operations. In fact, &quot;pushed for&quot; is not really accurate; they're actually just doing it and relying on the ignorance and/or apathy of the citizenry whose money they are wasting. I would say that given the current actions and past performance of all these organizations, it would be safer to see what the armchair folks do; at least then there would be some suspense as to whether or not they'll waste huge amounts of money on unecessary projects.

tegel

Mon, Oct 10, 2011 : 9:10 p.m.

&quot;We certainly can't look to City Council or the DDA to represent the citizens of Ann Arbor.&quot; Yes, instead we should follow the advice of posters on AA.com. Arm chair city planners always know best ;-) You really should read the entire article before assuming the worst: &quot;Cooper said the next step will be hear feedback from the city council, as well as stakeholder partners, so that they can determine how to proceed. An additional alternatives analysis study would be the next step in determining the transit system that may be pursued.&quot;