For Immediate Release
CONTACT: Eli Cooper, Transportation Program Manager, (734) 794-3710, firstname.lastname@example.org
ANN ARBOR CONNECTOR FINAL REPORT PRESENTED AT CITY COUNCIL WORK SESSION ON OCT. 10
ANN ARBOR, Mich., October 6, 2011 — The collaborative efforts of the City of Ann Arbor, the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority, the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority and the University of Michigan on future transit options will be showcased at the Ann Arbor City Council’s Work Session on Monday, October 10, 2011, in a presentation of the Ann Arbor Connector Feasibility Study. The study concluded that Ann Arbor has all of the attributes necessary for an advanced transit technology such as light rail or bus rapid transit system to complement the existing bus transit system. The presentation by URS Corporation, a national consulting firm hired by the partnership, will highlight the study’s assumptions and recommendations for next steps.
Leaders from the four sponsor organizations managed the study to answer the question: “Can Ann Arbor support a high capacity transportation system – is it feasible?” Based on data collected and analyzed throughout the study, the conclusion is - Yes, Ann Arbor has the travel demand characteristics that could lead to future implementation of a high capacity transit system. While current and future ridership levels support a high capacity system, especially between the University of Michigan’s North Campus and downtown Ann Arbor, there are also economic, land use and environmental benefits associated with improved transit. “A high capacity connector would enhance downtown business and reduce parking demand,” according to Roger Hewitt, Treasurer of the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority.
Eli Cooper, Transportation Manager for the City of Ann Arbor, also supports the study’s conclusions and the opportunities associated with the high capacity system. “A high capacity transit connector is consistent with the city’s plan to encourage development that reduces dependency on the automobile.” The study built on the findings of the 2009 Ann Arbor Transportation Plan Update that echoed the same goals. View the report at www.a2gov.org.
The high capacity transit system would complement, not replace, the current bus transit system operated by the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority. According to Chris White, Manager of Service Development, “A high capacity transit system is important for providing quality service to meet the growing demand for transit in these corridors in the future, and is an element in the Transit Master Plan we recently completed.”
It is expected that UM students, faculty, staff and visitors will benefit from high capacity service that will serve both the North and Medical Campuses. ”A transit connector fits well into the university’s goal of improving sustainability and accessibility,” said Sue Gott, University Planner.
The final report will be presented to City Council members during a work session on Monday, October 10 at 7:00 PM at Larcom City Hall, Council Chambers, 2nd floor, 301 E. Huron St. This meeting also will be televised live on Community Television Network’s Comcast Channel 16 or available via live web streaming at http://www.a2gov.org/government/city_administration/communicationsoffice/ctn/meetingplace/Pages/TheMeetingPlace.aspx. The presentation of the final report concludes the study, which will be used as the basis for future phase planning. For more information about The Ann Arbor Connector Feasibility Study, visit www.aaconnector.com.
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