Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Transit improvements coming to Central Campus
this fall

An expanded Central Campus bus loading area that will accommodate more buses and improve pedestrian safety will become operational this week.

The improvements included in the Central Campus Transit Center (CCTC) along North University Avenue were designed to help meet the growing needs for public transportation in the Central Campus area. U-M and Ann Arbor Transportation Authority (TheRide) vehicles will use the facility.

“This is a project that makes travel by bus more efficient, more practical and more comfortable for more people,” said Steve Dolen, executive director of Parking and Transportation Services.

Work on the transit center will continue until later this fall. When completed the project will add shelters for bus riders, bicycle lanes along North University, bicycle racks, an improved pedestrian walkway across North University and a new handicapped-accessible entry to the Alexander G. Ruthven Museums Building. A city water main under the road also was replaced as part of the project, which is expected to be completed within the $4.5 million budget.

The canopies on the new shelters will be the final pieces of the project when they are installed later this fall. They will extend over the curb to provide protection from the weather as riders enter and exit buses. Informational displays in the shelters will provide real-time arrival information utilizing the Magic Bus system, and there are plans to add TheRide real-time information in the future.

“The expanded transit center creates a seamless connection between the campus bus system and the community’s bus system,” said TheRide CEO Michael Ford. “Between the U-M system and TheRide, we board nearly three million passengers annually in the Central Campus area.”

In addition to being a collaborative effort, the project was designed to fit with the university’s commitment to sustainability, Dolen said. Porous paving bricks, used in some areas, will help with water drainage, and the translucent roofs on the shelters will reduce daytime lighting needs.

The Department of Architecture, Engineering and Construction managed the project in collaboration with the engineering firm of Hubbel, Roth & Clark Inc. Funding came from a combination of $2.4 million in state and federal transportation and American Recovery and Rehabilitation Act funds from the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority, and $2.1 million from U-M business and finance, parking and utility resources.

This artist's rendition shows the new bus shelters planned for North University Avenue. (Drawing courtesy of Hubbel, Roth & Clark Inc.)