AATA Connector Study to Move Ahead

Pending the signing of a memorandum of understanding with the city of Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan, the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority will be moving ahead with an alternatives analysis of a connector study – for the corridor running from US-23 and Plymouth southward along Plymouth to State Street and farther south to I-94. The alternatives analysis phase will result in a preferred choice of technology (e.g., bus rapid transit, light rail, etc.) and identification of stations and stops.

That study will move forward, based on a total of $300,000 of local funding that has been identified to provide the required match for a $1.2 million federal grant awarded last year for the alternatives analysis phase. The breakdown of local support is: $60,000 from the city of Ann Arbor; $150,000 from the University of Michigan; and $90,000 from the AATA.

The information was provided in the written report to the board from the AATA’s CEO, Michael Ford, which was included in the board’s June 21, 2102 meeting information packet.

A feasibility study costing $640,000 has already been completed. That study was also funded through a partnership with the city of Ann Arbor, the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority, University of Michigan and the AATA. Chronicle coverage of that feasibility study includes: “Transit Connector Study: Initial Analysis“; “AATA: Transit Study, Planning Updates“; and “Washtenaw Transit Talks in Flux.”

A total of $1.5 million for the connector alternatives analysis study – of which $1.2 million is a federal grant – is included in the AATA’s capital and categorical grant program, on which the AATA held a public hearing at its June  21 meeting. The contributions from UM, AATA, and the city of Ann Arbor make up the $300,000 in local matching funds have now been identified for the $1.2 million federal grant that the AATA obtained last year for this next, alternatives analysis phase. In November 2011, Ford had updated the board on the possible timeline for the alternatives analysis, saying that phase – in which a preferred technology and route with stop locations would be identified – would take around 16 months.

This brief was filed from the downtown location of the Ann Arbor District Library at 343 S. Fifth Ave., where the AATA board holds its meetings. A more detailed report will follow: [link]