Ann Arbor’s TheRide awarded $2.1M for express bus service program slated for 2024

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

ANN ARBOR – An upcoming project from the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority, known as TheRide, has received $2.1 million in federal funding.

Funding for the Washtenaw Avenue Express Bus Service project, anticipated to begin operating in 2024, comes from the Carbon Reduction Program by the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG).

The new express service will have limited stops, increasing service speeds between Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti.

“TheRide is thrilled to have been awarded funding from SEMCOG as part of their Carbon Reduction Program, and we thank them for this opportunity,” said TheRide Senior Project Manager of Planning and Innovation Gretchen Johnson in a release. “The Washtenaw Avenue Express Bus Service not only will provide faster service for our citizens, it also plays a crucial role in our communities’ sustainability and social equity goals.”

TheRide competed against other regional transit agencies that submitted projects designed to help with carbon reduction.

The Washtenaw Avenue program is expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by around 1,057 kilograms per day--roughly the same amount as 84 cars, the transit agency said.

It is part of TheRide’s vision for transit enhancements along Washtenaw Avenue. Additional plans include enhancing corridor bus stations and introducing better traffic signal technology.

SEMCOG’s $2.1 million Carbon Reduction Program award will help the project operate for three years, and was is made possible by the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021.

“SEMCOG is pleased to support enhanced transit service for Washtenaw Avenue, one of the most significant mobility corridors in Washtenaw County,” said SEMCOG Executive Director Amy O’Leary in a release.

“In addition to benefitting everyone who lives, works, and commutes along this corridor, cleaner air improves quality of life and health outcomes for each community.”

Learn more about the Washtenaw Avenue Express Bus Service project here.

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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.