The Detroit Connector, a University of Michigan bus service connecting the Ann Arbor campus to the city of Detroit, will begin providing service seven days a week, starting Monday, October 30, to U-M faculty, staff, students and—for the first time— the general public. Previously, Detroit Connector service was offered four days a week.
Bus stops will include the Central Campus Transit Center (CCTC) in Ann Arbor, University of Michigan-Dearborn, and University of Michigan Detroit Center.
The Detroit Connector schedule will include expanded service hours, with Fridays and Saturdays beginning as early as 7 a.m. and concluding at 1 a.m. The new schedule is available online at detroitconnector.umich.edu/schedule.
“The University of Michigan is deeply committed to creating a more diverse, equitable and inclusive campus environment,” says Robert Sellers, Vice Provost for Equity & Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer. “The Detroit Connector helps us break down existing barriers and better connect the Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Detroit communities. By expanding service and opening it to the public, the Detroit Connector can improve access to the region’s numerous research, academic and cultural opportunities.”
The Detroit Connector, which launched in the fall of 2013, operated on grants, donations, and funding by the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and Detroit Center. In support of the expanded service, riders will now be able to make reservations online, with one-way trips ranging between $6-$10. Pell Grant students from U-M will be able to ride the Connector for free, with reduced fares available to U-M students and faculty who engage in community service or class activities in Detroit.
Indian Trails, the Detroit Connector’s bus provider since 2014, will shift daily operations to its Michigan Flyer division, which currently supports a similar service, called AirRide, between Ann Arbor and Detroit Metropolitan Airport.
“Our experience in developing the Michigan Flyer airport shuttle service should prove valuable for the Detroit Connector,” says Chad Cushman, president of Indian Trails. “One key to building ridership is frequency of service. Though not otherwise publicly funded, Michigan Flyer used a one-year, one-time federal grant to help increase its roundtrips between East Lansing, Ann Arbor, and Detroit Metro Airport from eight to 12 daily. As a result, passenger volume grew to more than 200,000 per year, ensuring the service was self-supporting.”
Detroit Connector buses are wheelchair accessible and include amenities such as Wi-Fi, coach seating, individual climate controls, in-seat AC electrical outlets, onboard restrooms, and bike storage. Additionally, an all new online reservation system will provide riders a guaranteed seat on the bus.
The buses will also be co-branded with the Detroit Connector and Michigan Flyer logos.
For more information on the Detroit Connector, visit detroitconnector.umich.edu or contact the Detroit Center at 313.593.3584.
The Detroit Connector bus service is operated by Michigan Flyer and is supported/managed by the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ODEI) at the University of Michigan. ODEI leads and supports university-wide initiatives, including the recruitment of a diverse faculty, staff, and student body, and fostering an inclusive and equitable university community. This office also engages surrounding communities in mission-focused, mutually beneficial partnerships.
Indian Trails, Inc., based in Owosso, Mich., has served as Michigan’s premier, family-owned, bus transportation company for 107 years. It operates one of the largest and newest fleets of deluxe motorcoaches in the state, offering group charters, shuttles, airport transfers, and daily scheduled route service statewide and beyond. Its Michigan Flyer division has carried more than one million passengers between East Lansing, Ann Arbor, and Detroit Metro Airport since 2006, and with a 98 percent rate of on-time arrivals and departures.