Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Light rail, bus rapid transit could work in Ann Arbor, report says

The Phase I report of the Ann Arbor Connector Feasibility study concluded that Ann Arbor could support light rail or bus rapid transit to complement the existing bus transit system.


Click here for more information about the Ann Arbor Connector Feasibility study.

The report was presented to the City Council on Monday night by URS Corp., the national consulting firm hired to conduct the study.

The connector study is a partnership project between the city of Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor Transportation Authority, U-M, Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority and the Washtenaw Area Transportation Study.

The goal of the study was to assess the existing travel patterns and assess need, evaluate initial technical feasibility and determine likely alternative transit delivery systems.

“The transit connector concept is consistent with the university’s sustainability and accessibility goals, and could provide a critical service to ease faculty, staff and student transportation between campuses,” said Sue Gott, university planner.

Gott noted that selected transportation technology and route options will be analyzed for efficient and sustainable transit service.

The report indicated that an advanced transit system could take the form of light rail, bus rapid transit or an elevated, automated guideway.

Light rail is an electrically powered model that operates with three-car trains. Service typically is provided through an exclusive or semi-exclusive right-of-way, which leads to quicker travel.

Bus rapid transit can operate in a dedicated lane to make travel more rapid.

An elevated guideway transit system would operate on its own, separated from the existing surface roadway network.