Darrell Clem

Plans are rolling along for a commuter transit system that is expected to start in late July for Canton residents who work in Ann Arbor.

Riders will park in Independence Park — off Denton Road between Cherry Hill and Geddes — and board Ann Arbor Transportation Authority buses that are expected to make two morning and two evening stops to pick up and drop off passengers, officials have said.

Neil Greenberg, AATA service development and communications coordinator, said Monday he hopes to release as early as next week more precise details about parking and bus schedules.

Greenberg said potential riders who want to receive updates by e-mail may contact AATA at mailto:atexpress.bus@aata.org.

The service is now tentatively expected to start on July 27 rather than July 20, as officials fine-tune details about the so-called A2 Express.

AATA officials approached Canton after piloting a program already in place with the city of Chelsea. The local proposal was approved last month by the Canton Township Board of Trustees, with Supervisor Phil LaJoy saying the transit authority's research “indicated a strong need for the service.”

Specifically, buses will take Canton riders to the University of Michigan Medical Center, U-M's campus and downtown Ann Arbor. Greenberg has said more than 3,000 Canton residents work for U-M, while another 1,000 have jobs elsewhere in the city.

Greenberg has indicated the service will be free for the first month, after which it is expected to cost $125 a month. Often, he said, employers will agree to split the cost with workers.

Township officials have agreed to provide up to 100 parking spaces at Independence Park from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. In return, the township will be paid $6,000 a year by AATA.


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