At its March 17, 2011 meeting, the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority board voted unanimously to adopt a “Smart Growth” scenario as the basis of continued development of its transportation master plan (TMP). The Smart Growth scenario is the most ambitious of three scenarios the AATA has developed, which unfolded over the course of a planning and public engagement process that began in the summer of 2010.
Transit options in the three scenarios – which the AATA has labeled Lifeline Plus, Accessible County, and Smart Growth – are nested subsets, starting with Lifeline Plus as a base, which expands on existing services and focuses on services for seniors and disabled people. Accessible County extends services by adding fixed-route bus service to connect all the county’s urban centers. The Smart Growth scenario includes north-south and east-west commuter rail regional components, as well as high-capacity local transit options for corridors like Washtenaw Avenue and State-Plymouth.
Development of the TMP for countywide service has been identified by the AATA board as a necessary step to take before reorganizing the AATA as a transit authority for the entire county. In December 2009, the board held a special meeting to seek advice on various options for reorganization under Act 196 or Act 55. [Chronicle coverage "AATA Gets Advice on Countywide Transit"]
This brief was filed from the Ann Arbor District Library boardroom, where the AATA board holds its regular monthly meetings. A more detailed report will follow: [link]