Mich.’s Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority (TheRide) is delivering on its promise to provide more service to more places this year with the introduction of FlexRide. It’s an exciting microtransit pilot service for southeast Ypsilanti Township providing shared-rides to area residents beginning later this month.

FlexRide offers a new way to get people where they need to go. “We are pleased to offer this pilot service in conjunction with our Five-Year Transit Improvement Plan. FlexRide provides more people in Ypsilanti Township better access to our transit system and allows them to get to doctor’s appointments, shopping, and other destinations easier,” Matt Carpenter, CEO of TheRide, said.

The service is open to the public and operates Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is $1 per trip (one-way), with discounts available for those who qualify. FlexRide provides rides within a designated area of southeast Ypsilanti Township and provides connections to the agency’s Route 46.

TheRide has contracted with Metro On-Demand (MODE), a division of Golden Limousine, to operate the FlexRide pilot service. FlexRide will be accessible to individuals with disabilities and will be easily identifiable with both the FlexRide and MODE logos on the sides and the back of the vehicle. “Our partnership with TheRide is an important service enhancement in the communities where we operate. We are excited to be a part of this new pilot service,” Sean Duval, owner/CEO of MODE and Golden Limousine said.

FlexRide is especially timely, since TheRide recently expanded Route 46 – Huron-Textile, doubling service in the northwest corner of the pilot service area up to Whittaker and Merritt Roads in Ypsilanti Township. This is one of many service improvements that have been made possible with the approval of the 2014 Transportation Improvement millage. Over the past four years, TheRide has added later weekday and weekend hours, increased frequency on most routes, and added new, more direct routes in an effort to help people access places they couldn’t previously get to.

Looking ahead, TheRide plans even more service in Ypsilanti Township, introducing ExpressRide service between Ypsilanti Township and Ann Arbor in early 2018.