The Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority has rolled out its first service upgrades funded by the new transit millage. On most routes service hours are extended, but Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township have an entirely new route.
I was one of five passengers to board the 10:15 bus at the Ypsilanti Transit Center. A couple of extra drivers were also on board to familiarize themselves with the new Huron-Textile route.
Residents of both Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township praised the 46 route while waiting for the trip to begin. Nuri Flowers lives in the township near Schooner Cove Apartments and says the route will make a lot of people in the complex happy. He says it beats the alternatives when he can't use his car to get to work downtown. "Sometimes when I didn't have my car, sometimes my fiancee borrowed, sometimes I take a cab, or sometimes I borrow somebody else's car, and it's really inconvenient because it's like I don't have to pay like, what, 10 bucks just to get into the township. That's ridiculous," Flowers says.
William Lewis lives in the city of Ypsilanti and thinks he'll take the bus a couple times a week to the Whittaker Road branch of the Ypsilanti District Library or the Kroger in the Paint Creek Crossing Shopping Center.
That's where Shirl Munetsi joined us on the bus. She says the new route is better than how she has been getting from her home in the city out to the township. "I take the A-ride, which I pay three dollars one way, three dollars back. Then I have to have the day before so I couldn't do any impulse shopping, you know when I decide I want to go, and I have to limit my going," Munetsi says.
In less than 45 minutes the bus was back at the downtown transit center with several passengers hopping off quickly to transfer to other buses.
Monday through Friday the 46 bus leaves the transit center once per hour from 6:15 am to 10:15 pm.