Looking to meet the needs of University faculty and Pfizer Inc.
employees, the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority will offer
commuter routes between Ann Arbor and other cities within Washtenaw
County beginning this summer.

Initially, new AATA buses will run twice daily — once in
the morning and again in the evening — from Ann Arbor to two
locations within the county.

Chris White, manager of service development for AATA, said
Chelsea and Plymouth are being strongly considered as candidates
for the trial because many University and Pfizer employees live in
those cities.

If the program is successful, White said, AATA plans to expand
the service to more locations.

“This service is designed specifically for
commuters,” White said. He added that it would only be
economically feasible for students if they commuted on a daily
basis.

According to White, AATA is only chartered to operate within
Washtenaw County. As a result, the new program will not be able to
offer service to many communities where University and Pfizer
employees live, including Detroit.

The trial program is being financed by a federal grant. If
sufficient demand materializes, White projected that the monthly
fares, estimated at between $100 and $120, will pay for the
operating costs.

White said AATA is currently engaged in dialogue with the
University and Pfizer, Ann Arbor’s largest public and private
employers respectively, about a potential arrangement that would
help defray the cost of the fare for their employees. Specific
details of how commuters can purchase their bus passes and the
exact starting date of the program have not yet been finalized.

Currently, AATA provides service to neighboring Ypsilanti.

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