The Ride will continue to provide transportation services for students in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Photo credit: Ann Arbor Transportation Authority
Following a successful two-year partnership with the Ann Arbor Public Schools (AAPS) which offered transportation options to eligible students, the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority (TheRide) will continue its service to AAPS schools; replacing six high school bus routes with five of its existing routes during the 2014 – 2015 school year.
“During the 2012 – 2013 AAPS school year, TheRide provided transportation for students to and from school by replacing three school bus routes,” said Susan Baskett, AAPS trustee and TheRide Board member. “Expanding this partnership for the 2013 – 2014 school year, when TheRide replaced additional selected routes with existing bus service, provided a more cost-effective and efficient way for high school students to get to and from school, while giving them more options with multiple morning and afternoon trips. This continued partnership in 2014 – 2015 is a great example of thinking creatively to benefit our community."
TheRide’s five routes that will serve AAPS students beginning in the fall are Route No. 7 (South Main – East), Route No. 14 (Geddes – East Stadium), and Route No. 16 (Ann Arbor – Saline Road) for Pioneer High School; Route No. 18 (Miller – University) for Skyline High School; and Route No. 22 (North – South Connector) for Huron High School.
Students that will be served by the routes above will receive an Exceptional Pass; a bus pass paid for by AAPS, valid on TheRide’s regular fixed route service Monday through Friday throughout the school year. TheRide’s staff will attend registration days at each high school to distribute the Exceptional Pass, provide information about the expanded service options, and answer questions.
"We have been very pleased with our partnership and collaboration with AAATA," said Liz Margolis, Executive Director of Communications and Community Relations. "Our students and families love the bus passes and have said directly and in our survey results that the AAATA gets them to school on time, and allows them transportation home after school and especially after their athletic practices and extra-curricular events. We look forward to expanding this relationship as AAATA expands their service."
This year, TheRide will also be working with AAAPS to help Pathways to Success students learn how to use fixed-route public transportation. Pathways is a high school campus for students needing or preferring a smaller, intimate academic environment that perhaps may be unavailable at a larger, comprehensive high school. Through multiple pathways and flexible learning opportunities such as online coursework, traditional direct instruction, project-based learning, community internships, split enrollment at a comprehensive high school and dual enrollment at Washtenaw Community College, students can design an academic program that aligns with their future endeavors.
Michael G. Ford, CEO of TheRide, said “Continuing our successful partnership with AAPS shows that by working together, we can find solutions that not only help us through challenges, but more importantly, create new opportunities for those who live, work, and learn in our community.”