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Protest against UM bus transit center move continues, despite "pause"

A town-gown controversy continues in Ann Arbor, as University of Michigan Regents heard Thursday from people opposed to a plan to move a campus bus transit center.

That's despite the project being "paused" by UM President Mark Schlissel, who said the university should have been more "thoughtful and responsive" when considering the development.

The transit center would move from the university's South Campus into a residential neighborhood in North Campus.

Pamela Ray lives in Green Baxter Court, a low-income community very close to the proposed site.

"My son has asthma," she said.  "I believe the pollution with the number of the busses that they're going to have here is going to be devastating in this area."

The planned move is meant to relieve congestion and lack of space at the current transit center, which is adjacent to Crisler Arena.

Such a move would also allow the university to purchase longer, articulated buses, which cannot fit into the current transit center.

In an interview with Michigan Radio before Schlissel's announcement, Steve Dolan, head of University Transportation and Parking, said the articulated buses would solve more than one problem.

"Students, faculty and staff don't get left behind at a stop when it gets extremely busy. And it helps us with our sustainability goals, reducing our overall carbon footprint," Dolan said.

Schlissel says the University will reach out to residents near the proposed site to understand their concerns, and see how they can be addressed.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.