Comments on: Column: Chevy Volt – Private Transit Choices it's like being there Tue, 16 Sep 2014 04:56:38 +0000 hourly 1 By: Vivienne Armentrout Vivienne Armentrout Sun, 05 Jun 2011 19:36:07 +0000 One slide at the recent Board retreat lists “East Ann Arbor Medical Services” as “New Services under development”. There are some funding issues.

By: anna ercoli schnitzer anna ercoli schnitzer Sun, 05 Jun 2011 18:53:04 +0000 Re: #4, Thanks for supplying the link to the TMP, Dave. I checked out their new bus schedules proposed on the PDF and tried to send my feedback (I am very distressed that there seemingly will be no improvement in transportation to UM’s East Ann Arbor Health Center, a destination that is important to many and yet quite complicated to get to without a car), but their website ( responds only with a 404 message, and the email link for Mary Stasiak, Community Relations Manager for The Ride, is rejected and comes bouncing back to me.

By: CASnyder CASnyder Sat, 04 Jun 2011 19:07:30 +0000 I would rather put transportation funding $ towards county wide public transit than electric charging infrastructure that can only serve a few, even though my family owns an electric car. I think the narrow options in service locations & times is what keeps many folks like me from using public transit more, and thus that should be addressed first w/ transport dollars. Right now there is too much of the county that is not within even biking distance of a transit stop, which keeps people car dependent. I think that per $ spent, the investment on widening the service areas & times of public transit will benefit far more people of all walks of life than will the investment in electric car charging infrastructure.

By: Jack Eaton Jack Eaton Tue, 17 May 2011 15:04:06 +0000 I agree with Vivienne on the potential for federal funding. We probably missed our chance to get federal assistance for building regional transit, especially rail systems.

Equally bothersome is the question of state funding. Michigan has had difficulty raising sufficient state transit funding to meet the federally required local share minimums. Governor Snyder is unlikely to seek increased transit funding (ie: higher gas taxes).

In the short term, the state’s support of the high speed rail project may reduce the amount of state funding that is available for existing transit. Without state matching funds, we may lose a portion of the available federal funding. This is probably not a good time to be planning for expansion.

I am willing to pay for transit services. I do not support expanding service in a manner that encourages sprawl, such as the commuter rail service to Livingston County would. Let’s focus on improving the service we have before expanding beyond our ability to pay.

By: Vivienne Armentrout Vivienne Armentrout Mon, 16 May 2011 23:24:46 +0000 Joel, the word “typically” is the problem here. We have no assurance that the Federal government is even going to be paying its debts in the future, much less expanding rail subsidies. We can’t assume that because such subsidies were forthcoming in prior years, they will now be. And in fact this system has not been competitive in receiving grants even during better times – several TIGER grants were refused, and Detroit-Ann Arbor did not qualify for New Start money, the usual route for such things.

Also, Congressman Dingell is not as influential as he once was and with redistricting may not even be our congressman in the future. Further, the State of Michigan local match funds are already inadequate to match grants already approved. Governor Snyder is cutting many programs. We simply can’t assume that someone else is going to cover these costs.

As for a regional transit authority for metro Detroit – we’ve been through that too and the decisions made were to favor Woodward Avenue, for example, over any Detroit-Ann Arbor route. There is a long history.

By: Joel Batterman Joel Batterman Mon, 16 May 2011 20:57:24 +0000 Sure thing. The feds typically cover the bulk of the capital costs, but a local match would be needed, and the region would need to work out how to share operating costs for Ann Arbor-Detroit rail. A regional transit authority for metro Detroit would be useful; I guess re-electing the president would help, too.

By: Vivienne Armentrout Vivienne Armentrout Sat, 14 May 2011 21:34:14 +0000 Joel, if someone wants to give us a train, I’d love to have one, but steps to get from here to there are murky. There is a difference in magnitudes between the costs of a local bus system and a regional train system. I just want to see it spelled out rather than depending on the “confidence” that somehow the money will be forthcoming.

By: Joel Batterman Joel Batterman Sat, 14 May 2011 19:58:19 +0000 Vivienne and Kaaren -

I agree that bus service should be a priority. But that doesn’t need to foreclose higher-quality transit in the city (preferably bus rapid transit), or connections to the broader region (Detroit definitely takes priority over Livingston County), or vice versa. To that end, the draft AATA plan proposes dramatically improved bus frequencies (every 5-10 minutes on core routes during peak hours), and extended service hours, to 11 pm on weekdays.

Plenty of other places – including places our size – have better local transit than we do, as well as enhanced transit and regional connections. I don’t believe we should rest content with what we have.

By: Murph Murph Fri, 13 May 2011 22:31:00 +0000 @BP -

Can you clarify what you’d like to see done? I’m confused by some of your statements, relative to the draft implementation recommendations that I looked at.

“rather than expand those trunkline routes like #3, #4, #5, and #6, it also proposes to continue the hub and spoke arrangement around the Ypsilanti Transit Center, creating new “loop routes” to funnel riders from around eastern Washtenaw County downtown to link up with cross-county routes.”

But, the implementation sketch reduces the number of loop routes, replacing most of them with out-and-back routes. Am I misunderstanding your use of the term?

“the master plan proposes to replace the #6 route in front of the Ypsilanti Senior Center with a new loop route. Unfortunately, this arrangement makes no consideration for the fact that seniors who would be served by this route would likely be very uncomfortable with hanging out at the downtown transit center”

Where are these seniors going to or coming from? Ann Arbor? As it is now, the #6 only runs one-way past the senior center, eastbound on its trip from Ann Arbor. A senior trying to get there from elsewhere in Ypsilanti would have to ride the #6 all the way to Ann Arbor and back; the #47 in the draft proposal would seem to be a much better situation. (Besides which, the #6 as it stands takes riders directly from the senior center to the transit center, so that would not be any kind of “new” stop on their route?)

“without great complication, offer flexibility and some redundancy when it comes to routing,”

The plan suggests fewer one-way loops and more out-and-backs, which seem to me to reduce complexity; as well, the suggested new routes would offer a lot more redundancy, in the form of finer-grained coverage and more options for transfer points.

So I’m genuinely confused by your criticisms–maybe you were looking at a different plan than I?

Is your real concern with the transit center itself? Wouldn’t that seem to be an issue best addressed at the transit center, rather than taking that as a given, and designing the entire system to avoid that issue?

By: Dave Askins Dave Askins Fri, 13 May 2011 14:13:38 +0000 Re: [3]

For readers not familiar with the concepts for changes to the urban bus network mentioned in [3] ( which are included as an appendix to the TMP) I’ve extracted the TMP appendix: [link]