AATA to discuss 5-year transit plan with residents of Augusta, Ypsilanti townships
Ypsilanti Township and Augusta Township residents will have the opportunity to discuss an updated Ann Arbor Transportation Authority five-year plan for expanding public transit services in Washtenaw County.
The program is designed to improve and extend existing Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti services and increase access to public transit in underserved areas of the county.
A recently-released first draft of the plan called for $38.3 million in extra capital investments over five years and add $13.3 million to yearly operating costs.
Courtesy of AATA
That's offset by $185.9 million in estimated revenue, resulting in a $31.9 million gap. Among several options discussed for funding the improvements is a 0.5-mill countywide transit tax, though there are other options on the table.
AATA officials previously met with residents countywide to get feedback on the first draft of the plan, and now are meeting to discuss the final draft. Ypsilanti Township and Augusta Township are part of the AATA's southeast district. The meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 13 at the Ypsilanti District Library Whittaker Road branch.
Feedback from the meeting and meetings in other districts will help the AATA's governing board and representatives from the unincorporated countywide transit authority board implement the five-year plan.
Representatives from each of the districts make up the unincorporated board. Ypsilanti Township Trustee Karen Lovejoy Roe and former Augusta Township Trustee Jim McGehee are the two representatives for the southern district.
Lovejoy Roe said the idea of expanding service and the plan received a warm reception, especially from the township’s senior population.
She highlighted what the plan’s implementation would provide to Ypsilanti Township and the southeastern district.
A new route would loop through the township's south end where there currently is no bus service. The plan also would restore a route to the Whittaker Road branch of the Ypsilanti Public Library and Ypsilanti Township government buildings that was cut because of lack of funding.
The plan also would increase the frequency of routes already in place on the township’s north side and extend weekend hours. There would be more direct routes between Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor.
Lovejoy Roe said there is a park and ride planned in the township's south side, and another park and ride that University of Michigan employees could utilize to take a direct bus to work. She said the township has a large number of U-M employees who have used various lots for such a service in the past, but there is no official park and ride lot.
The AATA plans to expand door-to-door service for seniors and people with disabilities, and it would also help those younger than 65 access transportation lines from any part of the township.
Lovejoy Roe said the township saw strong turnouts at previous meetings on the issue.
“We had a good representative group and everyone, with the exception of one person, said ‘We need to do something for public transportation,’” Lovejoy Roe said.