Stories indexed with the term ‘vanpool services’

AAATA: 40 More Vehicles for Vanpools

Up to 40 vehicles could be purchased for the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority’s vanpool program to replace aging vehicles, as well as to meet additional demand for the program. The vans will be either Dodge Caravans (mini-vans) at $21,356 from Snethkamp of Lansing, or Ford Econoline vans (full-size vans) from Gorno of Woodhaven, at $20,940.

According to the resolution approved by the board, the Ford Econoline meets the conditions of the Federal Transit Administration’s Buy America program – which require 65% American components and final assembly in the United States. The Dodge Caravan meets the 65% American-made component requirement, but is assembled in Canada – with union labor. So the funding of the Caravan, which does not meet all the FTA’s … [Full Story]

AATA OKs Vehicle Purchase for Vanpool

The purchase of about two dozen 2013 Dodge Caravans at $21,356 apiece – as part of the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority’s vanpool program – was authorized by the board of the AATA board at its Nov. 15, 2012 meeting. The funds used for the 25 vans come from federal and state sources.

At the board’s Jan. 19, 2012 meeting, the AATA board had previously authorized the purchase of seven Dodge Caravans (model year 2012) for $21,272 each (total = $148,904), with an option to purchase up to a total of 25 vans (total = $531,800). That vehicle purchase was preceded by an authorization given over a year ago, on Sept. 15, 2011, to contract with VPSI Inc. to administer the AATA’s … [Full Story]

AATA in Transition, Briefed on State’s Plans

Ann Arbor Transportation Authority board meeting (Jan. 19, 2012): The AATA board’s meeting consisted of pro forma, ordinary business set against a backdrop of several transitions.

Rich Robben University of Michigan Ann Arbor Transportation Authority

Rich Robben's last meeting as an Ann Arbor Transportation Authority board member was Jan. 19, 2012. (Photos by the writer.)

The board itself is in transition – Thursday was Rich Robben’s last meeting as an AATA board member. And the city’s transportation program manager, Eli Cooper, attended his first meeting since his nomination was confirmed by the Ann Arbor city council on Dec. 19, 2011. He replaces Sue McCormick on the board.

The AATA as an organization is also possibly in transition, as it seeks to establish a new, countywide governance structure under Michigan’s Act 196 of 1986. To provide a framework for that move, AATA is asking three other entities – the city of Ann Arbor, the city of Ypsilanti and Washtenaw County – to ratify an agreement with the AATA. The Ann Arbor city council postponed action on that agreement at its Jan. 9, 2012 meeting, but is expected to take action on Jan. 23. A public hearing on the four-party agreement is scheduled for that council meeting as well. CEO Michael Ford reported that the text of the four-party agreement is currently being revised, to promote clarity.

And as the AATA works on a possible move to countywide governance of public transit in Washtenaw County, Michigan’s state legislature may also act to establish a regional transit authority (RTA) for southeast Michigan that would add Washtenaw to Wayne, Macomb and Oakland counties.

The AATA board got a briefing on possible upcoming RTA legislation from Dusty Fancher, a consultant for the Michigan Public Transit Association (MPTA). Fancher, who’s employed by Midwest Strategy Group, stressed that the RTA legislation – for which no details have yet been released publicly – comes in the context of a larger transportation infrastructure agenda being pushed by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder. That larger agenda includes a focus on funding for roads.

Like the move to a local countywide governance, the funding for an RTA would probably include a request to voters for additional taxes. If the state’s RTA legislation were passed before the November 2012 election – and if a decision also were made to place a ballot request to Washtenaw County voters to fund more transportation within the county – that would potentially result in two transportation tax initiatives in the same election.

How likely is it that the state’s RTA legislation would be passed before the November 2012 election? Fancher said that if nothing were passed by March 2012, she’d bet money that nothing would happen before November. Also at the AATA board meeting, Clark Harder, executive director of the MPTA, indicated that it’s important to understand that Snyder does not currently have the votes within his own Republican Party to push the RTA package forward.

Against that backdrop of transition and many unknowns, the AATA went about some regular business with quantifiable, known facts. The board authorized the purchase of up to 25 vans to provide van pool service. The board also authorized its capital grant program for the next five years, which allows for an additional $1.5 million of federal and state grant money to go towards the reconstruction of the downtown Ann Arbor Blake Transit Center.

The board also heard its usual range of public commentary and reports from committees. [Full Story]

AATA Dips Toe into Vanpool Market

At its Sept. 15, 2011 meeting, the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority board authorized a contract with VPSI Inc. for vanpool services that is not to exceed $6,600 per year for each AATA owned/managed van. Vanpools are arrangements in which a vehicle is provided through the service, but is driven by one of the members of the pool. Riders pay for operational costs. Currently, the MichiVan program, operated by VPSI, provides such a service in the Ann Arbor area.

However, through fiscal year 2012 MichiVan will only continue to provide vanpool service for existing vanpools in the Ann Arbor area. It’s AATA’s intention to provide service for any additional vanpools that people might wish to create.

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] [Full Story]