The RTA is working on in partnership with the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority (AAATA), the Detroit Department of Transportation (DDOT), the Detroit Transportation Corporation (DTC)/The People Mover, M1 Rail/QLine, and Suburban Mobility Regional Transportation Authority (SMART) on several planning and pilot projects aimed at moving the region’s people, investing in the region’s future, enhancing the region’s quality of life, and connecting the region’s communities. See below for information on all of the RTA’s active projects.

In July 2016, RTA adopted a Regional Master Transit Plan (RMTP). The RMTP is a fiscally constrained plan that offered realistic solutions to our unique regional mobility problems.

In November 2016, RTA took a referendum to the voters of all four counties in the region to fund the local portion of the RMTP. That referendum was narrowly defeated. Since that time, the RTA has been working with transit providers, elected officials, stakeholders, and the public to evolve the vision of the RMTP to better align with the contemporary mobility needs of the region.

2016 Regional Master Transit Plan

The RTA secured federal 5310 dollars to fund MyRide2 travel management services for our region. MyRide2 provides mobility management services for seniors and adults with disabilities throughout the RTA region. It includes information on 187 providers, including all major transit providers, non-profit and social service providers, local government services, and private transportation providers. It receives an average of 264 calls and 658 web hits every month for trip planning services. That number has grown by 89% over the last 5 years (average increase of 13% per year). In 2019, MyRide2 directly booked over 4,000 trips for people in the RTA region. When coupled with calls for trip planning and booking directly received by the major transit providers there is over 50,000 opportunities a month for an expiated customer experience.

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The RTA is leading the development of the first regional coordinated human services plan for Southeast Michigan. This plan will include the assessment of regional transportation needs of seniors and the disabled, ultimately developing a regional coordination plan for related transportation services in Southeast Michigan. The plan is needed to provide uniformity in the analysis of system gaps, users, providers, and origins and destinations, identify local priorities in the City of Detroit, SMART service area, and Washtenaw County, and to identify opportunities to coordinate regional implementation of overlapping local goals. The plan is anticipated to be complete in Fall 2020.

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The RTA continues to work with stakeholders along the Woodward Avenue corridor and the Ann Arbor to Detroit rail corridor to develop land use and mobility development strategies and typologies to suit the diverse station areas in the regional transit network. The scope of work is focusing on the station areas currently served by the SMART Woodward FAST service (Routes 461 and 462) on the Woodward corridor, and the existing Amtrak Wolverine Line on Ann Arbor to Detroit corridor. The plan will allow transit providers, local governments, and transportation agencies to have a framework for coordinating development and mobility improvements with the goal of providing the citizens of the region better access to core regional transit services. The final study deliverable is envisioned to serve as a template that can be applied to other rapid corridors across the RTA region and is anticipated to be complete by Fall 2020.

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This study is updating cost estimates and the overall risk profile for the delivery of a proposed commuter rail service between Ann Arbor and Detroit. The Ann Arbor-Detroit Commuter Rail project was included in the Michigan Avenue Locally Preferred Alternative adopted by the RTA Board in May 2016. This study is also assessing the feasibility (both cost and capacity) of extending service from the existing location where Amtrak service turns north at the West Detroit curve southward toward Michigan Avenue and the Michigan Central Depot and a possible west end extension to Chelsea. The outcomes of the study including an updated cost estimate an is anticipated to be complete in Summer 2020.

In early 2019, the RTA was awarded a Michigan Mobility Challenge grant to use innovative technology solution to design and implement a pilot project that allows users to manage and book ADA paratransit rides across multiple counties. Over the course of the last year, the RTA has partnered with the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG), the Area Agency on Aging 1-B (AAA1B), AAATA, DDOT, SMART to design a solution that focuses on a way for a paratransit rider to easily request a ride through a mobile app, as well as see up to date information about that ride. Additionally, the solution should provide an interface for schedulers to interact with digital ride requests, while reducing call volume and preventing invalid requests from being sent. A roll out of the app is anticipated to be ready in Summer/Fall 2020.

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