TheRide will open its new LEED certified transit center on March 17.
Photo credit: Ann Arbor Transportation Authority
The LEED Gold facility and its improved rider amenities will serve the thousands of passengers who use the transit hub to arrive, depart, and connect each day.
Since the mid-1980s, ridership on TheRide’s buses has increased more than 88 percent, and in 2012, TheRide provided a record 6.6 million rides. With that, comes the need to make service and facility improvements that meet new demands. With over 5,000 passengers currently arriving and departing daily through the Blake Transit Center, a new facility was necessary to better accommodate riders – especially those who use the BTC to reach downtown Ann Arbor destinations or transfer between buses.
With the opening of the new Blake Transit Center also comes a change of address. While the new building is located on the same lot as the former structure, it was built on the opposite side to help create a safer and more efficient flow of bus traffic. As a result, the physical address will change from 331 S. Fourth Avenue to 328 S. Fifth Avenue.
The new 12,019-square-foot building includes space for a larger main customer service lobby, improved restrooms, and will house the getDowntown Program. Currently located at 518 E. Washington, the getDowntown Program will move into offices on the second floor of the new BTC.
The temporary trailers that have been used to offer shelter, restrooms, and a lobby for riders since November will be removed from the adjacent surface parking lot, known as the “Y Lot,” when the new building opens. Also, it is important to note that TheRide’s temporary Blake Transit Center bus stops will remain in service until later this spring, due to the long and extreme winter weather which has delayed the completion of the new bus lane between Fourth and Fifth Avenues.