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Week of October 17, 2011

City could support light rail, bus rapid transit

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.

The report was presented to the City Council Oct. 10 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.

For more information about the Ann Arbor Connector Feasibility study, go to



Amy Fredell, recruitment services coordinator, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, on roller-skating as a teenager: “I was a typical clumsy teenager, but on skates, I wasn’t clumsy. I was graceful, stable, and confident.”


Film screening and discussion with Mistinguette Smith, 5 p.m. Oct. 20, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.

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