Ann Arbor Area Community News
The AATA Link bus service started in September of 2003. For the first year, the buses always seemed empty. Ridership hovered around 200 riders per day. People pointed to the Link as an indication of the lack of interest in public transportation in Ann Arbor. Eventually the funding ran out and sometime in 2005, the Link ground to a halt. It seemed like a nice, but failed experiment.
However, in the fall of 2005, a partnership between the University, the DDA, and the AATA, reinvigorated the Link. The schedule was more predictable and the route was enhanced so it connected not only Main Street, Kerrytown, State Street, and South University, but also the Oxford/Trotter campus housing area. The changes seem to have worked. On December 5, 2006, The Link set a one-day record of 1,975 riders and in January of 2007, there were 32,956 passenger trips on the two Link buses.
Congratulations to everyone involved. This shows how difficult it is to get people to change their transportation modes and how important it is to continue and try to find the right routes and schedules. Eventually, it would be great to have the Link run for weekend hours, evenings on the whole route, and summer hours (it does run during Art Fair), but until then, this is a good start.
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