motss.con.xxvi (Ann Arbor, MI): Transportation

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Getting to Ann Arbor

Getting to Ann Arbor is reasonably easy, by planes, trains, or automobiles, or even bus:

[Bus] By bus — There is a Greyhound terminal in the heart of downtown Ann Arbor.

[Car] By car — Take I-94 (west from Detroit, east from Chicago) or US 23 (north from Toledo, south from Flint) to Ann Arbor. Be advised that there're often state police speed traps around Paw Paw (I-94 between Chicago and Ann Arbor).

[Plane] By plane — We recommend flying commercially into Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) or, if you've got your own plane, flying into the Ann Arbor Municipal Airport (KARB). Sample lowest-cost airfares from various places (data obtained Sat Feb02/13):
Departure City Cost (USD) Comment
Amsterdam NL $1,522 $1,234 returning Tuesday
Atlanta GA $302  
Austin TX $497  
Boston MA $472  
Chicago IL $200  
Dallas TX $228  
London UK $988 $854 with a Wednesday departure
Los Angeles CA $338 depart Wednesday to make the Thursday dinner
Madison WI $464  
Miami FL $270  
New Orleans LA $384  
New York NY $230  
San Francisco CA $532 depart Wednesday to make the Thursday dinner
Seattle WA $522  
Toronto ON $468  
Vancouver BC $487  
You can rent a car from either airport, or if you won't need your own car, take the Michigan Flyer from Metro to Ann Arbor.

[Train] By train — Take Amtrak to the Ann Arbor, MI (ARB) station and call (us, a friend, a taxi) for pickup. There is no rental car service at the Amtrak station. Be advised that much of the Amtrak run between Chicago and Detroit is single-track, so passenger service is at the mercy of freight trains and delays of several hours are unfortunately not uncommon.

Getting Around Within Ann Arbor

Getting around in Ann Arbor itself is fairly easy as well. The majority of the streets where we'll be are on a north-south/east-west grid pattern. Parking, however, may be an issue. On the University campus parking is rare: There are on-street meters and the occasional Visitor's lot, and several City parking structures, but none of them are free. Be careful if parking in a University lot that you use a metered space (either individually-metered or at a numbered space with a common pay station), as many University lots require permits. (More information than you really care about is at U-M Parking and Transportation Services.) Odds are that you'll park somewhere and walk most of the rest of the time.

Once you're on campus, there's the free University blue buses. There are several routes for getting around on and between south/athletic campus, central campus, medical campus, and north campus. (The two Commuter lines run only weekdays; the Northwood line runs 7 days a week though occasionally with a reduced schedule.) In the city itself, there are also several routes on the Ann Arbor Transit Authority (AATA); rides are $1.50 ($0.75 or free for seniors depending on age and with an AATA ID card) for the general public. See the Michigan Transportation Musical video for more information.

Last update May19/13 by Josh Simon (<>).