TheRide's Board approves long-range plan, TheRide 2045

July 27, 2022
The plan aims to grow ridership, address socio-economic equity gaps and enhance economic vitality among many other goals.

The Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority (TheRide) Board of Directors approved a long range plan at its July 21, 2022, meeting that frames up both long-term and short-term steps to deliver the plan’s vision of transit in the Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti area

The plan, known as TheRide 2045, focuses on improving social equity by increasing access to jobs and housing, reducing commute times and increasing service frequency and overnight service, while also contributing to a cleaner environment and a more vibrant economy.

“TheRide 2045 will effectively advance the organization toward the key goals defined by the board and echoed by the broader community. It is a transformational plan that will make transit faster and more attractive and fundamentally change how transit is provided in the Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti Area,” said TheRide Board Chair Eric Mahler.

Key benefits of TheRide 2045 include:

  • Growing ridership by providing an even more attractive and convenient transit service, designed to reduce travel times, make travel more direct, better match service to demand and provide access throughout the week with longer hours of operation.
  • Addressing socio-economic equity gaps by improving accessible and affordable transportation to work, education, medical, shopping and social destinations for lower opportunity communities that rely on transit and through focusing enhancements on low opportunity areas.
  • Improving environmental outcomes by attracting more people out of their cars and introducing low emission buses.
  • Enhancing economic vitality by growing access to jobs and retail, incentivizing more walkable, vibrant and healthy communities, and by reducing overall community costs for transportation.
  • Advancing the goals of municipal policy documents.

“The plan focuses on addressing social equity gaps by improving affordable and accessible transportation to jobs, education, services and housing, improving our environment by giving travelers efficient transportation alternatives and supporting a strong economy by better connecting businesses and people. The plan can deliver these benefits through a series of improvements and expansions to transit services and infrastructure,” said TheRide CEO Matt Carpenter.

Officials say TheRide 2045 responds to the growing needs of the communities with a blueprint for preserving and expanding transit services and access to local and regional destinations. They recognize that it is an ambitious vision that will require partnerships, additional investment and leadership. Through this plan, TheRide can facilitate and help fulfill the communities’ shared objectives of a future of improved economic, social and environment vitality.

The plan incorporated input from the community, which communicated a desire for transformational change during an 18-month public engagement process and expressed strong support of the recommendations included in the plan. TheRide officials note a Public Advisory Group (PAG) met throughout the plan’s development and provided guidance throughout the process. There were more than 4,475 points of interaction received through in-person and virtual engagement sessions, surveys, email and phone.

“We appreciate the thousands of people who took the time to review and provide feedback during the 18-month long public engagement process. We heard from nearly 1,400 people in our community. We worked with our consultants to analyze the responses and, as an outcome, developed our final plan. Through this plan, TheRide can help lead our communities toward a future with greater social equity, environmental benefits, and access to jobs,” said TheRide’s Deputy CEO of Planning and Innovation Forest Yang.

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