The Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority's plans for increased bus service continue to move forward. The authority expanded service this summer on 19 routes, and additional enhancements are planned next summer. The budget for the authority's fiscal year that started this week includes a focus on vital equipment purchases.
It's going to take a lot more buses for the transit authority to deliver on a promise to offer 44 percent more service hours by 2019. The first batch of buses are scheduled to roll into service next summer, so nearly $5 million dollars of the authority's $37 million overall budget is committed to buying buses.
Board Chair Charles Griffith says a projected surplus of one-point-five million dollars is also being saved for additions to the fleet. "27 buses in the next few years and some of those are part of the expansion plan and some of those are replacement buses," Griffith says.
The next big increase in service takes place in August. It will include extended Saturday service on 16 routes, and longer Sunday hours on 12 routes.