In August, Ann Arbor Transit Authority buses will begin to
travel to Chelsea, Plymouth, Canton and other nearby
municipalities. New routes are being established, and buses will
travel to these cities every two hours.
Buses, however, will not travel to Detroit — causing some
people to question why the routes will not be expanded to the city.
Chris White, manager of service development at AATA, says changes
were designed for commuters.
“We want to provide transportation to people who work in
Ann Arbor,” White said. Currently AATA buses only have routes
in Ann Arbor and in Ypsilanti. The new system is set to be similar
to that of bus systems in inner cities.
White said traveling to Detroit would be too expensive.
“Traveling to neighboring suburbs is more economical.”
If the pilot program is successful, buses may begin stopping in
Detroit, White said.
Some students support the idea of AATA buses going to Detroit.
LSA junior Jimmy Chen said there is a high demand for transport to
“A lot of U of M students are from Detroit it would only
make sense for the buses to go there,” Chen said.
Beth McCarty, an LSA sophomore, said she would travel to Detroit
more often if buses went there.
“So many events happen in Detroit. If the buses went
there, I would definitely go more often,” said McCarty.
Political science Prof. Greg Markus said Detroit residents would
benefit from having transportation to outside regions. About 30
percent of city residents do not have access to a vehicle and need
transportation for daily affairs, Markus said.
“(Extended bus routes) would be great for thousands of
Detroit-area residents who are elderly or disabled, and need to
come to Ann Arbor to see their doctors. It would be great for all
of us who want to visit museums or restaurants or sporting events
in Detroit, and for folks in Detroit who want to do the same thing
here,” he said.
AATA bus routes change often. Buses used to serve Dexter, but
that route was discontinued last year. Because of insufficient
funds, AATA no longer services Scio Township. Buses will begin
running to Chelsea and Dexter.