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Public invited to Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority budget proposal meeting Thursday

TheRide 2021 budget proposal meeting open to commentary

An AAATA bus simulates deboarding of passengers with mobility devices at University of Michigan's Mcity on March 26, 2019 (Photo: Meredith Bruckner)
An AAATA bus simulates deboarding of passengers with mobility devices at University of Michigan's Mcity on March 26, 2019 (Photo: Meredith Bruckner)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The public is encouraged to provide comments on Thursday during the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority (TheRide) 2021 budget proposal meeting.

The transit agency’s proposed budget for the 2021 fiscal year avoids deficient spending and leans into federal CARES Act funding for recovering losses due to the coronavirus pandemic. The budget includes a seven-year operating plan for long-term financial sustainability but could change depending on state funding.

The budget meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday and will be held over Zoom.

View the drafted budget here.

“Our Fiscal Year 2021 budget funds priorities from our recovery plan including health and safety measures for public and employee health, maintaining essential travel needs, with gradual restoration of fixed-route and paratransit services, depending on the availability of funding,” said John Metzinger, TheRide deputy CEO of Finance, in a statement.

“The Fiscal Year 2021 budget also preserves TheRide’s financial sustainability to ensure capacity to re-emerge from the pandemic.”

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Written comments can be submitted online here or by sending an email to kbook@theride.org by 8:45 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 20.

Instructions to join the meeting remotely via computer or phone can be found here.

The Fiscal Year 2021 budget will be formally adopted in a September meeting by TheRide board of directors.

The transportation system’s 2021 fiscal year runs from Oct. 1 through Sept. 30, 2021.

Starting Aug. 30, TheRide will use a reorganized network of routes that prioritize essential areas during the pandemic. Included in the reorganization is an increase in frequency of buses on some routes and additional weekend services.

Throughout August, the transit system has held a series of remote meetings explaining the changes.

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About the Author:

Sarah has worked for WDIV since June 2018. She covers community events, good eats and small businesses in Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in Applied Linguistics from Grand Valley State University.