Michigan’s Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority (TheRide) board approved a Long-Range Transit Plan at its recent meeting. The approved plan, TheRide 2045, provides a vision, a long-term system plan, and shorter-term implementation steps for public transit in the Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti area. The plan focuses on improving social equity by increasing access to jobs and housing, reducing commute times, and increasing service frequency and overnight service, while also contributing to a cleaner environment and a more vibrant economy.
TheRide 2045 Long-Range plan lays out a shared vision and strategy for transit through 2045. The plan will guide the development of future projects and budgets to ensure that TheRide’s activities are aligned to achieve the vision outlined in the plan.
The plan responds to the growing needs of the communities with a blueprint for preserving and expanding transit services and access to local and regional destinations. It is an ambitious vision that will require partnerships, additional investment, and leadership. Through this plan, TheRide can facilitate and help fulfill our communities’ shared objectives of a future of improved economic, social, and environment vitality.
“The plan focuses on addressing social equity gaps by improving affordable and accessible transportation to jobs, education, services, and housing, improving our environment by giving travelers efficient transportation alternatives, and supporting a strong economy by better connecting businesses and people,” said Matt Carpenter, CEO at TheRide. “The plan can deliver these benefits through a series of improvements and expansions to transit services and infrastructure.”
Key benefits of TheRide 2045 include:
- Growing ridership by providing an even more attractive and convenient transit service, designed to reduce travel times, make travel more direct, better match service to demand, and provide access throughout the week with longer hours of operation.
- Addressing socioeconomic equity gaps by improving accessible and affordable transportation to work, education, medical, shopping, and social destinations for lower opportunity communities that rely on transit and through focusing enhancements on low opportunity areas.
- Improving environmental outcomes by attracting more people out of their cars and introducing low emission buses.
- Enhancing economic vitality by growing access to jobs and retail, incentivizing more walkable, vibrant, and healthy communities, and by reducing overall community costs for transportation; and
- Advancing the goals of municipal policy documents.
During an 18-month public engagement process, the community generally communicated a strong desire for transformational change and a strong support of the recommendations included in the plan. The process entailed significant public and stakeholder engagement. A Public Advisory Group (PAG) met throughout the plan’s development and provided guidance throughout the process. There were more than 4,475 points of interaction received through in-person and virtual engagement sessions, surveys, email, and phone.
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