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Strong support from voters gets TheRide a significant tax increase

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The Ann Arbor Transportation Authority will expand service and put away money for zero emission busses over time.

Voters approved a significant increase in the millage for the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority, known as TheRide. The property tax will go from 0.7 up to a mill of 2.38. That adds up to a $168 a year increase on each $100,000 of taxable value.

The plans for the money were outlined and the tax hike by more than 60 percent of the voters in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and Ypsilanti Township.

The township board was concerned that a tax increase for public transit during this period of inflation would overburden taxpayers.

The Ride’s Chief Executive Officer, Matt Carpenter, says there will be a lot of improvements made with the additional taxes.

“A new express bus route between Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti. Longer hours of service across the whole system. More frequent service throughout the whole system. More equitable service in the shape of an expansion of our overnight service into Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township. Customer service agents at our second bus terminal in Ypsilanti, which historically has not had customer service agents.”

Some of the money will be set aside for major capital investments in the future such as facilities and zero emission propulsion busses.

The increased tax and the improvements won’t begin until the summer of 2024.

Lester Graham reports for The Environment Report. He has reported on public policy, politics, and issues regarding race and gender inequity. He was previously with The Environment Report at Michigan Radio from 1998-2010.
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