News

TheRide Awarded Gold Medal for Sustainability Efforts

The Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority (TheRide) is proud to announce that it has received Gold Level recognition through the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Sustainability Commitment. Earlier this year, TheRide formalized its Sustainability Policy and Plan, setting goals to enhance the sustainability of transit services and to the greater community. TheRide is one of just 13 transit agencies in North America to receive APTA’s Gold Level recognition.

“We’re proud to receive APTA’s prestigious Gold Level recognition for these efforts, and thank the riders who, by riding with us, are doing their part to promote a more sustainable community. TheRide is committed to operating in a way that serves the growing needs of the community, and doing so in a way that helps reduce energy, water, and waste,” said TheRide CEO Matt Carpenter.

During the last five years, TheRide’s focused efforts have reduced its main facility’s water usage by 43 percent and electricity usage by 18 percent. On May 1, 2016, TheRide rolled out the largest portion of a 40 percent increase in service approved by voters in May, 2014. To date, TheRide has invested in a fleet that includes nearly 60 percent clean diesel hybrid-electric buses, eco-conscious facilities, and extensive recycling.

“Congratulations to TheRide for its significant work over the past five years in making the organization more sustainable,” said American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Acting President and CEO Richard A. White. “In recognition of its many accomplishments, APTA is awarding TheRide Gold Level status in our Sustainability Commitment Program. Achieving Gold Level is a high honor and TheRide is one of only 13 organizations in North America to have reached this level of recognition.”

The APTA Sustainability Commitment Program was started in 2009 as a way for public transit agencies to voluntarily commit to continuous improvements in environmental, social, and economic sustainability. More than 130 public transit agencies and businesses have signed on as signatories. TheRide’s Sustainability Plan and Policy, and more information of about TheRide’s sustainability initiative, are available online at: bit.ly/SustainableRide.

TheRide’s Plan My Trip Tool Lets You See How the May, 2016 Service Improvements Will Improve Your Trips

On Sunday, May 1, TheRide will be introducing the biggest expansion of bus service in the greater Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti area since 1979, as part of its Five-Year Transportation Improvement Program. The May, 2016 phase of fixed-route and paratransit improvements will be the third since voters approved the Plan in May, 2014. It will create more ways for citizens to connect with jobs, school, appointments, shopping, and family and friends in the urban core of Washtenaw County.

In order to provide its customers with an interactive way to learn about the improved service, TheRide has worked with Google to add functionality to its Google Transit tool, which allows riders to see what their trips will look like after May 1. By visiting TheRide.org, clicking 'Plan My Trip,' and selecting a date that occurs after May 1, riders can determine which routes they will take after the improvements begin.

In addition to the Plan My Trip tool, TheRide has hosted community workshops, presented at local meetings, and talked with riders on buses and at bus stops and transit centers in the greater Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti areas to provide education about the improvements.

The improvements beginning May 1 include more routes to serve more places, more direct routes in Ann Arbor & Ypsilanti, more frequent service, new route names and numbers, new service in Scio Township, new service in Pittsfield Township, and expanded A-Ride service for seniors and riders with disabilities. More information on the upcoming improvements can be found at TheRideYourWay.org.

MPTA, MTA-Flint and the American Red Cross Team Up for Flint Water Crisis Relief

Help the Flint Water Crisis

Join Michigan Public Transit Association in supporting the American Red Cross

The transit community in Michigan and beyond is mobilizing to help Flint. Let's all get on board. Our goal is for $200,000 to be raised on Red Cross Giving Day April 21st.

Help people affected by the Flint Water Crisis. Your donation enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from this disaster.

Donations can be made online at www.redcross.org/cm/mpta-emp

Public Transportation and Universities Conference

Join APTA for this year's tenth biennial Public Transportation and Universities Conference in Grand Rapids, MI, which runs April 16-19, and is hosted by The Rapid and Grand Valley State University. This conference delves into the unique needs of university communities and the populations they serve. University and community transportation professionals and those working on programs in college surroundings need to attend this meeting.

Register by Thursday, March 10 for a discounted meeting rate! Also, hotel discounts are available in the APTA room block through Friday, March 11. Book your room now.

Educational Sessions, Products and Services Showcase, Technical Tours, and More:

View Program

Saturday:

  • Steering Committee Meeting
  • Welcome to Grand Rapids Reception

Sunday:

  • New Attendee Orientation
  • Opening General Session: Where Public Transportation Goes, Community Grows
  • Luncheon featuring RideScout on mobility management partnerships with The University of Texas at Austin and the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority
  • Marketing and Communicating Your Transit Services to Students
  • Planning & Sustainability
  • Student Engagement
  • Keynote Speaker, George Heartwell, former mayor of Grand Rapids
  • University-Transit Partnerships
  • "Swap Meet" during a relaxed evening of networking and peer-to-peer exchange in an informal dinner setting. An opportunity to share your pride in your organization.

Monday:

  • Funding Transit Services on College Campuses - Where's the Money?
  • Technology
  • Safety and Security - Late Night Services
  • Building the Next Generation of Transit's Workforce
  • Funding Campus Transit Services - What Happens When the Money Dries Up?
  • Products & Services Showcase and Bus Display/Networking Luncheon
  • Four Technical and Campus Tours with The Rapid and Grand Valley State University
  • Host Reception: The Rapid and Grand Valley State University
  • Additional Breakfast General Session to be announced
  • Closing General Session: Student Perspectives

Explore the event's preliminary program, book your hotelM room, and take advantage of the early bird registration discount through March 10.

We look forward to seeing you in Grand Rapids at APTA's 2016 Public Transportation & Universities Conference!

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