Through a public-private partnership with the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority (“TheRide”), Michigan Flyer will operate a new public transportation service―named AirRide―with 12 daily roundtrips between Ann Arbor and Detroit Metropolitan Airport beginning April 2, 2012.
“Residents told us they needed a convenient, affordable and reliable way to get to the airport,” said TheRide CEO Michael Ford. “Partnering with Michigan Flyer to operate AirRide will help us fill that need.”
In approving the partnership with Michigan Flyer, TheRide’s board noted that “federal regulations require the participation of private transportation companies to the maximum extent feasible in the provision of public transportation,” and that “the most qualified proposal for this service was submitted by a private corporation known as Indian Trails, Inc., doing business as Michigan Flyer.”
TheRide is contracting with Indian Trails and Michigan Flyer to provide the AirRide public transit service between Ann Arbor and DTW.
Ann Arbor’s New AirRide Service
With two local stops―at Ann Arbor’s Blake Transportation Center (BTC) and the Kensington Court Hotel at Briarwood Mall―AirRide will provide near-hourly airport shuttle service between early morning and late evening, seven days a week.
“We’re proud to partner with TheRide to improve public transportation for Ann Arbor,” said Gordon Mackay, president of Indian Trails, the parent company of Michigan Flyer. “This will also improve regional transportation options by connecting the Ann Arbor transit system with the SMART bus system for Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties at the airport.”
The introductory rate of $10 per one-way trip, and regular rate of $12 for an adult with a reservation, will save money for travelers. Michigan Flyer’s current regular one-way fare is $15 between Ann Arbor and Detroit for an adult with a reservation. Discounts for seniors, people with disabilities, and children will also be offered.
Parking will be available in the parking structure at Fourth Avenue and William near the BTC for just $2 per trip with a two-week maximum stay, and at the Kensington Court Hotel for $2 a day.
Michigan Flyer will begin taking reservations for the AirRide service on Feb. 20, 2012, both online at www.michiganflyer.com and by phone at 517-333-0400.
Jackson Service to be Suspended
To achieve TheRide’s goal of near-hourly service between Ann Arbor and Detroit Metro, Michigan Flyer will implement a new route from East Lansing southeast on I-96 to U.S. 23, then south to Ann Arbor, and from there to Detroit Metro Airport via I-94.
After all scheduled runs on April 1, Michigan Flyer will suspend its current route from East Lansing south to Jackson on U.S. 127, then east to Ann Arbor and Detroit Metro on I-94.
“We sincerely hope this is only temporary,” Mackay said. “We have many loyal passengers in the Jackson area, and we’re very sorry to disappoint any of them, but the volume just hasn’t been sufficient to support the current route.”
“We’re working hard to find a way to reinstate the service through Jackson, hopefully yet this year,” Mackay continued. “Our public-private partnership with the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority may serve as a model for increasing ridership and restoring service.”
East Lansing Service Improved
While Ann Arbor residents will soon have 12 near-hourly roundtrips per day to and from Detroit Metro, Michigan Flyer will continue the current eight roundtrips from its East Lansing headquarters.
“With increased ridership, we are hoping to someday provide residents of the Greater Lansing area with the 12 near-hourly roundtrips they’ve wanted for so long.” said MacKay.
Meanwhile, for people in the Greater Lansing region, the immediate benefit of the new route is that it will―for the first time ever―provide non-stop Michigan Flyer service between East Lansing and Ann Arbor.
“Non-stop service between East Lansing and Ann Arbor eight times a day should be a major convenience for students, faculty and staff traveling between the universities,” noted MacKay.