Ann Arbor’s TheRide receives $300K as first step of Ypsilanti Transit Center expansion

If approved, the expansion will cost $16 million

A TheRide bus. (Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority (TheRide) has announced it will receive $300,000 as part of a $16 million plan to expand the Ypsilanti Transit Center.

Although final details have not been confirmed, TheRide officials said that the new development, if approved, would be similar to Ann Arbor’s Blake Transit Center with an increased number of bus bays, sheltered waiting areas and a customer-service counter.

“On behalf of AAATA and our entire community, we want to thank U.S. Sen. Gary Peters for his instrumental leadership in helping us to win this essential first phase of funding for what we anticipate will be a transformational infrastructure investment that will benefit public transportation passengers and employers in Ypsilanti and beyond,” said TheRide CEO Matt Carpenter in a statement.

“This new federal funding is another step forward in a historic effort that will enable TheRide and the communities we serve to provide access to new opportunities, promote and create family-wage jobs, advance equity, tackle climate change and meet growing and evolving transit and mobility demands.”

The new, larger facility will be one of the biggest investments in downtown Ypsilanti that has happened in recent decades and could be a catalyst for further renewal in the area, officials said.

Under a proposal by the public transportation agency, the current center on Pearl Street would be replaced with an expanded terminal. One million dollars in funding has already been set aside for the development with plans for additional state and federal funding to be sought out.

Money for the project comes from a bipartisan federal government funding bill signed into law by President Joe Biden.

“This government funding bill makes critical investments across our state to improve lives – including to support expansion of a new Ypsilanti Transit Center,” Peters said in a release. “I’m proud to have helped secure these federal resources because Michiganders depend on reliable public transit options every day to get to school, work, the grocery store, or an appointment. Michigan has made important strides in its economic recovery – but it’s critical we build on successes, including by improving the way folks across our state travel and connect with one another.”  

Carpenter said that the expansion is needed in order to support current and future rider needs in Ypsilanti, which he said has had less investment in its public infrastructure than surrounding areas.

Ypsilanti Mayor Lois Richardson said the investment was “long overdue and greatly needed.”

“The changes being made are welcomed and needed to meet the growing needs of our ridership. We say thank you for moving us one step closer to its reality,” she said.

The new development is part of TheRide’s long-range plan, TheRide 2045, which is influenced by community needs and opinions. Feedback on the plan is currently being accepted.

Learn more about TheRide 2045 here.

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.