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Around Town

Bikes and Motorcycles

Bicycles are a popular means of transportation around campus and there are many bike stands to accommodate parking (see the bicycle page of the Parking Services website for locations and more information). Unfortunately, there are also a lot of bike thieves, and any bicycle is fair game. Get a lock and sturdy chain, and use them at all times.

ArborBike recently introduced their bike share program at the University of Michigan. B-cycle and Clean Energy Coalition are working together to provide students with easy bike accessibility without the hassles of maintenance and care. The bike share program is meant for quick trips, so bikes stay in circulation and are available for other bikers. Different membership options are available. In addition, the U-M Department of Recreational Sports rents Blue Bikes by the day, weekend, or semester.

If you are interested in recreational cycling, you can get a set of bike route maps for Washtenaw County from any Ann Arbor bike shop. Bicycle riders are required to obey all traffic signs (including one-way streets). For more information and related links, visit the City of Ann Arbor Bicycling Resources website.

Motorcycle operators in Michigan must have a valid motor vehicle operator license with a motorcycle endorsement. You must carry insurance and wear a helmet. Use of motorcycles in city parks is prohibited. There are free designated motorcycle parking areas in most University Parking structures and some surface lots. Visit Parking Services for information.


Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority

The AAATA has routes that serve all of Ann Arbor and some points in Ypsilanti. All rides are free to active U-M students, faculty, and staff when you swipe your Mcard (U-M ID card). Check the AAATA website for regular fare and monthly pass rates, bus routes and schedules.

University Bus System

Free buses run at ten- to twenty-minute intervals, depending on the time of day and day of the week, connecting North, Central, Medical, and South campuses. You do not need a U-M ID to ride them. Check out Magic Bus for real-time bus arrival data.

Detroit Connector

The Detroit Connector provides transportation between Ann Arbor and Detroit in support of curricular, co-curricular, research, service-learning and community service opportunities. Buses leave from the Central Campus Transit Center in Ann Arbor and make several stops in Detroit. All rides are free for U-M faculty, staff, students and their guests, with a valid MCard.

Cars and Parking

Driver’s Licenses

Applications for driver’s licenses and auto license plates must be made at any Michigan Secretary of State (SOS) branch office (some services, such as certain types of renewals, can be made online). For information about vehicle registration and insurance requirements, visit the New Michigan Residents section of the SOS website. If you are from out-of-state, you may keep your home plates and operate on your state’s valid driver’s license. Make sure to verify any questions with your home state auto insurance, your home state’s department of motor vehicles, and/or the Michigan Secretary of State.

Parking on Campus

Regular parking on campus for students is extremely limited. Each year, a limited number of parking passes are allocated for graduate student use. There are some free commuter lots available if you live some distance from campus; you can park at the lots and take a bus to campus. You may want to watch this funny, student produced video which features very useful information on car-less transportation on and off campus. For information about parking options, permits, and other information about the parking system, visit the U-M Parking and Transportation Services website.

Taxis and Zipcars

Taxi Cabs

Some local taxi cab companies:

Zipcar Car-Sharing Program

The Zipcar program is a convenient option for those who don't own a car. You can get most places by bus, bike, or on foot, but you may occasionally need a vehicle. The U-M Parking and Transportation Services has partnered with Zipcar to provide special membership plans and rates for students. You can rent a variety of vehicle types by the hour or by the day. For more information, visit the website.

Nighttime Transportation

After Hours Services

Ride Home

Fall/Winter: 2am – 7am daily, Spring/Summer: 1am – 7am daily
Shared-ride taxi service for students, faculty, and staff to their residence halls, parked vehicles in lots or structures operated by U-M, or local residence (within a one-mile driving radius of Central and North campuses). Please note you must show the driver your valid U-M ID. To request a ride, call SafeRide at (734) 647-8000 and select Option 2.

  • On Central Campus, rides are available from the Shapiro Undergraduate Library.
  • On North Campus, rides are available from the Duderstadt Center.
  • On Medical Campus, rides are available from 1:00 am through 7:00 am with pickup at the Maternal and Child Health Center.

Night Ride

Monday-Friday 11pm – 6am, Saturday-Sunday 7pm – 7:30am
$5 per person
The Ann Arbor Transportation Authority subsidizes a low-cost, shared-ride nighttime cab service, called Night Ride, that runs within the city limits. All passengers pay a fixed fare of $5.00 per person, regardless of the distance traveled in Ann Arbor. To request a ride, call (734) 647-8000 and select Option 3.


Fall/Winter: 8pm – 2am daily
SafeRide is a free service that transports students, faculty, and staff to their residence or vehicle within a one-mile radius of campus. Additional destinations include Glencoe Hills, Spicetree, Golfside and Golfside Lake Apartments. Riders may use this service once per evening and must present a valid U-M ID. To request a ride, call (734) 647-8000 and select option 1.

State Street Ride

Monday-Friday 10pm – 6am
After-hours taxi service from any U-M building to the South State Street Commuter (Park and Ride) lot after buses have concluded daily service. To request a ride, phone Blue Cab directly at (734) 547-2222.

In case of an emergency, you can also call the U-M Police Department at (734) 763-1131 to request a ride.

To and From Ann Arbor

Air Travel

Detroit Metro Airport (DTW) is located about 25 miles east of Ann Arbor on I-94 at Merriman Road. There are two terminals: the MacNamara Terminal and the North Terminal. For more visit the airport website.

Airport Transportation

  • The Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority (AAATA) offers AirRide, a frequent and convenient bus service connecting Ann Arbor with Detroit Metro Airport. Daily round trips serve downtown Ann Arbor, the Briarwood Mall area, U-M campus, and both DTW terminals.
  • Before and after U-M breaks, the Central Student Government offers the airBus, an affordable transportation service to and from Metro Airport, with convenient pick-up and drop-off locations on campus.
  • The Ann Arbor Area Convention and Visitor's Bureau maintains a listing of airport shuttle options. Many of these options are "shared ride," which means that there may be more than one drop-off location between the airport and Ann Arbor. If you choose to use a shuttle company, be sure to make a reservation at least 24 hours prior to your trip.
  • You can also take a taxi cab from the airport to Ann Arbor. You do not need to make advanced reservations to take a taxi. The rate for a one-way trip to Ann Arbor is usually between $45-60, depending on which taxi company you take. Taxis will take you directly to your destination without making other stops.

Long-Distance Bus Service

Greyhound buses use the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Bus Station (115 East William) for state- and nation-wide routes. Megabus provides bus service between Ann Arbor and Chicago, East Lansing, and Grand Rapids (2-4 trips per day). All buses stop at the U-M State Street Park and Ride (2694 South State Street).

Train (Rail)

Amtrak provides daily service (approximately three trains per day) between Chicago and Detroit with stops in Ann Arbor. Trains operate 24 hours a day and many taxi cabs wait for passengers in case a ride is needed. The train station is located about a mile from central campus at 325 Depot Street.

Last updated: June 25, 2017 - 12:53pm