89.1 WEMU

Buying More Buses Highlight Of Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority's Budget

Oct 2, 2014

The Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority's plans for increased bus service continue to move forward.  The authority expanded service this summer on 19 routes, and additional enhancements are planned next summer.  The budget for the authority's fiscal year that started this week includes a focus on vital equipment purchases.

Credit Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

It's going to take a lot more buses for the transit authority to deliver on a promise to offer 44 percent more service hours by 2019. The first batch of buses are scheduled to roll into service next summer, so nearly $5 million dollars of the authority's $37 million overall budget is committed to buying buses.

Board Chair Charles Griffith says a projected surplus of one-point-five million dollars is also being saved for additions to the fleet. "27 buses in the next few years and some of those are part of the expansion plan and some of those are replacement buses," Griffith says.

The additional funds to pay for equipment and service upgrades come from the .7 mill transit tax approved by voters in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and Ypsilanti Township in May.

The next big increase in service takes place in August. It will include extended Saturday service on 16 routes, and longer Sunday hours on 12 routes.

Like 89.1 WEMU on Facebook and follow us on Twitter— Andrew Cluley is the Ann Arbor beat reporter, and anchor for 89.1 WEMU News. Contact him at 734.487.3363 or email him acluley@emich.edu.