Transit improvements are important to more than 220,000 people living Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Saline, Pittsfield Township or Scio Township – the “urban core” of Washtenaw County.
We need your help to make these improvements happen. Please visit http://bit.ly/WashtenawTransit to take action on transit.
Better transit means increased connectivity to nearby cities, townships and villages; reduced urban congestion; less pressure on limited parking resources; and increased services, extended hours and more direct routes for people who rely ontransit for work, school, medical appointments and other basic needs.
Local officials are currently working on a transit plan for Washtenaw county’s urban core. Although the case for improved transit is overwhelming, this issue is not a slam dunk. Without strong public support for new funding streams, we could see service cuts instead of improvements.
That’s why we’re asking you to sign this petition to local elected officials. Let them know how important transit is to you, and to Washtenaw County’s future.
Like most young adults, as I finished college and started thinking about careers, the question of independence was prominent in my mind. I wanted to redefine my role as an adult member of my family and of society.
Unfortunately, this is a difficult thing to do in southeast Michigan while not owning a car. Continue reading
Ann Arbor decision tonight and the future of transit in Washtenaw County
We at Partners for Transit would like to thank all those who gave us support on the expanded countywide transit plan. Talking with you at DAC meetings, listening to you testify at council and board hearings, and meeting you at volunteer gatherings has been both delightful and edifying. The passion, expertise, and knowledge of the pro-transit community in Washtenaw County is impressive.
Tonight, the Ann Arbor City Council will likely vote to opt out of the expanded transit authority, effectively stopping the current approach of expanding AATA into a broader authority. Although Partners is disappointed that the city will not choose now to take advantage of the years of careful planning and dedicated work that have gone into the transit plan, we want our volunteers and all county residents to know that this is NOT the end of the road for improved transit.
Why mess with a good thing? That’s a question that some in Ann Arbor have been asking about plans for expanded transit. AATA is already one of the best public transportation providers in the state of Michigan, so what does an expanded transit system have to offer Ann Arbor residents? We think the answer is pretty simple: more buses, more places, more often. Continue reading
A lot of talk has gone on lately about the number of local governments opting out of the expanded transit plan. While there have been more opt-outs than we’d like, Partners for Transit is more concerned with the number of people in Washtenaw County who will have access to excellent public transit. And here, the stats are pretty good. 71% of the population of Washtenaw County will receive service under the new transit plan, either by participation in the new authority (%) or through purchase of service agreements.
The map below shows the County with each jurisdiction weighted by population, producing a more representative look at how many of its people are getting transit.
It’s also important to remember that many of the communities that have opted out are still in conversation with AATA, and could well choose to participate in the future. Meanwhile, the more than 60,000 people of Saline and Ypsilanti Township will be able to get dramatically expanded public transportation services, where no stable funding for it ever existed before, and Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti residents will have the chance to multiply their existing service with a much more cohesive system. That’s a big step forward, and one we should continue working towards an improved transit system for the people of Washtenaw County.
Yesterday, the AATA board voted unanimously to incorporate as a countywide authority under Public Act 196. After extensive public input from the District Advisory Committee meetings, we’re moving closer to the AATA’s five-year countywide transit plan. Now, that sounds nice, but what exactly does 196 board incorporation mean for people living in Washtenaw County?
Short-term answer: Nothing!
Unless you were planning on holding an incorporation party this weekend, nothing will immediately change in your life.
Long-term answer: A whole lot!
Incorporation means that in the near future, county residents can vote on implementing the five-year plan. And if they vote yes… Continue reading
Attention Ann Arbor! Join us at the District Advisory Committee meeting tonight at 6:30 at the Mallet’s Creek library.