U.S. Rep. John Dingell and the director of the Michigan Department of Transportation will be in Ann Arbor on Friday to celebrate the launch of a new airport shuttle service.
The Ann Arbor Transportation Authority is launching the AirRide service, which will provide 12 daily roundtrips from Ann Arbor to the Detroit Metro Airport.
The service, officially starting on Monday, April 2, 2012, will be operated though a public-private partnership with Michigan Flyer, a subsidiary of Indian Trails.
A new website for AirRide is now public and includes schedules.
AirRide also will connect passengers to destinations in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties by connecting to the SMART bus system.
AATA officials said they’ve heard Ann Arbor-area residents asking for a public transportation route to Detroit Metro Airport for several years. They said AirRide will offer low-cost fares and parking, reliable service and convenient pick-up and drop-off options for passengers traveling between Ann Arbor and the airport.
Several state and local leaders are expected to be on hand for the AirRide announcement at 11 a.m. Friday at Kensington Court Hotel, 610 Hilton Blvd.
That includes Dingell, MDOT Director Kirk Steudle, AATA CEO Michael Ford, AATA Chairman Jesse Bernstein, AATA Board Member David Nacht, Mayor John Hieftje and Gordon Mackay, president of Indian Trails.
Tickets are expected to be offered at an introductory rate of $10 for a one-way trip. The regular adult fare would be $12 with a reservation or $15 without a reservation. The standard price for roundtrips would be $22.
Discounts would be offered for seniors, the disabled and children. Volume discounts also may be available for groups of up to eight people traveling together.
A proposed partnership with the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority would allow for parking at the Fourth and William parking structure for just $2 per trip.
Plans call for AirRide buses to pick up passengers at the corner of Fourth Avenue and William Street across from the Blake Transit Center downtown and at a stop near the Briarwood Mall near Interstate 94 on Ann Arbor’s south side.
At Detroit Metro Airport, the AirRide buses would drop off and pick up passengers at the international arrival level of the McNamara Terminal, and at the ground transportation center at the North Terminal.
New low-emissions Michigan Flyer buses offering free wireless Internet and restroom amenities are expected to be used for all trips.
A look at the AirRide schedule now posted online: