Ann Arbor Transportation Authority board meeting (August 19, 2009): Looming on a six-week horizon for Ypsilanti is the renewal of its Purchase of Service Agreement with the AATA – at a price slated for 10% higher each year over the next three years to make the agreement match actual costs. That’s the context in which three out of seven Ypsilanti city councilmembers appeared at the AATA board meeting on Wednesday.
Their collective message: Recognize the fiscal constraints on Ypsilanti, focus on the 30 years of a positive AATA-Ypsilanti partnership, and find ways to cut costs of the service without cutting service levels. Their message resonated with AATA board members, who seemed more inclined to find creative ways to cut costs than to use federal stimulus dollars to simply make up the gap. Part of that creative approach could include closing the Ypsilanti Transit Station.
The longer-term solution of supporting the AATA bus service through a dedicated countywide funding source was a theme that ran through the comments made by Ypsilanti councilmembers, as well as others at the meeting.
In other business, the board approved the construction contract for the Plymouth Road and US-23 park-and-ride, and formally discontinued the LINK service – a decision that came as no surprise given that the other two funding partners – the University of Michigan and the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority – had discontinued their funding for the downtown circulator bus.