In a statement released Monday afternoon, the University announced the MDetroit Center Connector will continue its services for an additional year, despite an announcement last week that it would conclude its services June 21.
The release said due to a misunderstanding involving the Transforming Learning for the Third Century grant, the announcement released last week was incorrect. Monday’s statement retracted the University’s initial announcment.
Rob Sellers, the University vice provost for equity, inclusion and academic affairs, said campus transportation leaders will use the upcoming year to look for an efficient way to provide students with access to Detroit.
In the original statement, University officials decided to end the service after a “careful overall analysis of the system.” It said the transit has serviced more than 2,000 students, staff and faculty from more than 60 programs offered through the University.
Following the release of the original statement, University spokesman Rick Fitzgerald said funding for the program expired and ridership was not high enough to warrant a continuation of the program.
The connector was established in October 2013 as a method of transportation for University students, faculty and staff participating in the Semester in Detroit program. It originally ran Fridays and Saturdays.
It was funded through grants from the University’s Third Century Initiative Transforming Learning program. The transit makes stops at the Eastern Market, the Cultural Center, Downtown and southwestern Detroit.
Free to anyone with a valid UMID, an average of 150 students, staff and faculty used the connector weekly during its first year of operation.
After receiving a $153,000 fund from the Office of the Provost, the service expanded its access to transportation on a four-day schedule.