Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

Bus Ridership Up

15. December 2004 • Brandon
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The Ann Arbor News reports that public transit ridership is up since the implementation of AATA’s MRide program in August:

More people are riding the University of Michigan and Ann Arbor Transportation Authority’s buses.

In August, the two systems reached a five-year agreement allowing U-M students, staff and faculty to ride AATA buses for free. Since then, AATA has seen a 12 percent increase in ridership; campus buses have carried 7 percent more passengers. Officials say the figures show more students, faculty and staff at U-M are leaving cars at home and riding the AATA buses to their destinations on campus. Once there, they ride the U-M buses to get from one campus area to another, officials said.

  1. Dang. I think the campus bus ridership increase is especially interesting as evidence that the MRide is working. (And fortuitous, since MRide is being funded by federal money that’s calculated from campus bus ridership numbers.)

    I’d be interested to see numbers separated out by bus line, especially with this year’s radically different Northwood demographics.
       —Murph    Dec. 15 '04 - 03:44PM    #
  2. I ride the bus all the time now. Before MRide, I think I rode it twice (even though I previously had a Go Pass).

    I just found out recently that bus fare is $1 for adults without a pass. I had no idea. Before I had a pass of any kind, I was always concerned—I didn’t know what the fare was and if I’d have change.

    It’s easy now. I don’t worry about fares, I just flash a card.

    I do wish more bus stops included fare information, route maps, and schedules. You definitely have to plan your trips in advance.
       —Chris    Dec. 17 '04 - 06:41PM    #
  3. Ditto on the “more fare information, route maps, and schedules” posted at stops. Though most of the routes run infrequently enough that spontaneous riding really wouldn’t work out too well. E.g., I live about 3 miles from my near-campus office, very close to an AATA stop. The buses run every hour (every half hour during rush hours), and stop running at about 10pm … so, unless I time it right, it’s often faster for me to walk (45 minutes) than to ride the bus (30 minutes plus bus stop wait-time) which really sucks. And it’s worse to get home, where I either have to exit the bus over a half mile from my house (~10 minute walk) or ride for an extra 20-30 minutes to be dropped off a bit closer.

    While, in general a 30-45 minute commute isn’t terrible, it doesn’t compete well with the 10-12 minute commute by car, which is much more flexible and comfortable. I’ve given up the car, but when the weather’s friendly I almost always ride my motorcycle.
       —Scott T.    Dec. 19 '04 - 01:32AM    #
  4. They’re supposed to start adding service early next year (like, in January); I think they’re only adding another 8000 service hours/year, which only works out to about 3 more 8-hour shifts every day, but it’s a start.
       —Murph    Dec. 19 '04 - 01:49AM    #
  5. It could definitely be worse. It’s workable for me, since if I stay downtown past 11 I can always call Night Ride for $2 (an essential component of the transit system in AA, IMO). If I had kids or was involved in many organized after-work activities, I’d probably be tempted back to the car.
       —Scott T.    Dec. 23 '04 - 11:47PM    #