Ypsilanti Citizen News Ypsilanti Cycle

City Council approves all mayor's re-appointments
By Dan DuChene
Jun. 16, 2010   ·   3:42 a.m.

Jone Coleman, president of downtown business LookInTheAttic, shares his thoughts with City Council about the discussion and procedure taken to pass mayoral re-appointments, which he was being considered for the Downtown Development Authority.

After much procedure, Ypsilanti City Council approved six mayoral re-appointments to city boards and committees Tuesday, including the two postponed from earlier...read more

Council postpones two reappointments
By Mark Tower
Jun. 4, 2010   ·   4:57 p.m.

Two of Ypsilanti's volunteer board members were not reappointed on schedule Tuesday night, owing to a 4-2 vote by City Council to delay the appointments until...read more

Downtown properties to be rehabilitated
By Mark Tower
Jun. 4, 2010   ·   10:40 a.m.

The three properties located at 120, 122 and 124 West Michigan Avenue in downtown Ypsilanti will soon be rebuilt into commercial and office space and loft apartments, thanks to a planned $1.7 million investment by developers.

Three recently-vacated properties in downtown Ypsilanti, two of them condemned, will soon be renovated owing to recent purchase by a local development company and...read more

Ypsilanti Township authorizes litigation against Liberty Square
By Mark Tower
May. 28, 2010   ·   6:53 p.m.

Many of the homes in the Liberty Square complex on Grove Street in Ypsilanti Township are already boarded and ready for foreclosure sale. All 151 units, some of which are still occupied, will be condemned Tuesday, Ypsilanti Township has resolved.

Residents living in the Liberty Square complex of townhouses will see a sticker appear on their homes Tuesday, when the Ypsilanti Township Building Department places...read more

Ford plant granted tax exemption by township
By Mark Tower
May. 24, 2010   ·   5:44 p.m.

Ford Motor Company's Rawsonville Plan, located at the intersection of Textile and Bridge Roads in Ypsilanti Township, will soon be the new home for production of Ford's Electric Focus batteries, formerly produced in Mexico.

New machines and equipment will soon be wheeled into Ford's Rawsonville Plant in Ypsilanti Township as it begins manufacturing a line of batteries for the new global...read more

AATA wraps up public input session in Ypsi

Damita Williams, right, was the only person to attend the public input session Thursday on proposed changes to the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority’s fare structure changes. Photo by Christine Laughren

Damita Williams, right, was the only person to attend the public input session Thursday on proposed changes to the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority’s fare structure changes.

Two-phase increase begins May

By Christine Laughren
Feb. 27, 2009    ·    12:07 a.m.

One person attended the public input session Thursday on proposed changes to the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority’s fare structure changes.

The meeting, held from 1-3 p.m. at City Hall in Downtown Ypsilanti, was the last of four meetings facilitated by the AATA.

The transportation authority is proposing a two-phase increase to change the current fixed-route adult full fare. The first increase raises fees from $1.00 to $1.25 in May. The second 25-cent increase would occur in May 2010.

Current half-fare charges would go from 50 cents to 60 and 75 cents, respectively.

The proposal would eliminate the 25-cent fare on fixed-route service for Seniors and A-Ride customers. However, the fares on paratransit service would increase from $2.00 for an advance reservation trip to $2.50 in 2009 and $3.00 in 2010. Same-day trip fares would increase from $3.00 to $3.50 and $4.00, respectively.

Damita Williams was the one person who showed up to the meeting. She said she uses the bus service all the time and appreciates what the AATA does. She also said, however, equality of service was something she would be looking for as the fare increase is implemented.

“It’s not just money, it’s how the system is run,” she said. “I don’t see the same energy in Ypsilanti that goes into trying to get people from point A to point B.”

Mary Stasiak, manager of community relations for the AATA, said it can be difficult for some people to understand why the city of Ann Arbor has a stronger service. But, she pointed out that Ann Arbor residents pay for the service through a city-wide property tax millage.

"The city of Ann Arbor pays 20 times as much as all the other jurisdictions combined,” she said.

She said the organization is looking into reorganization options that could turn the AATA into a county-wide service.

Ypsilanti Mayor Paul Schreiber has encouraged regionalization in the past and the city committed $258,000 for the 2008-09 AATA fiscal year. According to Philip Webb, controller for AATA, The city of Ypsilanti’s contribution is a little more than 1 percent of the authority’s $24 million budget.

Stasiak said attendance was low at both Ypsilanti meetings. Four people attended last Thursdays meeting held from 4-7 p.m. in City Hall. She said attendance at the Ann Arbor meetings, held at the beginning of the month, was a little better.

One concern shared during all four meetings dealt with the discontinuation of the senior fare.

“A lot of people, including seniors themselves, are really against having the seniors ride free and think they should pay their fair share too,” Stasiak said.

The impact the increase could have on low-income families is a concern to several as well.

Stasiak said it is possible low-income residents may not be able to afford the increase, yet, make too much to qualify for the value pass some low-income residents can receive.

The AATA has had two fare increases since it was established, one in 1992 and another in 2002.

According to AATA Board Chair David Nacht, the adult full fare for AATA fixed-route service has not changed since August, 2002. Since that time, AATA has experienced increases in the cost of operations, as well as the tightening of available funding.

“AATA has cut costs for aspects of our operations under our control, as well as generating revenue through the sale of advertising space on our buses,” Nacht said.

The authority reduced its 2009 fixed-route operating costs by $5 per service hour through a variety of cost-saving measures. Nacht said the board has been reluctant to raise fares, and rejected a fare increase proposal in 2006.

‘Now we find that we must balance the impact on our riders with our need to run the authority in a financially prudent manner,” he said.

Visit the AATA Web site for more information on fare increases here.

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