Canton-Ann Arbor commuter route to start Aug. 24
Commuters from Canton to Ann Arbor will have the option to ride the bus to work starting Aug. 24.
The Ann Arbor Transportation Authority will launch its Canton express route just before the University of Michigan starts its school year.
“Canton was chosen specifically because we know there is over 3,000 University of Michigan employees who commute from the Canton area corridor,” said Mary Stasiak, manager of community relations for AATA.
Stasiak said the university did a survey of employees and found Canton has been a large growth area in the past several years. U.S. Census data shows that in 2000, 1,500 people commuted from Canton to Ann Arbor.
The Canton express route will run on weekdays, offering two trips to Ann Arbor in the morning and two trips to Canton in the afternoon. Commuters can park at Canton’s Independence Park for free. The Canton Township Board voted in June to lease 100 parking spaces to the transit agency for $6,000 a month.
The route will start at the end of August.
AATA is running a similiar route to Chelsea since May 2008, but hasn't seen use rise to expected levels.
“The Chelsea route is not as productive as we thought it might be,” Stasiak said. “It was a specific corridor identified through the city of Ann Arbor and some of the work they did.”
Stasiak said the AATA had “high hopes” that the buses from Chelsea would be full when they come to Ann Arbor. The average number of riders is somewhere between 45 and 50, she said.
Both routes are being paid for through a Congestion Mitigation Air Quality grant of $495,000. The AATA is expecting to run the service for two years on the grant money, Stasiak said.
Information about the routes and costs is available at www.a2express.org.
Representatives from AATA will be at the University of Michigan Medial Center Towsley Link near the main cafeteria on Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. They will also be available on Thursday from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., noon to 1 p.m., and 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Ann Arbor Chamber of Commerce office. They will answer questions about how to use the service, where it goes, how often it runs and other general information.