For a limited time, AATA is promoting FREE 10-ride tickets, which can be requested through the A2Express website or by calling TheRide at 734-973-6500.

Melanie Maxwell | AnnArbor.com

The Ann Arbor Transportation Authority is offering area commuters a chance to try out its new Wi-Fi service with free bus trips to Ann Arbor from Chelsea and Canton.
The AATA recently added Wi-Fi to its A2Express buses and reduced the fare on each of the routes after taking over operation of the service from a contracted vendor.
For a limited time, AATA is promoting free 10-ride tickets, which can be requested through the A2Express website or by calling TheRide at 734-973-6500.
The free tickets are available only to first-time riders. The normal fare on either route is now $99 a month, down from $125. Also available for riders are the
10-ride tickets priced at $40.00 and a one-way cash fare of $5.00. Eligible University of Michigan employees and individuals with a go!pass are eligible for a reduced fare.

Each express route provides two weekday trips each morning and two return trips each afternoon between Chelsea or Canton and downtown Ann Arbor and the U-M campus.
The A2Express began in May 2008 as a new kind of bus service for AATA one that officials say is characterized by the commuter-oriented nature of the schedule and the premium fare. The Chelsea Express was the first implementation of longer-distance commuter service into Ann Arbor, followed 15 months later when the Canton Express was initiated. Both routes were operated initially by a subcontractor, but have since been taken in-house by AATA, resulting in a significant reduction in costs.


In fiscal year 2010, the budget for A2Express service was $509,428. For fiscal year 2011, the budget has been set at $241,687, a 53 percent reduction.
The service originally was funded by a federal demonstration grant. The Chelsea route is no longer covered by the grant, but a portion of the funding remains for the Canton Express. Combined ridership on the routes is currently about 82 trips per day, or 41 riders daily.

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