April 17, 2014
Topic: State & Community
President Mary Sue Coleman told an Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti Regional Chamber of Commerce audience Wednesday that expanded local transit service would be good for the thousands of U-M faculty, staff and students who rely on the buses.
The Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority is proposing to expand bus service in the Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti area if a new 0.7-mill tax levy is approved in a May 6 election.
"I personally endorse the May 6 transit millage," Coleman said at the chamber breakfast meeting. "I value the transportation system and all it does for our community."
If voters approve the millage, the AAATA says it will expand evening and weekend hours, put more buses on busy routes and expand options for seniors and people with disabilities.
U-M has an established partnership with the AAATA, which allows faculty, staff and students to ride AAATA buses with a swipe of their MCards. That program totals more than 2.5 million rides per year.
Additionally, Dr. Ora Pescovitz, executive vice president for medical affairs, said she supports the transit millage because the expanded service would help the 35,000 staff, patients and visitors who come to the U-M medical center daily.
"I believe a large number of these individuals could benefit from increased service and extended hours of AAATA service if the millage is passed, and our entire community benefits from initiatives with the potential to reduce demand on the parking system and the need to build or expand lots or structures," she said.
The expanded service that would be provided by the millage also was supported by Eastern Michigan University President Susan Martin and Washtenaw Community College President Rose B. Bellanca.