After a successful trial run of airBus during Thanksgiving weekend, the service has been tripled to accommodate more students flying home for Winter Break. AirBus, a Michigan Student Assembly-sponsored service, is touted as a way for cash-strapped students to get to Detroit Metropolitan Airport without worrying about hefty taxi fares.
AirBus will make 17 trips to Metro Airport from Dec. 17 to 20 and 13 trips from the airport to Ann Arbor Jan. 4 to 5, the weekend before classes resume. Prices will remain at $14 roundtrip with reservations. Without a reservation, the fee is $10 for a one-way trip.
Reservations can be made starting today through Wednesday in Angell Hall near the auditoriums from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. or at the MSA office in the Michigan Union.
AirBus exceeded expectations during Thanksgiving Break when it sold every seat, MSA President Sarah Boot said.
“We weren’t expecting to break even but the airBus service during Thanksgiving was very successful,” Boot said. “Now we can put the money back into the service and hopefully sell seats cheaper for Spring Break.”
Feedback from the 300 customers who used the service during Thanksgiving has been overwhelmingly positive, Neil Greenberg, service planning and project coordinator, said.
“It made my heart flutter when I got an e-mail from a first year student who said he couldn’t imagine not using this service,” Greenberg said.
Although for this break MSA could not take reservations in residence halls, a major market for airBus, Greenberg said he hopes students hear about the service.
“We haven’t been able to advertise as much as we wanted to because of time shortage but we want to fill those trips we have now to the airport,” Greenberg said.
The airBus was started last spring as part of the Students First platform. Student First candidates have been campaigning this fall for working on projects to save student’s money.
“When I ran for president I went on this platform and I aim to deliver with the resources we have,” Boot said. “A lot of big universities offer some kind of bus service and we never had that. It’s too expensive for students to face $40 for a taxi ride to the airport. It’s definitely a goal of ours to find ways to make students’ (lives) more convenient.”
While MSA still encourages students to book in advance to guarantee seats on the bus, seats for walk-on customers, which proved popular during Thanksgiving, have been set aside.