Congratulations to Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority Employees

TheRide's Procurement Department Wins Multiple AwardsMichelle Whitlow and Miriam Flagler Honored  ANN ARBOR, MI –  The Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority (TheRide) is proud to announce that its Procurement Department won multiple awards from the Michigan Public Purchasing Officers Association (MPPOA). Michelle Whitlow, Manager of Procurement at TheRide, was recently awarded the highest honor from MPPOA, the Marvin F. Klang Award. The Award was named after the longtime purchasing director for the City of Detroit and is given each year based on the highest regard to the ideals that MPPOA stands for: Respect for the public trust and a strong commitment to ethics and encouragement of the public purchasing profession. “We are so proud of Michelle for this incredible accomplishment. She is a trusted and respected leader and mentor in our organization,” Dina Reed, Deputy CEO of Finance and Operations at TheRide said. Miriam Flagler, Procurement Specialist at TheRide, was presented with the Buyer of the Year award, which recognizes individuals for their work in public purchasing, involvement with their community and contributions to MPPOA and the purchasing profession. "Miriam exemplifies all of the qualities that the Buyer of the Year should have. She is a respected member of our team, pays close attention to detail, approaches all projects with the knowledge and professionalism," Michelle Whitlow, Manager of Procurement at TheRide said. "She is a consummate professional, extremely talented and highly resourceful." The awards were presented at the annual MPPOA conference in September. The latest information on TheRide’s routes, schedules and detours is available at 734-996-0400 and on

Forest River to Shut Down Imlay City, MI plant/Bus Shortage to Continue

As part of a restructuring of national operations, brought on by the continuing Covid-19 pandemic, Forest River Manufacturing has announced the closure of several plants around the country including the operations in Imlay City, MI.  Employees have been offered positions in their central operation facility at Elkhart, IN.  In addition, Forest River has announced they are receiving orders for new bus vehicles at the rate of about 1000/month and, due to the continuing chip shortage issue that is affecting all vehicle manufacturers, they are currently receiving less than 100 chassis/month.  Further, Forest River has announced the discontinuation of the El Dorado composite bus and current Michigan orders through supplier Hoekstra in Grand Rapids will be converted to the Champion box-style construction which will be continued.Michigan transit agencies should contact their MDOT Project Manager for additional information and updates on this situation.

MTA-Flint re-dedicates downtown Transfer Center in honor of long-time board members

On Sept 12, 2021, MTA hosted an unveiling at 615 Harrison St for the family and friends of two former board members.  John Northrup and Richard Abrams served a combined total of 62 years on the Mass Transportation Authority Board of Directors, and they were true pioneers in supporting the development of public transportation throughout our community.  In recognition of their outstanding contributions, the MTA staff and Board of Directors enthusiastically supported naming the downtown transportation center after them.  The MTA Northrup-Abrams Transportation Center will serve to remind others of the impact citizens can have when they volunteer their time to support local organizations.“It was an honor to work closely with these fine individuals and it was such a joy to share this dedication with two great families.  We welcome everyone to come into the transfer center and see the well-deserved plaques of recognition” said MTA’s General Manager Ed Benning.

New Director Named for SMART in Southeast Michigan

Dwight Ferrell photo

SMART, the Southeast Michigan Authority for Regional Transportation, has named a new leader as CEO. He is Dwight Ferrell, who previously served as head of the Cincinnati Metro transit system. Ferrell will begin his duties in September. Robert Cramer, SMART's interim leader as SMART's deputy general manager, will continue to remain in his position. Cramer took over as Interim head of SMART after the board let former longtime head John Hertel in March 2020.      

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