A quarterly public transit update was followed by the approval of two service agreements with TheRide from the Pittsfield trustees during Wednesday’s board meeting.
A representative from the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority, also referred to as TheRide, told the trustees that use of its service has nearly rebounded since its initial dip during the year’s first quarter. Below-freezing temperatures near the beginning of the calendar year were blamed for the early slump, including a polar vortex that forced the University of Michigan to cancel classes for the third time in the past 40 years.
Despite the irregular dip in services, the AAATA representative said that public approval of their services remains high. Services provided by TheRide include route buses, express buses, van pools and a shared-ride accessible service. According to the AAATA, 81 percent of the area’s public surveyed said the offered public transport made “it easier to get to local jobs,” while 72 percent agreed that “AAATA provides a good alternative to owning a car.”
The AAATA also began a new program last month: FlexRide, a shared-ride transportation service that could be requested via a MODE Car phone app or by calling 734-794-0377. The service is $1 one-way and is available to the Pittsfield Township and Southeast Ypsilanti Township Monday through Friday.
After the quarterly presentation, trustees unanimously approved a service agreement with the AAATA for services for the remainder of 2019 and for the entirety of calendar year 2020. The first agreement is for service between Sept. 1 and Dec. 3 at a cost not to exceed $159,527.09. The second agreement is for service between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31 at a cost not to exceed $639,969.24.