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 Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 5:56 a.m.

Ypsilanti City Council approves AATA membership

By Tom Perkins

Ypsilanti is one step closer to joining the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority.

On Tuesday, the City Council voted unanimously to approve an amendment to the authority’s articles of incorporation that would make it part of the organization.

The Ann Arbor City Council recently approved the amendment and the AATA board will vote on it at its meeting on Thursday.

The authority is being renamed the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority — or AAATA.


The Ypsilanti Transit Center

Tom Perkins | For

“This is a big deal,” said Council Member Pete Murdock. “When you think about how long there has been an effort to regionalize the transportation system in Washtenaw County, it goes back quite a ways.

“I’m really pleased that we’ve reached this stage in the development of (the AATA).”

The most significant benefit to Ypsilanti will be a voice on the AATA board. Ypsilanti will now have a seat and a vote, and the city of Ann Arbor will receive another seat as part of the change. That will expand the board from seven to nine seats.

The Ypsilanti representative will be appointed by the mayor with approval from the city council.

It’s not yet clear how the new arrangement will affect what the city of Ypsilanti pays into the system. The city currently contracts for AATA services through a purchase-of-service agreement.

Ypsilanti voters approved a 0.9789 transit charter millage by a 3-1 margin in 2010. That millage generated $308,000 in fiscal year 2013 and is projected to generate $278,000 in fiscal year 2014.

“A contract will be negotiated between the city and authority for our contribution to the system,” City Attorney John Barr told city council.

The changes will not directly impact riders or routes immediately, but Murdock said it gives the overall system more cohesion. The system’s busiest routes are between Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor, and Murdock highlighted that the Ypsilanti routes generate significant revenue for the authority.

“If they or we want to expand services in the area, the AATA will probably be more willing to go for some of its own funding beyond what’s there now,” Murdock said.

He added that it creates a framework for other municipalities join the authority.

“This is a huge step forward,” Ypsilanti Mayor Paul Schreiber said.



Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 4:03 p.m.

Can you please provide trash cans for your customers AATA? The stop on the thoroughfare near my house is a litterbugs haven. Although, most of the riders really seem like they would still use the ground instead of the trash can were one made available for them. Give a hoot, don't pollute. In the city or in the woods, help keep America looking good!


Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 2:07 p.m.

It is good to see that Ypsi is now an official member of the AATA. Mass transit is becoming more important throughout the country. In the long run, it is more economical and more ecologically sound.


Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 1:50 p.m.

The residents of this portion of Washtenaw County have been subsidizing the City of Ypsilanti in various ways in the millions of dollars for decades. Why would anyone expect that public transportation would work any differently?

Vivienne Armentrout

Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 12:57 p.m.

"Some of its own funding" is a likely new millage of perhaps 0.5 mills extending over the entire authority (i.e., Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti City). Not clear when that will go onto the ballot. Part of the idea here was that since Ypsilanti can't tax itself any more (has reached the state limit on charter millages), the authority itself could float a millage. This will mean convincing the far greater population of Ann Arbor that we want to add 0.5 mills to the roughly 2 mills we already pay to support the authority. Ypsi won't be able to pass that on its own.

Nicholas Urfe

Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 12:50 p.m.

The AATA staff have already spent over a million trying to ramrod the failed AATA expansion through. If they have all that time and money to spend, clearly they have excess staff and excess budget. And all that without letting Ann Arbor residents vote.


Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 10:45 a.m.

"When you think about how long there has been an effort to regionalize the transportation system in Washtenaw County, it goes back quite a ways." Why is it so great that this transportation entity has been trying to get bigger for so long, and now is finally bigger? So the staff increases, they'll need more funding, Ypsi has already said they can'[t provide it, since they're taxed to the gills already, and somehow this is great news. Yay, the tax dollar-funded entity that has been unable to prove as need for expansion just expanded, and immediately added more people to its board. Yaaaaaayyyyyyyy.


Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 10:35 a.m.

Murdock is just trying to put a spin on this. Ypsi City is now part of AATA and will have one vote of the 9 total. The current millage collected by Ypsi City doesn't sufficiently cover current costs, so it's hardly likely that AATA would increase services to Ypsi. Other communities have no need to join the authority which provides busses between the 2 cities. Minimal routes to outlying areas don't justify their taxpayers subsidizing the intercity authority.


Fri, Jun 21, 2013 : 5:03 p.m.

Sorry for the facts and stuff :D


Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 6:38 p.m.

Home ownership is subsided. Public taxes and government systems help support home owners.


Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 5:22 p.m.

It's actually still a money pit, mady. My house keeps the rain off my head (mostly), but it also is still a money pit. I wish I had other people helping me pay for it.


Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 1:51 p.m.

@Hugh, AATA is not a money pit. AATA provides a valuable service to those of us who don't own transportation, whatever the reason.

Hugh Giariola

Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 11:02 a.m.

How did the other communities vote last November when AATA wanted to become a county-wide taxing body? Oh yeah, none of them wanted anything to do with the money pit of AATA.

Steve Hendel

Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 10:20 a.m.

"If they or we want to expand services in the area, the AATA will probably be more willing to go for some of its own funding beyond what's there now," Murdock said. "It's own funding," as in tapping A2 taxpayers to subsidize Ypsi services ? After all, fare box revenues hardly come close to covering costs.