TheRide offers free fares, reduces routes amid COVID-19 concerns

Blake Transit Center in downtown Ann Arbor closes

A bus waits at the Park & Ride lot on Plymouth Rd.
A bus waits at the Park & Ride lot on Plymouth Rd. (TheRide)

ANN ARBOR – In a letter to customers on Tuesday, TheRide’s Chief Executive Officer Matt Carpenter announced updates to transit operations in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

Due to a decrease in demand for its services, many routes have been suspended, including service from the Blake Transit Center to Detroit Metro Airport and service on AirRide.

The Blake Transit Center and Ypsilanti Transit Center have closed until further notice.

For the routes that remain, fares have been lifted to reduce driver and rider interaction and all rides are now free. All changes will be implemented for a two-week period and then reassessed.

For updates, check

See an excerpt from his letter below, outlining the changes:

Free Fares

Beginning March 18 and until further notice, TheRide will temporarily suspend the collection of fares on all fixed routes and demand response services to limit passenger and driver interaction.

Route Reductions

Due to lower demand for our services, we will be announcing our plans to reduce service levels on March 18. While our service is still running, we urge you to follow the directions of health officials and not travel unless absolutely necessary.

Service on AirRide, direct service to Detroit Metro Airport from the Blake Transit Center has been suspended until further notice.

Customer Service

The Ypsilanti Transit Center, Blake Transit Center and our front desk at 2700 S. Industrial Highway will be closed to the public beginning Wednesday, March 18. However, our information specialists will still be available for route information, reservations for A-Ride and other business-related questions during normal business hours.

We encourage you to visit to stay up to date on our service.

Additional Precautions

  • All vehicles and facilities have been sanitized and disinfected with protocols as recommended by the CDC
  • We continue to supply sanitization supplies to all our staff and encourage them to follow the CDC’s hygiene guidelines
  • We are instituting social distancing among employee work environments, with many staff working remotely, canceled business travel, and in-person meetings discouraged

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