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, 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

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

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


  • Steering Committee Meeting
  • Welcome to Grand Rapids Reception


  • 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.


  • 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!

MPTA Executive Director Update

The Governor’s Executive recommendation for the 2016-2017 budget was released today in Lansing.

There is some good news for public transportation:

  • Local Bus Operating is recommended to be funded at $180 million. This is the first significant increase in this line item in over 5 years, increasing from just under $167 million in recent years.
  • Bus Capital Match is targeted for an increase as well, budgeted by the Governor at $60 million, with $54 coming from the CTF and $6 million from the General Fund. BCM has been at approximately half this amount in recent years.

These recommendations from the Governor represent an acknowledgement of the lobbying efforts that MPTA put forth beginning in late November when we met with Director Kirk Steudle and continuing through MDOT’s recommendations submitted in mid December. You may recall that I polled MPTA members in late November/early December to get your opinion on where the investments needed to be made. The responses indicated significant needs on both the LBO and BCM sides, and the Governor’s budget targets recognize our input.

Our lobbyist Dusty Fancher and I will be continuing our persistent efforts now at keeping these recommendations in the budget as we go forward with Legislative deliberations beginning next week.

Also, next week begins your efforts, as well. Hopefully you are planning to attend the MPTA Legislative Conference where we will further outline the recommendations and other significant details of the state budget and provide you with background pieces for your own conversations with your legislators. Those talks should begin for you immediately, both at the MPTA Legislative Breakfast on the morning of Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016 and in your own hometowns.

It is not too late to still register to attend the Legislative Conference and Breakfast, by the way. Even if you have not previously registered, we can get you in and please know that we need your active involvement as we carry our message forward! If you would still like to register, please contact Cindy Zolkowski here at MPTA via email: and she will help you make your arrangements.

I look forward to seeing you soon!

Clark Harder
Executive Director

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