AATA: Special Meeting to Unveil Service Plan

The board of the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority has called a special meeting for Sept. 5, 2012 at 10:30 a.m. The purpose of the meeting is simply to release publicly the five-year service plan associated with a possible transition of the AATA to a new transit authority to be incorporated under Act 196 of 1986 – to be called The Washtenaw Ride.

Publication of the service plan is one of the conditions that must be met before Washtenaw County can be asked by the AATA to file the articles of incorporation for the new transit authority. A draft of the plan was released on April 26, 2012.

At the AATA’s most recent regular board meeting, held on Aug. 16, 2012, strategic planner Michael Benham described a number of revisions to the service plan that had been made since April, based on input from the district advisory committees and others. Those revisions included extension of service to later hours (in some cases until midnight) in the urban bus network area – Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti.

At the Aug. 16 board meeting, the AATA board also gave its final approval to the four-party agreement and articles of incorporation that will provide the legal framework for the possible transition of AATA to a new authority incorporated under Act 196. The parties to that agreement are: the city of Ann Arbor; the city of Ypsilanti; Washtenaw County; and the AATA. After incorporation, a requirement for the transition of capital assets and existing millages to the new authority is a voter-approved funding source for the new authority that is adequate for the service plan.

Although the AATA hoped to be in a position to have the option of placing a transit millage on the Nov. 6 ballot, the timing didn’t work out, because the four-party agreement has just now been given final approval by all the parties.

The special meeting will be held at the AATA headquarters at 2700 S. Industrial Hwy. in Ann Arbor.