You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 5:59 a.m.

Ann Arbor's vision for high-capacity transit taking shape with possible Connector routes mapped

By Ryan J. Stanton


This map showing possible routes for the Ann Arbor Connector was released this past week. Download a larger version.

URS Corp.

The vision for a high-capacity transit system in Ann Arbor — either light rail, streetcar or bus rapid transit — is taking shape with preliminary route alternatives now mapped.

Officials behind the Ann Arbor Connector project have released documents showing a series of possible options for connecting some of the city's major activity centers.


Roger Hewitt, a downtown business owner who is representing the Ann Arbor DDA on the Connector steering committee, discusses a map showing preliminary route alternatives with library board member Nancy Kaplan and City Council Member Jane Lumm during a Tuesday evening workshop at the downtown library.

Ryan J. Stanton |

Each scenario proposes connecting the University of Michigan's North and Central campuses, while also linking to the university medical center, downtown and Briarwood Mall.

Four partners are involved in the ongoing Connector study: the city of Ann Arbor, Downtown Development Authority, Ann Arbor Transportation Authority and U-M.

The work being done now is aimed at determining possible routes, station locations and a service plan. The next step heading into the fall is to further evaluate costs and benefits.

The process of closely examining different options for the Connector started late last year and is expected to culminate in early 2014 with the selection of a locally preferred alternative, said Rick Nau of URS Corp., project manager for the Connector study.

After the study is completed, there will be a good idea of the costs, Nau said, and the project should be well positioned to receive federal funds for future implementation.

"My assessment at this point is that in Ann Arbor we're talking about a very high level of ridership and a very high potential for travel time savings, so my belief is it would rank very high," he said.

Nau said federal funds have been provided for systems like the proposed Ann Arbor Connector under the Federal Transit Administration's New Starts program.

"That New Starts program provides about 50 percent of the capital costs," he said. "It's a highly competitive program. Cities all across the country compete for these dollars."

While that would be the primary source of federal funding, Nau said, Portland's streetcar system, for example, was funded by about a dozen different sources ranging from parking revenues to tax-increment financing to state air quality mitigation funds.


An example of a streetcar in Tacoma, Washington.

URS Corp.

"Most of these systems that have been built have been funded from multiple sources and pieced together over time," he said. "I can't tell you exactly how this system would be funded."

Project officials said an elevated guideway transit system — such as a monorail — is not being recommended for further study due to significant costs, visual impacts (particularly in the historic portions of the downtown), and the fact that other modes of transit pose some advantages.

That leaves three modes still being considered: bus rapid transit, light rail and streetcar. The study also is looking at the option of simply enhancing the existing bus system.

The potential routes the study management team has identified for the Connector generally follow existing transportation corridors, including both roads and railroads.

A bus rapid transit system is an upgraded bus system generally operating in a dedicated busway — essentially a separate roadway for buses.

"That gets them out of the traffic and allows them to operate in free flow and achieve that travel time advantage," Nau said.

Bus rapid transit uses higher-capacity vehicles — longer buses that can carry more people per each driver, Nau said, adding that's where cost efficiencies can be realized.


An example of light rail in San Diego, California.

URS Corp.

"It also generally includes upgraded stations and passenger amenities, which makes it more positive for the people who are riding the system," he said.

The other two options — streetcar and light rail — are similar systems, and they also typically come with upgraded stations and passenger amenities, Nau said.

"These are electrified vehicles that operated on standard-gauge railroad tracks embedded into the street, or in their own separate right-of-way, and there's an overhead wire that powers them," Nau said, adding they typically operate in a dedicated right-of-way, though they can operate in mixed-flow with traffic.

"From a transit operation standpoint, we're talking about investing in cost-effective transit solutions," Nau said. "Many communities have found that operating 40-foot buses is not necessarily the best way to address transportation issues. Some of the vehicles we're talking about can carry far more people per driver and that makes it more cost effective."

City Council Member Jane Lumm, an Independent from the 2nd Ward, attended last Tuesday's public meeting on the Connector. She said she's still waiting for a detailed financial analysis — including projected capital and operating costs — before making up her mind.


An example of bus rapid transit in Manhattan.

URS Corp.

"That's a huge unknown," she said. "And a huge piece of that is to what extent is the university going to participate in this? All these riders today, a lot of them are university students and employees, and we need the university to partner in this."

Steve Dolen, U-M's executive director of parking and transportation services, said the university intends to contribute toward implementing the Connector. The university already has pumped more than $300,000 into the study phases.

"We're committed to alternative transportation," Dolen said. "We subsidize our employees, faculty staff and students on AATA, and we'll find a way to contribute to the Connector somehow because our riders will be a big part of this. We still don't know how the whole thing will be funded."

Dolen pointed out the Connector wouldn't just link the U-M campuses and medical center — it would go all the way from northeast Ann Arbor through downtown and out to Briarwood.

"It's more than just university riders, although the big benefit to this is utilizing the university ridership to get to that FTA funding that could benefit the whole community," he said.

Supporters of the Connector project argue better transit makes Ann Arbor a more desirable place to live and work, and can be an alternative to building more parking.

Nau said new development and job growth in Ann Arbor will add to traffic congestion and further crowd buses, and those are issues that must be addressed one way or another.

"The forecast growth is about 19,000 new employees in the city of Ann Arbor over the next 20 or 30 years," he said. "A lane of traffic can carry about 1,000 cars an hour, so if all those people are trying to leave Ann Arbor at the same time, that's 19 lanes of traffic."


The timeline for the Connector study. Yellow triangles denote planned community workshops.

URS Corp.

He put it another way: If you stacked up 19,000 cars end to end, that's six miles of cars.

"So the traffic you see out there today is likely to get worse if you strictly rely on cars to carry those people," he said.

Among the goals for the Connector project are increased transit capacity between North Campus and Central Campus, and improved travel time reliability between major activity centers at U-M and elsewhere in Ann Arbor. Supporting job growth and economic vitality also are stated goals.

Nau said the project team conducted studies that found existing bus routes that were scheduled to take 8 minutes were taking double that time.

"Right now the community is served by bus systems operated by both AATA and by the University of Michigan, and the bus performance is negatively affected because they have to operate on the streets in traffic," he said. "It slows down their speeds. It also affects their reliability."

He added, "By improving the reliability, we can get a lot more people to ride transit."

Each of the preliminary routes goes past what's labeled on the map as the "potential Ann Arbor Station" in front of the university medical center on Fuller Road, where some local officials want to see future commuters coming into town via east-west rail between Ann Arbor and Detroit. None of the suggested routes go past the existing Amtrak train station on Depot Street.

The map also shows options for having the Connector link up with a possible WALLY north-south commuter rail station on or near city-owned property at 415 W. Washington St.

Ann Arbor resident Nancy Kaplan, who serves on the library board, questioned tying into a station on Fuller Road instead of Depot Street, which she said is closer to downtown.

"The problem that I see (with the Fuller Road location) is if you're not doing something with the hospital, you're far from everything," she said.


A closer look at some of the route options around downtown.

URS Corp.

Clark Charnetski of the Michigan Association of Railroad Passengers said he likes the yellow-colored route following the rail corridor to get between U-M's North Campus and the medical center.

"I've always puzzled over how you can get through there without messing up the area along Fuller Road," he said. "And that's a way to do it — swing over by the VA, Huron Towers, then parallel the railroad track and cross over at some point perhaps to wind up being above the railroad tracks by the time you're behind the medical center. I think that's a good solution."

Roger Hewitt, a downtown business owner representing the DDA on the Connector steering committee, said the advantage of an exclusive right-of-way is going to make trips on the Connector a lot quicker than today's buses that have to compete with traffic.

"Because you're not stopping for cars, you're not stopping for left turns, you're not stopping for traffic lights — it becomes a very quick trip," he said.

Hewitt said project officials have always looked at the Connector being built in phases, with the first phase connecting Central Campus, North Campus, the medical center and the downtown. After that, he said, it could be extended further out Plymouth Road and down to Briarwood.

But all of the possible routes that are mapped out have some significant drawbacks as far as providing enough space for the Connector, Hewitt acknowledged.


Rick Nau of URS Corp., project manager for the Connector study, gives a presentation at the downtown library. He said the project should be well positioned to receive federal funds for implementation after the study is done.

Ryan J. Stanton |

"What we're looking for is an exclusive right-of-way corridor and there are very limited options on where you can put those," he said. "We have a lot more options along the Plymouth Road corridor because there's a lot more space to put that right-of-way. But from the medical center, Central Campus and through downtown, it is going to be very difficult whatever we do."

Hewitt said that's why there are so many different lines on the map — it's still unknown what might work best.

"Going south from downtown, we've looked at the railroad line, State Street and Main Street. All of them have problems with being very narrow," he said. "State Street and Main Street also have issues with a lot of residential, which you're obviously not going to be taking up."

He expects a high-capacity transit system like the Connector would drive denser development — buildings three to five stories tall — in what's now a relatively low-density area between State Street and the Ann Arbor Railroad. He also predicts the entire Briarwood Mall area will be redeveloped in the next 20 years as enclosed malls become obsolete.

"Acres and acres of parking could be much better used with high-density residential and high-density retail space," he said.

Hewitt believes the potential for development makes using either State Street or the railroad corridor more attractive than Main Street to carry riders south toward Briarwood. Whatever mode of transit is used, he said, it's unlikely the Connector would use the existing freight railroad tracks.

"Although they could with temporal separation, meaning the trains would have to run at night and the light rail during the day," he said. "It's probably more likely that you would keep a separate rail line and then have either a separate busway or a separate light rail line next to it."

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.


Jim Walker

Thu, Jun 27, 2013 : 2:47 a.m.

Dedicated busways, light rail, streetcars, etc. to provide a rapid transit system are great ideas, IF AND ONLY IF, they do not steal existing lanes of existing roads already paid for by the user taxes. If the transit solution(s) involve NEW capacity without reducing existing capacity, that is great. If they steal existing lanes and reduce the existing vehicle capacity, they are not acceptable. James C. Walker, National Motorists Association, Ann Arbor

Ron Burgandy

Mon, Jun 24, 2013 : 2:12 p.m.

"All Aboard! Final call for the 3:15 with non-stop service to Fantasyland! All aboard!"

Andrew Smith

Mon, Jun 24, 2013 : 12:05 p.m.

A streetcar system in Ann Arbor would be excellent! The trick is to get some private sector money into it, so that the taxpayers don't have to foot the entire bill. Small "kiosk" type shops at major stops can be rented out, where small entrepreneurs sell newspapers, candy bars, drinks, etc., and generate a monthly flow of private sector cash into the project.

Dr. Roberto

Mon, Jun 24, 2013 : 5:06 a.m.

"If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail" - Bernard Baruch. It should be patently obvious that a light rail system for Ann Arbor is a stupid unworkable idea. 1. Ann Arbor is too spread out, and the area in question is too steeply sloped to make sense. 2. The future pattern of growth an development is unpredictable and may defy expectations. 3. These sorts of projects ALWAYS run over budget and yet the thing will only have value once it is done; a system that is expensive, speculative and hence risky seems unwarranted, especially when better, cheaper and more flexible options are currently working well elsewhere. Light rail is just a hammer, but Ann Arbor is no nail. I suggest starting over, this time working with planners with a better grasp of the other tools in use today in other cities. A) bus systems, including approaches that are free or paid in advance. B) mini-busses serving a wider range of routes C) wider separated/protected and well maintained bike lanes D) bike lockers in large numbers, perhaps even free loaner bikes E) elimination of surface parking lots. F) frequent busses. The single critical issue that increases use of public transit is time, including waiting at stops for the next ride. If public transit is faster than private, people will use it. This may mean slowing down private traffic!

Rita Mitchell

Mon, Jun 24, 2013 : 2:56 a.m.

There is no description of park and ride integrated into the proposed Connector. If a goal is to reduce cars within Ann Arbor city limits, wouldn't it be better to head them off at the highway exit and get their drivers & passengers into a nifty, frequently-running service that goes to places that these commuters and visitors need to go? Without a strong connection to park & ride, it seems to me that the cars will continue to pour into the city, where we have prepared lots of parking spaces, and the Connector will carry some people (mostly students and employes of UM) to destinations useful to them. Where is the Connector supposed to get people out of their cars?

Cornelius Nestor

Mon, Jun 24, 2013 : 12:57 a.m.

I suggest busses that run every ten minutes. If the system doesn't work (as is likely), then we can sell the busses to another inexperienced (and therefore hopeful) community and we won't have sunk entirely unrecoverable costs into rails that will have to be covered at further public expense. If the busses continue to run at half-hour intervals people won't use them because, if any transfer is needed in order to reach a destination, a commuter needs about an hour to get to work and an hour to get back. This is what I face, and a ten or fifteen minute walk on top of this. Rather a lot, I think, to make the planners feel good about themselves. Perhaps retirees with a good deal of time on their hands can deal with this, but what about people who need to go to work?


Mon, Jun 24, 2013 : 12:39 a.m.

Increase the current bus system, run more buses on weekends and evenings and more frequently throughout the day, if there is so much demand. And, FIX THE POTHOLES! There is absolutely no hard data to suggest that this kind of transit system would have ridership to justify the costs. Moving UM staff and students around the city, which is what this project is about, should be funded by UM> not AA tax dollars.


Mon, Jun 24, 2013 : 12:33 a.m.

Ah yes. Portland, San Diego, Manhattan, Tacoma. AA has so much in common with these metropolitan areas. AA can't fill its potholes, but by golly, AA will have a metro transit system that serves primarily UM students and staff, paid for with AA tax dollars. When is UM going to pay some taxes? UM should underwrite this entire project, and BTW, it has nothing to do with San Diego, Portland, Manhattan, Tacoma, or any other large urban area. AA is a small midwestern city with a university. UM wants to move people around the city, then fine. Let them pay for it.


Mon, Jun 24, 2013 : 12:30 a.m.

"I can't tell you exactly how this system would be funded." This is the problem.

Nicholas Urfe

Mon, Jun 24, 2013 : 12:05 a.m.

This seems to primarily serve the University. It seems focused on their needs. How much are they kicking in? 50%? 75%?


Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 10:55 p.m.

This will be great for UM employees and students who don't live in Ann Arbor. Will UM make a major ( >80% ) contribution to build and operate?


Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 10:39 p.m.

The university already has pumped more than $300,000 into the study phases. Whose pocket did those funds come from? Nau said federal funds have been provided for systems like the proposed Ann Arbor Connector under the Federal Transit Administration's New Starts program. Whose pocket did those funds come from? "The forecast growth is about 19,000 new employees in the city of Ann Arbor over the next 20 or 30 years," Who is doing that forecast? It would not be the first time "forecast "around here were off by a mile. Why not just say the next 10-50 years if they are so smart? How much does Rick Nau stand to make over on this deal?


Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 10:21 p.m.

"Ann Arbor's vision for high-capacity transit taking shape with possible Connector routes mapped' Where does get off saying this is "Ann Arbors" vision? It is CLEARLY the vision of a handful of the elite that think they know what is best for us peons!


Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 10:14 p.m.

Brain-wash-ing Noun [used extensively during the Stalin/Bush/Cheney/Obama/Heiftje era] 1. Intensive, forcible indoctrination, usually political or religious, aimed at destroying a person's basic convictions and attitudes and replacing them with an alternative set of fixed beliefs. 2. The application of a concentrated means of persuasion, such as an advertising campaign or repeated suggestion, in order to develop a specific belief or motivation. Toot toot! believe. More development! beilieve. Globalization! believe. Toot toot! believe. More development! believe...

Ryan J. Stanton

Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 9:49 p.m.

It's important to keep in mind none of this is proposed to happen overnight. It sounds like they're really going to drill down into the details on maybe four or five possible options for the Connector, and it won't go forward without a clear case made to the federal government for funding. The WATS transportation plan shows $10 million planned in 2016 ($8 million federal, $2 million local) for the environmental analysis and preliminary engineering phases of the Connector study, so it looks there's a lot more work to be done on this.


Mon, Jun 24, 2013 : 2:56 a.m.

If our bus system is to be retained and expanded if needed should the population grows and demand increases then no further studies nor the expenditure of $10 million federal dollars and $2 million Ann Arbor tax payer dollars is unnecessary. Out of curiosity why would environmental analysis cost so much and why should there be any preliminary engineering phases in 2016 until an actual transit system is selected? Other worthwhile projects in Ann Arbor could benefit from $2 million or Ann Arbor citizens could be allowed to spend the money into the local economy.


Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 10:23 p.m.

It is important to keep in mind that non of the many dictators that have ruled in the world were able to put their plan in place "overnight"! Don't be naive!


Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 10:02 p.m.

Yes, give me my Federal dollars and let me waste them, after all it is free money.

Basic Bob

Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 8:53 p.m.

How does this compare to actual traffic? Not at all!


Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 7:55 p.m.

Waste of money. The route from Briarwood Mall to Plymouth Rd P&R can be taken by already existing buses #7 to #2 (or #6 to Commuter North, transferring at Michigan Union.) Buses that run more than every hour on the weekend and buses running until at least after midnight would be a much better investment.


Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 7:40 p.m.

I'll lob this hand grenade into the discussion: Notice anything similar? "We NEED this!" Prove the numbers...


Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 6:38 p.m.

A colossal waste of money to be paid for by that bottomless well of funds: Ann Arbor tax payers.


Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 6:32 p.m.

San Diego to LA is really nice. Plus the one in Chicago. Everyone here is making such a fuss because they do not want to pay taxes. They want to keep it the way it is. But I hate to admit it, gas will become expensive and people will balk at that too. Need to move forward and I am all for it. But I do admit it is nice to have a car when need be. But for the art fair or other events a bus ride is nice not having to pay for gas and parking.


Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 5:57 p.m.

Over the past ten years I have seen traffic increased in Ann Arbor, so if that trend does continue this kind of U centric transit may create the groundwork for expansion into the surrounding areas.


Mon, Jun 24, 2013 : 2:40 a.m.

Ann Arbor tax payers will have to be insane to pay for the exorbitant cost of constructing light rail or street car transit systems which offer few benefits over bus service and are inflexible by comparison. Population growth in Ann Arbor is speculative and uncertain with SEMCOG predicting an actual decline in the number of people within the worker age group over the next 27 years.


Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 10:02 p.m.

You're exactly right, sellers. Once the groundwork is laid and residents and employees in the city are used to the system being there, the demand will increase greatly to expand it.


Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 5:43 p.m.

URS is a for profit company that specializes in consulting for cities at considerable expense. Of course they are saying there is a need for tranist of this type in Ann Arbor, adopting this plan means millions more for them and their partners in the mass transit game. All of the examples shown here are from extremely high density corridors, where many hundreds of thousands of people live, in the case of New York many millions. We won't even have 200,000 residents, commuters and students combined by the time these plans would (God forbid) be enacted. These folks are living in a fantasy world, paid for by our tax dollars. I hope that Ms. Lumm and others will see through this and put a stop to this madness; we need to accept our status as a small, cosmopolitan Midwestern city, and do more with what we have, before we let outside consultants and other profiteers waste more of our money on these unnecessary ideas.


Mon, Jun 24, 2013 : 2:21 a.m.

Crono, Do you really believe that light rail is the most cost-effective plan to deal with Ann Arbor's transit needs for the next 27 years, whatever those needs may or may not be?


Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 10:25 p.m.

Crono You will of course site your examples "big and small". Which of the consulting firms do you work for?


Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 10:03 p.m.

Light rail has been shown to work in many areas, big and small. Just because you personally haven't seen it, doesn't mean they do not exist. If the residents of Ann Arbor want this, it will happen.


Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 4:22 p.m.

Is there any other city the size of Ann Arbor that has any kind of light rail or high capacity bus route? I see the example photos and comparisons to cities in the comments section and they are all much larger cities. Put in some primary bus station hubs and provide direct routes between them. In regular traffic. That's all this small city needs.


Mon, Jun 24, 2013 : 2 a.m.

Oceanside also has a year round tourist population that numbers in the 10,000 range. They don't have a lot of beachside parking, so some transit. It is a bedroom community that feeds San Diego and LA - and the transit all runs to the CalTrains station as a hub.


Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 11:44 p.m.

Oceanside? You mean the Oceanside in California that has a population almost twice as large as a2? Oceanside had a population of 183,095 at the 2010 census. Ann Arbor: The 2010 census places the population at 113,934 Facts are stubborn things.


Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 10:29 p.m.

Crono That's it? You came up with 1 city in this country?


Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 10:01 p.m.

There are a handful of cities around the United States that are of similar size and have light rail systems. One example is Oceanside, CA. Sure, it's not the United States, but numerous small cities in Europe have light rail as well.


Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 5:21 p.m.

There's a reason they have so many "visions" - it's due to what they're smoking.

G. Orwell

Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 4:17 p.m.

It's a no brainer. Add more buses as needed only if it meets benefit/cost analysis. No new taxes and no road diets to make room for public transit.


Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 10:30 p.m.

Crono Which consulting firm do you work for again?


Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 9:57 p.m.

So add more buses and build bigger roads to encourage more congestion? Sounds like a great idea.... How about we build a transportation system that actually functions well, is considerate to the environment, and is attractive in the community? With dedicated right-of-way for rail, the system would function faster than automobile traffic, thus encouraging more people to ride it, thus reducing automobile traffic and eliminating the need to widen the road and making road diets much more feasible.


Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 3:40 p.m.

It should not be surprising that Rick Nau of URS Corp., project manager for the Connector study, is a proponent of costly new transit service along the Plymouth Corridor since that is what he is be paid to do.... and paid very well. The glossy and colorful pectorals which I saw him present at a recent public information meeting are very enticing. However, as Mr. Nau delivered his polished presentation he did not answer the following very important questions: What exactly are the usage figures for the buses traveling the Plymouth corridor now? Is bus capacity ever achieved and how frequently and for which routes? How often are buses delayed by traffic in getting to their respective bus stops? This question can easily be answered at any specific time by accessing AATA's "Routes and Schedules" website at For instance, the website shows that at 11:08 AM bus number 449 operating between downtown and Plymouth Mall is 6 minutes behind schedule in arriving at Plymouth Mall. Why is bus number 449 running behind schedule? I doubt that traffic congestion is responsible at this time on an uneventful Sunday morning. Perhaps the bus driver spent time assisting one or more disabled individuals onto the bus. Then again maybe the driver became engaged in conversation with a citizen about which bus to take to get to an intended destination. Neither situation will be eliminated or improved by any transportation changes being considered. What are the anticipated cost figures for each transportation option and how will funding be achieved? What determines if the cost is too much and that implementation is not worth the expense? Why can't the present bus usage be expanded as necessary to meet any increase in demand and would this not be the cheapest option to consider?


Tue, Jun 25, 2013 : 12:32 a.m.

"What we're looking for is an exclusive right-of-way corridor and there are very limited options on where you can put those," he said. It seems that the exclusive right-or-way would be in addition to the current roads. Therefore there is not a reduction of lanes of travel for cars.


Mon, Jun 24, 2013 : 12:50 a.m.

Dedicating lanes for bus travel only will reduce the number of lanes available for automobile travel, a large number of which will be driven by those commuting from outside of Ann Arbor, Plymouth Road being a major artery. The resulting increased congestion will prolong rush hour and unnecessarily lengthen travel time for commuters. Alternative public transportation from the Northeast, the North and the Northwest is essentially non-existent. Is it wise and desirable to anger and discourage those choosing to work in Ann Arbor but live elsewhere?


Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 9:55 p.m.

ThinkingOne, that's exactly the point. When you have dedicated right-of-way and that form of transportation is moving faster than traffic itself, it is significantly more enticing to be on and often encourages more people to be on it (thus reducing automobile traffic AND bus traffic). Adding more buses or bigger buses doesn't really do much to solve the problem.


Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 5:22 p.m.

Some good questions here. In relation to your very last question, it appears on first reading that one of the advantages to the proposed system would be the dedicated travel-way. This would allow the new system to be noticeably faster than the traffic that exists. Expanding bus size would not speed up the time involved in getting somewhere. If the transit system has a faster way to go, then theoretically it would draw more people. The second benefit would be that fewer buses would be on the roads with the cars. So while expanding the current bus system might help, this is expected to help significantly more. At least that is how I read it.


Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 3:35 p.m.

If there were 3 or 4 high density islands along this route, then it would make sense. There are not, based on the definition of high density, not even downtown makes the minimum criteria. Because of the open space on the UofM campus, it fails too. I have ridden the trams in Portland, Minneapolis, and other lower density cities, mostly they run empty, requiring heavy subsidies to operate. They have little flexibility and if people move to a new area, the cost to follow them is extreme. Chicago, New York, San Francisco all have the density to support this, Ann Arbor does not. A smarter way to go would be to look at the bus frequency and the locations for parking on the edge of the city. Right now Briarwood, and a couple of park and ride lots are about it. The big issue is moving between North and Central Campus for the UofM. The easy answer is to buy the People Mover in the bankruptcy sale and move it to Ann Arbor, it has about the right capacity to move students, and the low impact on the existing infrastructure. One or two stations on each end and away you go. Plymouth Road is a bad place to put light rail, the road is a connector to much more than downtown, and people need to remember that, there are many businesses along Plymouth Road that the employees come from outside the community to - driving nowhere near downtown. $300,000,000.00 to put in the rails and re-do the road, tearing it up for a couple of years, is not a good investment. But, then the city council proved with the Pioneer Wind Turbines that they don't care about good investments - since it is not their money. They just want their pork from Washington to play with. A better choice would be to install a model train system in the City Council Chambers and let the mayor run it during meetings.


Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 7:04 p.m.

ThinkingOne - The problem is not getting people out of downtown. Or if it is, this is not a good answer. The people leaving downtown want to go many different places. One bus, one train, will only move the problem to a different location. Of course with the lack of parking anywhere other than the Kroger lot on Plymouth Road, there is no worry about shifting the parking from downtown, unless AATA or someone wants to build a 2,000-4,000 car lot (garage) some where along this route and charge way less than downtown does. Many of the people along this route don't live and work along it, they either live or work along it - not both, unless you are talking UofM students. As to the medical center - this does little or nothing to help it, since again most people at the Medical center don't live along this route. The only things this does is make working in make working in downtown less attractive (eating there too) and move students.


Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 5:53 p.m.

Sorry again, I guess I did have the correct comment. I guess doing a quick double-check was not beneficial in this case...


Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 5:51 p.m.

Don I have apparently attached this response to the incorrect posting. My apologies.


Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 5:32 p.m.

Don The idea of a 'People Mover' system between main campus and north campus is an intriguing idea. While I think it would work well in getting people from say the hospital to, and around, north campus, I don't see it being built around anywhere in the downtown/campus area. I don't think that '1 or 2 stations' at each end would make the system that attractive. Plus, this is not a system designed to do what the system proposed here is designed to do: get large numbers of people into / out of downtown in a relatively small window. BTW please don't include obvious digs at the city of Detroit in your otherwise interesting comments. You know there would be nothing to buy but some old cars. All the infrastructure would have to be built, it could not be moved. And that is the big cost item.


Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 3:33 p.m.

A couple interesting quotes: "I can't tell you exactly how this system would be funded." "We still don't know how the whole thing will be funded." This thing continues to be a "I'll bet this will be a great idea" instead of "we can see this is necessary, and here's the proof". Why do they continue getting away with "build it and they will come" gambles with tax money? I advise anyone reading this to read about Detroit's People Mover. History is repeating itself. Also, it seems like this whole thing is VERY U of M-centric. The U spends like 2 billion a year on new buildings and buying up city property; why don't they make the negligible investment in this connector system? It would make U of M as a school AND as an employer the hotspot to learn and work. Why would anyone but the U pay for something connecting Central and North campus?


Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 10:25 p.m.

While you complain I don't read the entire article, you both apparently couldn't even make it to the end of my short post. Again: why would ANYONE BUT the U pay for something that basically connects campuses and U of M workplaces? As in U of M shouldn't just contribute, they should do it themselves. And by the way, if the "contribution" can be expected to be similar to their train station/parking structure phase 1 "contribution" (paying 2/3 of a parking structure to which they have at least 2/3 exclusive use), that's not really contributing, it's just paying your share. From the looks of this Connector project, the U of M fair share would be about 97%.


Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 9:50 p.m.

ThinkingOne, this is the problem with most commenters on Oftentimes, they don't actually read the entire story, nor do they bother to actually look into it further. They only comment based on a knee-jerk reaction to issues without stopping and thinking about it or re-reading the article and inquiring further.


Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 5:10 p.m.

You are the umpteenth person to complain that the UM is not paying for this. Several times in the article it is mentioned that UM is participating in this, is expected to pay for a portion of this, and themselves have said that they are expecting to contribute financially to this. Since the system isn't designed yet, how would anyone know what it will cost, what funding will be available at that time, and what the UM portion would be? Everything is just broad estimates now.


Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 2:46 p.m.

A previous commenter asked why attention to other congested Ann Arbor corridors are not included in the planning. A plan for Washtenaw Avenue is included in the ReImagine Washtenaw initiative. Proponents for ReImagine Washtenaw admit that changes in roadway design will not occur for ten or twenty years as the traffic along Washtenaw Avenue must be reduced to about 10,000 cars per day for any plans to be instituted. Presently 27,000 cars travel down Washtenaw Avenue daily and no one can explain how or why that traffic flow will ever be reduced to 10,000 cars per day. So expect that roadway changes suggested by ReImagine Washtenaw will never happen. But not being able to alter traffic lanes along Washtenaw Avenue is not really disappointing for proponents of ReImagine Washtenaw initiative because they are more interested in obtaining funding that will be used to induce development along Washtenaw Avenue. Tax dollars will be steered to developers for which many associated with the creation of ReImagine Washtenaw have shared interests. Public tax dollars being shifted to private interests is the primary motivation for ReImagine Washtenaw, IMHO. The motivation for the Plymouth Connector is the same.


Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 9:48 p.m.

Completely misinformed. Do some more research and comment again.

Lynn Liston

Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 2:45 p.m.

I'm always interested in improvements to public transportation, but couldn't the city and county make some improvements right now by increasing the number of bus runs on busy routes, adding routes to some under-served areas, using smaller feeder size buses for routes with less ridership, and extending the hours of bus service to 7x24? It would also be helpful to have better service out here in the townships to connect us up to the city routes. Maybe light rail is the solution for the townships? Right now I have to drive miles to the nearest city bus stop, there is no parking nearby and even if I wanted to use public transportation within the city, there is no bus after 6:30 p.m. so there is no way to get home after theatre or dinner out. Ann Arbor needs to remember that this region houses more people outside the city than within its boundaries, yet we outside also use the corporations, medical centers, and cultural centers of the city. How many of those 19,000 live inside the boundaries and how many live a few minutes outside and need public transportation to/from?


Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 2:44 p.m.

What good is a new transit system if it doesn't serve areas where people actually live? All I see here are connectors between campus and commercial areas. I'm sure it'll be great for U-M students, but how does it benefit the citizens who live and pay taxes in Ann Arbor if none of these routes are within walking distance of where we live? What benefit do we get from our tax dollars? As currently configured, this system will require most local residents to use some form of transportation just to reach any of these routes. For a huge percentage of residents, that will mean jumping into their cars. If that's the case, then what the heck is the point of all of this to begin with? I had been excited about the prospect of a high-capacity transit system here in Ann Arbor, but now that I've seen what the so-called experts have drawn up, I'm completely disappointed. If it's going to be so university-centric, let them pay for the damn thing.

Sam S Smith

Mon, Jun 24, 2013 : 11:55 a.m.

Residents do not count except for raising their taxes.


Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 2:26 p.m.

Lordy, the b.s. and the delusional misguided folks who get involved with this crack me up! If this ever does happen it will be the state that leads the way and the crazy old ladies who sit on the A2 Library committee et. al. will not be involved.


Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 2:18 p.m.

A transportation study paid for by the DDA, the AATA, and UM -- three institutions that see transportation investment as the latest gravy train that will carry them all to the Promised Land. Wonder what the study will conclude? I'm studying whether my neighbors should pitch in and cut my lawn for me. We're sort of stuck with UM and the bus company, but let's just get rid of the DDA and whatever secret agenda items it raises to enrich existing property owners in the years ahead.


Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 2 p.m.

I would like to see this kind of effort put forth by these government and quasi-government entities to solve the problems associated with police, fire and existing roads.

Linda Peck

Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 2:15 p.m.

So would I, emsgp.

Nicholas Urfe

Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 1:46 p.m.

Street car tracks are incompatible with bicycle tires. Buses are way better.

Mark Wilson

Mon, Jun 24, 2013 : 1:14 a.m.

And bus routes, unlike light rail, can be adjusted as traffic patterns change.

Nicholas Urfe

Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 1:45 p.m.

That timeline is missing a key element: "Tax the hell out of residents" And the price always goes up dramatically. Studies have been done on that.

Dog Guy

Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 1:35 p.m.

I drive over streetcar tracks peeking through downtown asphalt and remember that Ann Arbor's 19th Century vision for high-capacity transit wasn't realized by extorting taxes. The University of Michigan did not own city hall back then. Lord, save homeowners from the depredations of visionaries!


Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 12:52 p.m.

By the way -- folks -- if you want to see this lunacy stop, you need to stop re-electing these folks who don't represent you. If you've been thinking of running for office, THINK SERIOUSLY about doing it next election. When there is no choice but the same lack-of-choice when it comes election time, you get the same thing. Wasted money, representing nothing but their own interests, and out of touch with the rest of the city and the county.


Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 12:49 p.m.


Jim Osborn

Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 12:49 p.m.

How come the existing Amtrak station is not included? Has the mayor decided to build a new station on park land w/o a vote of the people, as required by law?


Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 3:25 p.m.

CalmDown - Even in Paris they are now integrating transportation, if they can do that in Paris with 5 different authorities and unions, they can do it here. The trains, intercity buses, and the city buses all need to work together or we end up with a patchwork of transit systems that do not work. The new train station is a poor example, if they were smart they would have designed it so that the transfers for the bus system happened there and the intercity buses loaded there. But they will not. They also would have put it as close to downtown as possible, to allow bikes and walkers to use it as well as a hub.


Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 2:16 p.m.

The Amtrak station is not included because this plan has nothing to do with intercity transit. This is a plan to move people around the city.


Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 1:15 p.m.

@Halter: I disagree. I believe City residents would approve this. It's a city project, not a suburbanite project.


Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 12:50 p.m.

I think therein lies the crux of the matter -- all these megabucks are being spent on studies that will be voted down resoundingly when on a ballot -- complete and utter waste of time.


Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 12:44 p.m.

Before investing in any significant new infrastructure, first there should be experimentation with changes to the current bus system to see what improvements would help. I used to live on a route I rarely used because it only ran to 6:30 p.m. so I could work late or go to dinner if I had taken the bus. Maybe double-length busses should run on Washtenaw and Plymouth Rds. Maybe busses to commuter lots north and northeast of the city could lessen congestion on 23 and Plymouth.


Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 3:22 p.m.

Dan1737 - I have never seen a line at the US-23/Plymouth Road commuter lot. I have never had an issue parking there. So, I don't know why double length buses are required. The only full bus part of the run is from just north of North Campus until the bus gets downtown - maybe 12 minutes, there is enough standing room for that time period, no one has even been left behind on any ride I have made.


Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 12:20 p.m.

I've got two questions, for now: 1.) Are the proposed dedicated bus lanes new roadways or are they existing lanes which will be taken out of normal traffic service? 2.) How are the rapid transit buses planned to go through the various intersections they cross? (Do they have priority over existing traffic at all intersections, some intersections, or no intersectins?)

Jim Osborn

Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 12:38 p.m.

Out of existing flow to force people into the buses? Or bike lanes?


Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 12:07 p.m.

This is an Emperor's New Clothes boondoggle! We don't have a city of millions that needs high-capacity transit! Our buses are often empty! Once again our taxes will go up, our lives will be torn apart with more extraneous construction, all so Hizzoner can say we have this transit system! City Council: Enough is enough!

Stephen Lange Ranzini

Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 12:03 p.m.

When Michigan Theatre needed to be saved from the wrecking ball, Mayor Belcher kicked in $5,000 of city money to kick start the effort, and raised the rest from the private sector, including the money I chipped in from our bank. If that project were run by our current Mayor, I would imagine that the taxpayers would have invested over $1 million renovating the Michigan Theatre and today it would still be losing money every year paid for with a public taxpayer funded subsidy. With mass transit such as the Ann Arbor Connector, the economic benefits accrue largely to the commuters and the real estate owners of properties near the mass transit stations, as their building rise in value substantially. But does the AATA even recover 10% of its expenses from commuter fares? What is the business plan here beyond just building it and subsidizing it on the taxpayer dime indefinitely? It is a form of taxpayer funded corporate welfare for building owners or will a business plan be pursued that captures value from the impact on real estate values of this plan to make the operation self sustaining in the long run? Is this a "Michigan Theatre" kind of a project or yet another Dreiseitl Huirinal, subsidized street performer hand out program kind of idea? For example, the Japanese railway firms are worth over a hundred billion dollars, because they own the real estate around and above the rail stations they build and the real estate profits more than offset any losses from the rail business. It is a good business model to emulate but is our current political leadership even capable of this type of business and profit driven thinking?

Stephen Lange Ranzini

Mon, Jun 24, 2013 : 3:11 p.m.

@Peregrine: Take a close look at Depot St. under the Broadway Bridge. It has room for a four lane boulevard or even a five lane road temporarily slimmed down to four lanes under the bridge itself, since the turning lane under the bridge isn't necessary. I'm all for adequate infrastructure. We need decent roads and mass transit, but I'm never going to be in favor of bad business plans and bad business models. The same day I made this comments above, my Common Cents column advocating the higher speed Amtrak line ran. See: There are smart ways to do commuter rail and mass transit and many more dumb and wasteful ways!

P. J. Murphy

Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 10:34 p.m.

DonBee - Actually the question isn't about replacing taxes with tolls. It's about profits. Do you believe that your preferred means of transport, in addition to paying for it's construction, and maintenance, should also generate a profit for investors? Since most roads, and nearly all of our expressways are essentially somewhat monopolistic in nature, the potential for profits is considerable. So while you may see a tax here and there rolled back, at the end of the day you will still be paying the piper, or should I say "investors". While this might be a manageable cost for you personally, I'd sure like to see how you justify it as an overall benefit for the economic welfare of the county, or the state. I don't think you need to be an economist to understand that private, profit-driven ownership of major vehicle arteries would increases costs and decrease potential for a wide spectrum of economic activities. Even I think Mr. Ranzini seems to grasp this notion. At least with regard to motor vehicles. When it comes to public transport however he draws a rather arbitrary line. We, as taxpayers have made a historic effort to subsidise motor vehicle transport. An unpleasant byproduct of this effort however is that in the last generation, motor vehicle use has doubled. And this factor, more than selfish politicians, or incompetent road engineers, is why we all spend so much time reading the stupid bumper stickers of the guy ahead of us in line.


Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 3:31 p.m.

It's interesting that you advocate turning Huron, North Main, and Depot+Fuller into 5-lane roads like Carpenter Rd. And that would involve tearing down the relatively new Broadway bridge and rebuilding it. When asked about the cost, you stated it was worth dumping public funds into cutting these scars through Ann Arbor. Who'll take care of the ongoing costs of maintenance and the increased emergency services to build this 5-lane monstrosity to the door of the UofM Medical Center? I guess it'd be the public, huh? Now that public transit is being discussed all of a sudden you're all about private funding.


Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 3:19 p.m.

P. J. Murphy - I am happy with toll roads, remove the various taxes on motor fuels and related products, and let the roads have tolls. Works for me. Of course the bike and walking paths, the bus companies and others would have to find a different source of funds, since most of their money comes from motor fuel taxes.

P. J. Murphy

Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 2:27 p.m.

If requiring mass transit to be built on a private profit/loss model is a good idea, why extend it to motorized transportation as well? State government then could sell, or perhaps at least lease M23, M14, I94, and other heavily used routes to private companies. The technology to monitor and collect road tolls from this approach already exists. Of course each company would need to be profitable, so the actual costs for use of these transportation arteries would likely see a considerable increase. But I'm sure people wouldn't mind paying it. After all they'd be living in Mr. Ranzini's laissez faire utopia.

Jim Osborn

Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 12:37 p.m.

Stephen, I fear that the business model, if you can call it "business" is to tax and spend and disguise. Your ideas make sense, which is lacking in the above model.


Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 12:03 p.m.

Gee lets see.. we already have an underused bus system subsidized by my wallet, roads that are already constricted for a handful of " special interests " not to mention in lousy ( I'll be polite for the word police ) condition and they want to add this to the choo-choo and numerious other folly's...I think the only " mass transit " issue we have here is to find the mother ship and send these people back to where they came from...

Jim Osborn

Mon, Jun 24, 2013 : 11:05 a.m.

Roads are paid for from large gas taxes, both at the state and federal levels, Also slaes taxes on gas. The only sector who drives on subsidized roades are bicycles and electric cars.

Andy Price

Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 5:11 p.m.



Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 1:11 p.m.

An underused bus system? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Ann Arbor's buses are some of the most used of anywhere in the state outside the City of Detroit! And you mention "subsidized by my wallet": am I not subsidizing YOUR roads for you to drive your car or motorcycle? Same thing!


Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 12:01 p.m.

UMich currently has an employee tax on it could have an employee tax for their infrastructure needs. If administrated by the municipality, an income tax on those employed in the city.

Basic Bob

Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 12:43 p.m.

There is no employee tax. Everyone who works downtown pays for parking, even if you work for minimum wage. An income tax is the right idea to collect something back from the 1% at the U.


Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 11:57 a.m.

How do you spell Boondoggle?

Stephen Lange Ranzini

Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 11:55 a.m.

Like public art, in principle, mass transit like the Ann Arbor Connector is an excellent idea, however HOW it is implemented is truly critical. Is it a private sector led efficient "Michigan Theatre" kind of idea that costs the public taxpayers nothing and yields economic and societal benefits, or yet another Dreiseitl Huirinal, subsidized street performer hand out program kind of idea? Is it to be a self-sustaining business operation or a government subsidized boondoggle? I'm not sure if the taxpayers are aware of what the current plan on the table that the Mayor supports for the Ann Arbor Connector is supposed to cost, but per the draft of the 2040 WATS Long Range Transportation Plan, the costs will be: "Ann Arbor 2015 Transit Connector Capital Investment $30,000,000. Ann Arbor, 2021-2025, build rail service "Signature Transit", along Plymouth Road and State St. Corridors from Earthart/Plymouth Road to State St./I-94 $205,000,000." Adding in $389.7 million for the tab for commuter rail operated through 2040 listed in the WATS plan and the $200 million signature transit project proposed in the WATS plan for Washtenaw Avenue, the grand total of this vision is $824.7 million. According to the WATS document, none of this is currently funded by existing taxes. Is the plan on the table to procure all these funds from new taxes? As the primary beneficiary, how much will U-M pay towards the capital and operating costs of the Ann Arbor Connector, or the Signature Transit for this transit corridor? The WATS document is at:

Jim Osborn

Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 12:50 p.m.

How come the existing Amtrak station is not included? Has the mayor decided to build a new station on park land w/o a vote of the people, as required by law?

Linda Peck

Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 11:34 a.m.

It looks like it is concentrated on UofM needs.


Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 9:43 p.m.

Almost as if our mayor works for UM or something.

Richard Wickboldt

Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 11:33 a.m.

This will be another tick up in the taxes and cost of living in Ann Arbor thus making it another step forward for people not wanting to live in the City; "funded by about a dozen different sources ranging from parking revenues to tax-increment financing…... ". Most employees in town aren't residents. We should be taxing them so they have a nice riding experience. Looks like with the projects: rail road stations, north and south main street corridor, the Washtenaw project, high density five story buildings. A2 will be one big construction town for a few decades. I can only imagine what awful art will be installed. A2 will be transformed into a Disney theme park.


Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 1:28 p.m.

Rather than taxes, let's just make the fare reflect the true cost of the service. Do that for autos and you could not afford to drive... back to square 1


Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 12:15 p.m.

@SonnyDog09- I agree. However, once the shovel work begins, you'll get the Moonbeam Cadre (for example, Sen. Rebekah Warren) arguing that - as a "critical transportation node for low-income residents" - the fares should be subsidized by everybody else.


Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 11:40 a.m.

Rather than taxes, let's just make the fare reflect the true cost of the service.

Jim Osborn

Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 11:33 a.m.

Neither the paid consultants nor DDA's Mr. Hewitt have mentioned upgrading the railroad crossings that the Ann Arbor Railroad uses along its line. Presently these tracks are rarely used and mostly at night. When trains do cross streets in Ann Arbor such as State Street or Main Street, it only travels at about 10 to 15 MPH. This is much too slow for passenger service, yet these crossings are unsafe if passenger trains or light rail were to cross these streets at higher speeds such as 40 or 50 MPH. They are poorly marked, the warning lights are dim, and most have no gates. Even if they were to be upgraded, railroads often only do the minimum required per federal law, allowing safety to take a bake seat. The greater Los Angeles area implemented commuter rail service on old existing freight train tracks in the late 1990s and a large death toll at inadequate railroad crossings began that has not stopped. At one crossing in Burbank (Buena Vista and San Fernando Rd) there were 8 accidents with trains striking cars, then on the 9th, 2 people were killed and 34 were injured. Surprisingly, the crossing remained mostly unchanged, even after NTSB recommendations and my mother was the 10 accident, a fatality. There have others since. We should not bring this rail service to Ann Arbor without a plan to make the inadequate crossings better, and then actually do it. To not do so will place residents at risk. Lets not ignore safety in a rush to have light rail.


Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 11:01 a.m.

19,000 new employees all leaving AA at the same time is an illogical statement and conclusion by Nau. What's the probability that all 19,000 will be hired by the same company, all working the same hours and all traveling home in the same beginning direction? This makes most, if not all of his conclusions suspect, in my mind and he is leading this study? I'm not impressed! Go figure!


Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 11:37 a.m.

And, all 19k will not work downtown. This is yet more of the downtown-centric thinking that a2's "leaders" are stuck in.

Jim Osborn

Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 11:36 a.m.

People might all want to leave at normal times. What this plan ignors is that they are all dumped on the outside of the city limits. Then how do they get home? It does seem to be a method of solving UM's needs at city taxpayer expense. While it will be nice, UM should pay for it.


Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 11 a.m.

What about the traffic mess on Washtenaw? Or traffic on Huron, Stadium, Main, Packard? Why are these corridors being ignored? This is a poorly disguised attempt by um to shift their transportation costs into the citizens of AA.


Mon, Jun 24, 2013 : 9:55 p.m.

That transit options is a city the size of Ann Arbor are being studied separately in three (or more) initiatives/task forces is a big red flag. Ann Arbor transit needs to be studied, planned and improved in one comprehensive effort... and likewise operated, maintained and expanded as one system.


Mon, Jun 24, 2013 : 2:50 a.m.

Task force!

Ryan J. Stanton

Sun, Jun 23, 2013 : 1:30 p.m.

There's a city task force looking into issues along North Main, and the Washtenaw Avenue corridor is the focus of the ReImagine Washtenaw initiative.