A proposal long in the works to provide public transportation service between Ann Arbor and Detroit Metropolitan Airport will appear on the agenda of the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority board at its Feb. 16 meeting. The AATA will contract out the service through Indian Trails (Michigan Flyer).
Details of the service include a one-way fare of $12 for advance reservation (and limited refundability) or $15 with re-fundability up to time of departure. Round trip fare would be $22 for advance reservation (and limited refundability) or $30 with refundability up to time of departure. The resolution also provides for an introductory promotional offer of $10 one-way and $20 round trip. Volume discounts also may be available for groups of up to eight people traveling together. [.pdf of resolution establishing fare structure]
AATA CEO Michael Ford has previously described the intent of the service to provide 12 daily trips each way, with a very limited number of stops, in order to achieve a trip time of around 40-45 minutes.
The board previously authorized the negotiation of the contract with Indian Trails. A resolution separate from the one setting fares establishes a two-year contract with Indian Trails at a cost of $2.56 per service mile, with the total cost for the contract not more than $700,000 per year.
Including stops, the AATA has previously described an airport route as long as 70 miles round trip. [On I-94, it's roughly 51 roundtrtip miles from downtown Ann Arbor to the entrance of Detroit Metro.] At the lower end of the regular fare offered on a 70-mile round trip, the service would need to average around eight passengers per bus to cover the cost of the Indian Trails contract on fares alone. [(70*2.56)/22 = 8.14] [.pdf of board information packet]
The Feb. 16 AATA board meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. in the fourth-floor boardroom of the downtown Ann Arbor District Library, 343 S. Fifth Ave.