Cab services and metro cars appear to be the only viable means of transportation to Detroit Metropolitan Airport left for students without cars. Commuter Express terminated its service between Ann Arbor and the airport Saturday.

The Ann Arbor Transportation Authority may fill the void left by Commuter Express.

Commuter Express said their generated profits are not sufficient enough to offset their costs for providing airport transportation services.

“Substantial investments have been made in personnel, marketing, equipment and technology, however we have been unable to obtain a return on those investments. Accordingly, after careful consideration, we have made the decision to discontinue our airport shuttle service upon the expiration of our airport contract on June 30, 2001,” Thomas McCarthy, CEO of Commuter Express, said in a written statement.

Commuter Express expressed no intention in seeking further attempts to reestablish a profitable business model for the airport transport service. “We haven”t made any money. We studied it extensively for the better part of a year and we came to the conclusion that we were providing public transportation without a subsidy,” he added.

But University students may soon have a new name to look to for their airport commuting needs. AATA is presently working with the airport to implement a shuttle bus service.

“We are trying to push ahead and make (this service) happen. The first meeting will let us know what type of service (Metro Airport is) interested in,” said Mary Stasiak, manager of community relations for AATA. “We are definitely interested in providing service. There is a significant amount of demand, but it depends on what Wayne County will say.”

Possibilities of service implementation will be discussed at AATA”s first meeting with Wayne County airport officials July 17.

“We look forward to taking this initial step toward the possible implementation of shuttle service between Ann Arbor and Metro Airport,” Gregory Cook, executive director of AATA, said in a written statement.

Students expressed shock at Commuter Express” sudden announcement, but they are hopeful that AATA”s efforts will benefit them.

“Most people take Commuter Express, but I hope that AATA will offer a better price,” said LSA junior Martin Kandes.

In the meantime, cab services are a popular alternative.

“I get a ride in a cab and split the cost with others. This is convenient and it ends up being about the same cost of Commuter Express,” Kandes said.

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