AATA OKs AirRide Negotiations

Bus service between downtown Ann Arbor and Detroit Metro Airport could continue for a second year, at a significantly reduced cost to the AATA compared to the current contract. That’s the result of a resolution authorized by the board of the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority at its April 18, 2013 meeting.

Ridership on AATA AirRide Service through April 2013

Ridership on AATA AirRide service through April 2013.

The AATA provides the hourly service by contracting with Michigan Flyer. The current agreement between Michigan Flyer and AATA has a yearly not-to-exceed cost of $700,000 per year, running for two years starting April 1, 2012. As the contract was set to enter its second year, the AATA board had voted at its March 21, 2013 meeting to support a four-month extension of the contract under its current terms. That was supposed to provide a window to re-negotiate the contract for the second year.

It appears that window will not be required, as the board voted April 18 to rescind the prior resolution on the four-month extension. As part of the resolution approved on April 18, the board authorized negotiation of the second year of the contract for a not-to-exceed cost of $300,000, which is less than half the cost of the original contract. The reduction is due to the relatively heavy ridership on the service, compared with initial projections.

The weekly ridership for the hourly service between Ann Arbor and Detroit Metro airport now averages more than 1,000 passengers a week, with some weeks reaching 1,400 riders.

This brief was filed from the downtown location of the Ann Arbor District Library, where the AATA board holds its meetings. A more detailed report will follow: [link]