On May 6, voters in Ann Arbor, Ypsi, and Ypsi Township will have the opportunity to vote on a millage to support improved public transit for our communities. Here’s why I’m voting YES…
I live in the rather pretentiously named but decidedly modest “Upper Water Hill” neighborhood. We’re the less-hipster-more-hill sibling of “Water Hill.” I love our house and our ‘hood. A major part of why Eric and I chose to buy the house we did and live in this neighborhood is the ability to walk, bike, or bus to virtually everything we need. We’re a one-car family, and I hate driving, so my daily commute to work always requires a bike, a bus, or my own two feet. It’s two miles door to door, which is an easy bike ride from April through November, and a pleasant walk during the winter months.
Unfortunately, this winter has been far from pleasant. I have taken the bus to work nearly every day, and I am so happy and grateful that AAATA buses are generally on time, run when I need them to, and get me where I’m going. I can’t wait to be back to biking or walking, but taking the bus has made this winter bearable. If the millage passes, my #18 bus will become the new “D Miller-Skyline” [PDF] route. It will run more often and have service on the weekends. You can read about how your bus routes will improve here.
But even when I’m not riding the bus daily, I’ll still be pro-millage. As a pedestrian and cyclist, having better public transit means fewer cars out there on the road. But “more buses, more places, more often” isn’t just good for me, or you, or any individual commuter. It’s good for our whole community. It makes Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti more desirable places to live and do business, and helps seniors and people with disabilities live independently.
I’ll be voting yes on May 6, and I hope you’ll do the same.
Many thanks to Emily for inspiring me to write this.