Thursday, December 28, 2006

tracking the Ride with AATA

Homeless Dave tipped us off to the new goings on over at AATA. They have released a way to track the buses from the AATA website. You choose a route and AATA tells you the most recent timepoint, the status (behind or ahead of schedule), and the next timpoint, for both ingoing and outgoing buses.

After trying it out, our immediate reaction was, "Awesome! We're half way to a useful tool for bu riders." We saw two improvements that would make this great tool a whole lot greater: RSS feeds and mobile phone interface, and displaying the time the bus will arrive at my stop instead of the arcane timepoint-status-timepoint format. So we wrote to AATA and told them so via the comments/suggestion link.

Bobbie MacDonald, IT Manager at AATA, offered a speedy and helpful response to both queries. As for the RSS and mobile interface, she says, "we do have plans for PDA and cell phone interface, but all this takes money and right now it's tight."

The second issue requires a little journey into the guts of transit scheduling. First of all, it is really difficult to accurately predict future arrival times based on the current location of a bus. And the further out you try to predict, the worse it gets. It is much easier to mark a few spots along the route with expected arrival times and report whether the bus was ahead or behind schedule at that point. AATA calls these timepoints and uses them to measure schedule adherence on a route. A timepoint isn't the same as a bus stop. Timepoints may be bus stops, but not all bus stops are timepoints. As McDonald explains,

"We do not guarantee that we will be at all stops at a certain time, just timepoints as listed in the ride guide. Therefore, what we are displaying is the last timpoint the bus passed, what the schedule adherence is to that timepoint, the next timpoint on the route and the SCHEDULED departure time from that timepoint."

This timepoint system has been in place at AATA for quite a while. It's used in the paper guides and pdf versions of the schedule as well. The GPS system the implemented a while back incorporated to same concept and now it has been similarly passed on to the web tracker. So it's a little like the rocket based on a horse's ass.

We now understand the reason behind the format. And based on the "status" reports we've seen, you can pretty much expect the bus to be within a couple minutes of schedule anyway. However, all that doesn't keep us from wanting to know when the bus will pick us up at our stop.

We'd love to hear other's thoughts on the new feature, and so would AATA. Be sure to give some feedback when you try it out. We should also remind folks that UM buses offer a similar feature in a different format as we mentioned before.

For those reading this hot of the press, Bobbie warns that they are moving servers in response to high volume and this may affect service for a brief period. So don't give up if it fails on your first try.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

shoe tips, tricks, and crafts

Flitting around the Internets today, we came across a few shoe tips that might be useful for those who get the most out of their footwear. We've even thrown in a witty (or snarky) comment for each!

fix freyed laces
Note that plain ole scotch tape will also work, though it wears out faster.

boot drying rack
Call us lazy, but we just prop our boots up against the heat register.
Note smart people say that you shouldn't dry leather with forced air!

a faster knot
Ian offers what he swears is the fastest shoe knot known to man and 17 other ways to tie your shoes.

shoe size conversion chart
Yes, your size 10 foot is a a 44 European. But did you know it is 273 mm, the measure used in Korea? Print this one out for your next shoe-shopping binge in Tokyo or Mexico City!

shoe snow chains
Shockingly, the comments on the Lifehacker post actually rave about this slip on foot traction. Worth a try?

DIY reheeling
For those dedicated DIY folks, Mother Earth News shows how to resole your shoes with a tire.

Monday, December 25, 2006

ann arbor alley cats

we're slipping over the edge to bike-junky posts again!

While most folks think of century rides, time trials and Tours De [Insert Location] to be the epitome of cycling prowess, there is a special place in our hearts for the raw, unadulterated thrill of alley cat races. Finally, a semi-organized effort to promote and organize the cyclist version of Main street drag racing has hit Ann Arbor, and we couldn't be happier about it. Jimmy Rigged has set up two races already, and he talks about them on the teeter-totter.

We wish him the best of luck with this important addition to A2 cycling culture and look forward to hearing about the next race.

platewire: reporting bad (and good) drivers

Our holiday web surfing introduced us to a new site called platewire. This blog allows road users to post complaints and praise of other drivers by posting a license plate number and brief message. Platewire describes itself as a place where "commuters can communicate their thoughts and feelings in regards to driving on today's roadways."

Naturally, our thoughts drifted to the potential for carfree commuters to express their many gripes about drivers. We could report cars parked in bikelanes, drivers who block the crosswalk while waiting to make a right turn, vehicles that don't yield enough space to cyclists on the road, and other various complaints. The site sort of assumes that drivers will be reporting other drivers.

We see two potential benefits to Ann Arbor pedestrians and cyclists posting here. First, it would generally raise awareness that roads are not reserved for automobiles and that cagers behavior on the road has an impact extending beyond other drivers. Secondly, lots of reports from Ann Arbor would help build our fair city's image as supporting and consisting of a carfree community. One might argue that a third benefit is that this is a good forum to make direct appeals to the driving community. But the level of discourse on the threads we've read suggests that advocating the non-motorized position is just troll bait. Don't expect to teach many lessons.

There are only a few posts about pedestrians and cycling so far. As you might imagine, those threads don't offer much intelligent discussion on sharing the road. Here is an example. The question is whether an increase in bike/ped posts would indicate the dangers that automobiles pose to other road users, or jsut come accross as whining from people who don't pay gas tax.

the weather outside is frightful...

We've been keeping an eye on the weather report for Ann Arbor from our temporary home office in Bangkok, Thailand. It appears that a brisk Christmas walk through the crisp new-fallen snow is out again this year. is repeatedly advertising our Midwestern winter days as "a slushy accumulation of one inch or less."

So hopefully you can snuggle up to a fire that is so delightful for the next few days with friends and family and enjoy the holiday season despite the rain and slush. If there is a tip buried in this post, it is that sometimes the weather wins; trips out are dismal.

Yet we find that bad weather tends to relax most obligations to hurry around and get things done. These days can be considered a sort of "get out of jail free" card for all sort of obligations. If you can find an excuse to stay indoors and celebrate, do it. Before you know it the weather will break and you'll have missed your chance.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

who will Google bring to town?

A recent AANEws article announces that Google is moving downtown, at least for the next four years. The seemingly good news for the city is followed up by another article pointing our that the addition is not all wine and roses. Specifically, parking is an issue again (yes we agree that it probably never stopped being an issue; the framing is just different).

In an effort to accomodate Google's four year stay in the McKinley Town Centre and show a commitment to providing infrastructure that will allow them to stay downtown as they ramp up to 1,000 employees and look for permenant offices in four years, the city guarenteed the internet giant...
go!passes for all employees?
expansion of the Zipcar program to include downtown locations?
increased funding to AATA to expand routes and extend service hours?
a commitment to improving bike and ped facilities downtown?

Sorry gang. The city took the easy way out (or, rather, foolishly dug themselves further into a parking hole) by offering 200 guaranteed parking spaces. Promising 200 parking spaces at a time when permits for downtown parking have a waiting list is a pretty clear indication that Ann Arbor is planning to build more parking.

The article poses the question "As downtown evolves with a flurry of development and visions, one question stands out: Does the city have enough parking to support it?" Hopefully this narrow perspective is to representative of Ann Arbor's view on mobility. By viewing parking as the major constraint to increased density, the reporter boxes us into a one-track (or lane) mobility solution. More people = more cars = more parking.

Really, there are lots of programs in our fair city that support alternatives to driving. We are reassured by programs like the DDA sponsored getDowntown program, which advocates and promotes a variety of transportation options. We are expanding our cycling facilities, the Link is up and running, and the Mayor is pushing for rail service to neighboring areas. It seems feasible that increasing density with the right mix of transportation services could reduce Ann Arbor's car/household ratio.

Yet the policy and infrastructure will do little if the new residents and employees coming to town are only interested in having a parking spot. When wooing Google and other potential business to Ann Arbor, and particularly to downtown, we would like to see a greater effort by the city and business associations to promote the city's complete mobility package, instead of just throwing a stack of parking permits on the bargaining table.

McKinley CEO Albert Berriz says he's ready to house goolites across the street from the office. By promoting the mobility and flexibility of a go!pass, safe bike/ped experience, and a Zipcar membership to new residents and employers, we take a good first step to attracting the kind of people who are more likely to support and use the facilities we want to build and improve.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

cycling through West Hall arch

The diag is one of those cycling short-cuts that can really cut time off your trip, unless classes have just let out and you find yourself caught in a sea of pedestrians chatting on mobile phones. But even if the way is mostly clear, the path funnels at the Southeast corner as you pass through the West Hall arch. There are doors on either side inside that arch where students step out without much thought as to cross traffic.

Despite the politely phrased sign requesting that cyclists walk their bikes through the arch, we see a lot of bikers ride right through. A recent email to WBWC members mentioned that a girl was recent hit by a bike in the arch. Apparently the cyclists didn't even stop.

We've talked previously about the pointless bickering between pedestrians and cyclists. This is one location where cyclists can vastly improve both pedestrian's safety, and pedestrian's image of cyclists. When you ride the road, you can own it. But when cutting through the diag, you're on pedestrian turf. Please slow down and dismount in the arch.

carfree and drunk in Ann Arbor: getting home

As the season's festivities pick up pace and the snow (hopefully) falls thick and cold, carfree folks around Ann Arbor gain a distinct advantage over cagers. With mulled wine, eggnog, and a variety of other social lubricants flowing freely as we gather repeatedly with friends, families, and co-workers in jovial celebration, drivers are faced with drunk-driving concerns. How on earth is anyone supposed to get home from a drinking binge if they aren't allowed to drive?

Fortunately, while cagers have raged the year away behind the wheel, we've grown quite accustomed to traveling (drunk or sober) without a car. We tend to visit local bars within easy walking distance from home. We are already familiar with the bus routes for events that end before AATA service does. We've got a few cab companies already programed into our phones and we know that we can get a flat rate cab by calling Nightride (734.528.5432) once AATA service ends. We all likely know a few designated drivers who are willing to offer a ride. And a few of us have, for better or worse, probably become somewhat adept at operating a bicycle after a few drinks.

In regards to the last, we certainly don't advocate biking drunk, even if it is a helluva lot safer for others than drunk driving. Besides, it is against the law to operate a bicycle under the influence, even though we have never heard of anyone getting pulled over for it. The biggest risk for an apres-soir cycists is likely to be (as usual) cars. Despite increased enforcement and a media blitz reminding the public of the dangers, there is a significant increase in alcohal-related car crashes every holiday season. We're not saying sobriety will save you from these idiots, but it may give you that vital edge in veering into the bushes to avoid cars drifting from the opposing lane. Remember that it would be easy to call a cab or catch a ride and come back tomorrow to grab your bike. Just make sure it is locked up.

Also, keep in mind that non-car options are likely to be a little more in demand. You may want to call your cab a little earlier (or later).

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Amtrak business class, worth the ten bucks?

There is a good chance that you weren't even aware that Amtrak offers business class seating from Ann Arbor to Chicago. If you're anything like us, it gets overlooked in the mad dash to the weekly specials page. A BC upgrade to Chicago only adds $11 to the one-way ticket price. However, you can't upgrade from the drastically reduced fares in the weekly specials. As a result, we've never taken the upgrade, but many people have recommended it.

According to Amtrak, the upgrade includes:
electrical outlets for every pair of seats
complimentary, non-alcohalic beverage
in-car Railfone
lots more leg room

Now, coach is already quite comfortable. Those who associate "coach" with the cramped quarters on airplanes will be pleasantly surprised at the space Amtrak offers. The seats also recline much further than the airline variety. So unless you need lots of legroom, coach will do the trick. Railfone isn't a priority for us. Your cell phone will work at least at either end of the journey (we tend to lose signal in Southwest Michigan) and paying for calls by credit card is a pain in the ass, especially since Amtrak says those calls may cut out just like your mobile. Electrical outlets are nice, but can usually be found in coach as well; they just aren't guarenteed in every seat. That leaves a glass of juice and a newspaper, which isn't worth the $10 to us.

But we forgot to mention one important benefit to BC. You get a reserved seat. Regular Amtrak riders may recall that familiar knot that forms in one's stomach as the train aproaches the Ann Arbor station and passengers begin jockeying for position. Coach riders have a guarenteed seat, but that seat doesn't have a location. When you board the train, chances are that most pairs of seats have one person either pretending to be asleep or making every effort to look like an unpleasant seatmate in hopes that they can ride next to an "empty". God forbid that you are traveling with someone that you actually want to sit next to. The staff will sometimes act as negotiators in seat trades, but don't count on it. In comparison, sauntering on to the BC car and being shown to your seat is worth a little extra.

In a recent teetering interview, Homeless Dave gives BC upgrades the thumbs up. If he says it is worth the money, maybe there is more to gain than juice and paper.

The galsguide gives a full rundown on riding from Chicago to Detroit. She opts for the BC upgrade. Her advice includes choosing the side of the train for sun exposure (in Michigan the north side of the train will almost always be the shady side) and priceless tips like "doubling as a scarf, a Pashmina is a chic way to stay fashionable and warm at the same time."

If you've got any thoughts on riding business class on Amtrak, let us hear them in the comments.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

contribute to survey of winter bike racks

Why do cyclists give up their bike commute in the winter? Well, it certainly couldn't be the weather. After all, we're Michiganders, right? We're used to the cold and look forward to the invigorating freshness of a winter morning, the snow crunching crisply under our wheels...

We have a sneaking suspicion that parking might play a role in deterring winter rides. We've seen a number of plowed-in, drifted-over, and otherwise unaccessible bike racks around A2 in the winter. The UM racks are some of the worst examples. We've seen bikes crumpled by the force of a plow that left a rack buried in a mountain of brown, salty snow. Unfortunately we can't prove it. So we're looking for descriptions and/or photos of winter bike racks around town and campus. Prove us wrong or back us up with your own stories and images. Send photos to or just post a comment here.

We don't have anything to give away as a prize for the best entry, but if we did, it would be mittens.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

pedestrian hit by car on Packard

The Michigan Daily is reporting that a student is in serious condition after being hit by a driver while walking in the bike lane on Packard St. A reprotedly elderly woman swerved across the road, striking the pedestrian, and then back across both lanes eventually running the car into a tree.

There are no details on how this all happened, and we won't be the ones to speculate. However, it is frighteningly similar to a crash that Urbana-Champaign Bicycle Commute reported about a woman who was downloading ringtones when she ran over a cyclist. That driver killed someone with their car through their own care(or reck)lessness and got ticketed for improper lane use.

As Ann Arbor works to develop the Share the Road educational program and we continue to expand our bike and pedestrian facilities, we wonder what role enforcement will play. Will AAPD and the courts consider this assualt with a deadly weapon or a minor driving error? Since this wasn't a cyclist, we thankfully will not have to endure inane inquiries into whether she was wearing a helmet when she was run over. However, we are not above making our own snarky inquiries as to whether the driver of the car was wearing one.

Be assured that we will keep on top of this story. We encourage anyone with more info to add it to the comments here. In the meantime our healing thoughts are with the victim.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

bike-powered laundry

Three posts today! I guess we're feeling chatty.

The focus of this site is carfee life and we try to keep posts relevant to getting around Ann Arbor without a car. There are lots of bike junky websites out there. While we often link to them, we don't aim to become one of them.

That said, once in a while something comes along that isn't directly related to our topic but just can't be overlooked. Homeless Dave's DIY human-powered laundry spinner is an obvious example. His set-up uses a bike, indoor trainer, and broken washer to spin the water out of his hand-washed clothes.

Normally we'd argue that stationary bikes are the only bike related thing less practical for getting around than the superhero outfits that are so popular on Huron River Drive on Saturday mornings. For off-season racers and health nuts they may be great, but we find nothing more frustrating than pedaling for an hour only to get off the bike not an inch closer to the grocery store. No fresh air, no cool breeze, no changing scenery, no thanks.

But HD's documentation (like the rest of his site) is a work of art in itself. It is a joy to read his inovative effort to reduce energy consumption and waste, both of which tend to be goals for carfree folks. And while his invention may not get you to work in the morning, at least your laundry is done at the end of the ride.


Think it is too snowy to be riding your bike? Dreading the slippy trip on your downhill commute? Can't decide whether to bike or ski to work? Why not take the best of both and put them together?

Yes, the skibike is the Reeses peanutbutter cup of winter transportation. Certainly there are limits to its usefulness (can only go downhill, no brakes, generally unsafe for rider and onlookers), but for those with no sense of safety and a two-way downhill commute, this may be just the ticket. CommutebyBike pointed us to a dirtrag DIY skibike. The Do-It-Yourself aspect adds that extra sense of danger that off-theshelf models can't satisfy. Build and ride at your own risk.

more on snowy sidewalks

We previously mentioned the snow removal requirements for the City of Ann Arbor. As we trudge our way through the cold season, it's worth referring back to that advice. WBWC has posted info on sidewalk shoveling requirements for all area governmental units.

In apparent agreement with our advice to make personal, friendly, and neighborly contact before filing official complaints, WBWC also is providing printable Sidewalk Clearing Reminders and Thank You Letters (both are PDFs).

who rides the bus?

AATA recently released a report on ridership (PDF) done by the UofM Urban Planning department last spring. The results indicate that the M-ride program has had a big impact and that we can probably expect that to continue.

55% of riders are between 18 and 29 years old. 42% of riders make less than $15k per year. So yeah, there are a lot of students riding the bus now. In fact, just under half of the surveyed riders were students.

Because students make up such a large portion of the ridership, about 60% of trips are for work or school. However 5% of trips were "social/cultural" and another 3% were "dining/food" trips. So the "bus date" has yet to realize its full potential, but the early adapters are starting to show.

More than 60% of riders use the bus five or more days each week. That same percentage of riders have increased the frequency of their bus rides. More than half of the riders started using the bus in the last 19 months (since the M-ride program started).

People seem to be generally satisfied with AATA's service. All aspects got an above average rating. Service frequency and availability of bus shelters received the lowest scores.

Monday, December 11, 2006

carfree gift list

It seems like everyone is posting gift ideas on their blogs right now. So, in an effort to keep up with the Jones, here are a few ideas for carfree gifts for Ann Arborites. You can pick one up for that special carfree person in your life or add these to your own wish list.

blinky- good stocking stuffer for any cyclist or pedestrian in your life
bike locker- $75/year gets you covered bike parking at one of a number of downtown locations. This is exactly the kind of thing that people wouldn't buy for themselves but would really appreciate
go!pass- Downtown employers looking for a way to appreciate employees should definitely consider signing up for the go!pass. For $5/employee you can provide staff with free, unlimited bus rides for a year. Contact the getDowntown program for more info.
monthly bus pass or tokens- Regular bus riders will certainly appreciate a few free rides. You can pick these stocking stuffers up at the Blake Transit Center.
Zipcar membership- Sick of your carfree neighbor bumming rides? Give them a chance to try out Zipcar, the new carsharing service in town. You can cover the first year's membership fee to get them started.
Rental car gift certificates- great for vacations and weekend trips
Amtrak gift certificates- Great for people who make the occasional trip to Chicago. You can buy them online.

Friday, December 08, 2006


You want to bike to work, but need to smell professional when you arrive. The fact that your office doesn't have lockers or shower facilities makes that pretty much impossible, right?
Actually, a shower is often overkill in cleaning up for work. Keep in mind that fresh sweat doesn't stink. It's the waste product of bacteria eating the old sweat that creates a nasty odor. Wiping of the old sweat and changing clothes will work just fine, unless you are really using your commute for a work-out.
Here are a few different methods for a mini-shower you can manage in any bathroom stall.

Wash cloth
Keep one at work and dampen. It's the simplest solution. Soap is not necessary. It does require some place to hang the cloth to dry and getting it in the laundry once in a while.

Baby Wipes
Baby wipes have the versitility of duck tape. They are cheap, widely available, easy to carry and do a fine job of knocking the sweat off before work.

Rocket Shower
If you can't get over the association of baby wipes with dirty diapers, or you just prefer over-priced, sport-marketed liquid in a flashy container, you might give this a try. It does get good reviews. Alternatively, combined the listed ingredients at home for a cheaper DIY version.

Armpit diapers
Zajido offers pads that you can stick either directly on your armpit, or on the armpit of your clothing. If you aren't totally weirded out by the idea, maybe you can give it a try and report back.

No matter what method or product you use to wipe down, remember to let yourself cool of and stop sweating first.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

shopping tips for the bus

We love reading the Buschick column from Seattle. This week she gave a nice little list of tips for holiday shopping by bus. Even though she writes about Seattle, most of her points are easily transferrable to Ann Arbor. Here are the main points, but you should definitly read her article for the full explanation on each topic.

1. Buy less
2. Use the internet to shop and/or pre-shop
3. Concentrate. Bus shopping requires planning ahead.
4. Shop on the way. Take advantage of transfer times and make each trip a multitasker
5. Be flexible. Try Zipcar.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

triggering traffic lights on a bike

Ever find yourself stuck in a traffic purgatory, waiting for a light change that never seems to come? Have you ever gotten so frustrated at not being able to activate a left-turn signal, that you eventually decide to blow the light? For cagers, this is usually just a lack of patience. But for cyclists on the road, this can be a real and frustrating problem. We used to have a terrible time turning left at the light at the bottom of Broadway hill.

In Ann Arbor, we use inductive loop sensors to trigger many traffic signals. They are built into the pavement where traffic should wait at a signal. The larger size and greater conductivity of cars makes them much more likely to trigger the light than a bike. However, all the signals should be sensitive enough for bikes. These loops can detect any conductive material, so aluminum frames and wheels work as well as steel. Even if you ride a carbon fiber frame you should be able to trip the signal trigger since the best "signal" comes from the wheels.

For the best chance of detection, try to get both your wheels over the wire. If you are lucky, there will be a saw-cut in the pavement indicating where the wire was placed. If not look for a mark or stop on one side of the lane and lean your bike towards the center of the lane to improve your chances. You can read a more detailed description of the how and why here.

Indestructables has a quick-and-dirty HOWTO on installing magnets in your bike shoes. It's questionable whether this really helps at all since it is conductivity, not magnatism, that the coil reacts to. Certainly it is more effective to find the sweet spot in the loop.

Some communities actually post signs or mark the pavement to assist cyclists in triggering the signals. Unfortunately, the Good People of Ann Arbor are not so lucky. If you do run into a problem tripping the signal trigger on your bike, call the city to report it (734-994-2744). It's possible (at least, for someone who knows what they are doing, like a city employee) to adjust the sensitivity of the coils at the control box. If you find a sweet spot for signal changes, maybe this is an appropriate time for community-minded graffiti. Spray paint two little "x"s with a circle around each (so they look like 4-spoke wheels) to indicate the proper place to rest your wheels.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

the future of downtown parking and why you should care

A lot of the benefits to car-free living remain unconvincing for the vast majority of drivers. Better health, cleaner environment, and more a livable city all sound good, but don't measure up to the collosal sacrifice of reducing auto-dependence. Even the pretty obvious cost savings seems to get muddled. However, no one can argue one luxury of giving up the car: you never have to worry about parking.

Wednesday, Dec 6 the DDA is hosting a community discussion on the future of parking downtown. The AANews didn't list a time or place in their article, but we think it is at the DTE center on Main and Williams. A consultant has already been collecting information for a final report in January on how the Ann Arbor parking system should react to the increase in downtown jobs and residents. The community comments will be included in the final report. Thank heavens we don't have to get involved in that headache! We don't drive downtown so why should we care what happens with parking?

Unfortuantely, finding parking and living with community parking decisions are two separate problems. As much as we may like to gloat over being above the difficulties of finding a Main Street parking spot on the weekend, we have to recognize that parking system decisions affect everyone, not just drivers.

That is why we feel it is important for the carfree and carlite community to be represented at this meeting. We carfree folks depend on a dense and diverse downtown that does not prioritize the storage of vehicles over safe pedestrian routes, adaquate transit provision, and accessible downtown resources.

If you have a little free time tonight, stop by the meeting and let them know there are people living in town without a car and we care what happens to the parking system. We see this as a great time to promote Ann Arbor as supporting carfree lifestyles instead of expansion of more of the same

advice from the bike pile

Paul at carfreefamily has a lot of bikes and trailers to haul kids, groceries, and stuff around his farm. He has a tandem. He has a three seat tandem. None of this stops him from adding to his extensive bike wishlist. He talks about how to better manage a carfree life and massive bike inventory and whether selling his car saved him money or just redirected it to more bike parts. It's a good read (as is the rest of his blog) for bike lovers on a budget. Also a good advice for those making their carfree Christmas lists.

Monday, December 04, 2006

AATA reaches 5 million rider milestone

"As for buses? Blech. A perfect way to keep us in our cars.", quips an AANews colmnist recently.

But the Good People of Ann Arbor appear to disagree. In early December AATA will celebrate their 5 millionth ride this year, the highest ridership in the organizations history. A large portion of this increase is probably a result of the M-ride program, which allows UofM students, faculty and staff to ride for free since ridership has jumped over the last four months. But the increase is not just from UofM. Ridership has increased 29% over the last five years.

AATA will be giving away free passes and other prizes in early December. They are also seeking essay submissions on their transit experiences. See their news release (PDF) for more details.

Congratulations, AATA!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

recent posting black-out attributed to Dengue fever

Our main content contributor came down with this exotic disease last week, resulting in a week hooked up to an IV in the local hospital. After numerous blood tests and hospital meals, he has been released and we hope to have regular postings again.