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This press release comes directly from the City of Ypsilanti’s Ward 3 junior Council member Pete Murdock. Pass it on.
Pete Murdock – City Councilmember – Ward Three
With the action of the AATA board on September 23rd, the Ypsilanti City Council has secured an expanded contract for public transportation with no service reductions through June 30, 2011. The details of this agreement are as follows.
For the first time, the City and AATA will be entering into a service contact that is longer than one year. The contract will run twenty-one (21) months from October 1, 2009 through June 30, 2011. This secures and stabilizes the public transportation services in the City of Ypsilanti while a more permanent funding solution is pursued.
NO SERVICE REDUCTIONS
There are no service reductions in the new extended contract.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FROM THE CITY OF YPSILANTI
The City Council has pledged an amount of $218,000 for the AATA contract for FY 2010-11 – an increase of $ 60,000 over this year’s allocation. The City’s commitment for the two year cycle is now $ 376,000.
USE OF RECOVERY ACT (STIMULUS) FUNDS
AATA received $6.4 million dollars in stimulus money of which 10% can be used for operations. Stimulus money was awarded on a formula that contained Ypsilanti ’s population and ridership. The AATA Board agreed to provide up to $ 202,000 to cover the shortfall for this contract period while a regional authority or other permanent funding mechanisms are pursued.
LONG TERM FUNDING STRATEGY
A secure dedicated source of funding for public transportation is necessary for the long term. This contract gives us a little breathing room to develop such a program. A regional system – either County wide or consisting of the Urban communities, with a dedicated millage would provide the best service at the lowest overall cost. City Council, cannot by itself make that happen, but is committed to pursuing that goal with those that can – AATA, the City of Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County.
CITY COMMITMENT TO FUNDING AATA
AATA’s decision to use Stimulus money to fill the shortfall was clearly based on the City’s commitment to the two year funding cycle as well as the City Council’s commitment, in the event that no regional system emerges, to place on the November 2010 ballot, a Headlee override – City Charter Amendment (.9 mil) designated for the sole purpose of funding public transportation. Without the commitment to securing dedicated funding in the long term and the two year funding in the near term, it was unlikely that the AATA would have authorized the use of the stimulus funds for Ypsilanti.