Improved Access for Ann Arbor CIL

The following press release is from the Center for Independent Living regarding increased access to the new CIL offices on Research Park Drive. Feel free to share and post your thoughts.

For immediate release:
January 29, 2010

The bus stops here!

The Ann Arbor Center for Independent Living (Ann Arbor CIL) has worked closely with Ann Arbor Transit Authority (AATA), and now the community has a safe and secure bus stop at the Ann Arbor CIL, located at 3941 Research Park Drive. AATA’s inbound bus route #6 from Ypsilanti to Ann Arbor has added stops along Research Park Drive at both the Social Security Administration and the Ann Arbor CIL. The Ann Arbor CIL is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the success of children, youth, and adults with disabilities. Ann Arbor CIL has been in the community for 34 years. Two years ago they needed to move with the closing of Georgetown Mall. The building, where the Ann Arbor CIL, is now is more accessible and twice the size of their old facility. When they moved, they knew they would benefit from increased transit options.

The new bus stop now allows individuals with disabilities and the general public to make a safe and independent trip to and from the Ann Arbor CIL. “Before the bus stop, getting to or from here by bus was difficult, especially for many individuals with disabilities. Members of our community had to get off the bus in heavy traffic and travel long distances to receive our services and participate in events. We now have 50% more access via public transportation than we had before,” states Carolyn Grawi, Ann Arbor CIL Director of Advocacy and Education.

The benefits of the efforts to create this bus stop are already being realized by the community. Jim Briggs, an Ann Arbor resident and frequent visitor and volunteer at the Ann Arbor CIL states, “having access is key. Before I couldn’t get from the Ann Arbor CIL easily on my own, and now I can ride the bus directly from their building. Going to the Ann Arbor CIL is important to me, and having the bus has a big impact for me.” For Jim, because of costs, budgeting A-Ride Paratransit Service is difficult, and he has had to choose only the activities he really wanted to participate in. Having the bus so close to the Ann Arbor CIL allows Jim to use his manual chair rather than his motorized scooter. The new bus stop now makes it possible for him to attend more activities and events at the Center. Likewise, Mary Dolinsky says, “this stop is great for me.” Mary is very active at the Ann Arbor CIL, and she can now safely plan her trip to and from her home to the Center without walking long distances in dangerous traffic. Mary also shares, “I am excited that more people will be able to come to the Ann Arbor CIL and be active in their events and services.”

The Ann Arbor CIL, Social Security Administration, and community members are advocating to have the city install a traffic light at Ellsworth and S. Research Park Drive so that the out-bound route #6 can serve the new bus stops. Right now riders traveling outbound from Ann Arbor to the Ann Arbor CIL or Social Security Administration building must either ride farther and transfer to other vehicles or use the bus stops located in heavy traffic areas that are inaccessible and further away from their destinations. Crossing Ellsworth is a problem for the bus and for cars, let alone individuals.

The Ann Arbor CIL continues to advocate and work with AATA to improve and advance county-wide service options for transit-dependent individuals. One program area needing to be resumed for all travelers is travel training, so that people can make the most use of the transit services available. The Ann Arbor CIL supports county-wide expansion of transit options and sees increased access throughout Washtenaw County as a plus for individuals, the economy, and the environment.

The AATA in-bound route #6 bus arrives at Ann Arbor CIL at :12 and :42 after the hour M-F days, and at :12 after the hour M-F evenings and on weekends. For more information about the Ann Arbor CIL please visit For more information on how to travel to the Ann Arbor CIL using the bus, visit the AATA website at or call 996-0400. You may also call or email the Ann Arbor CIL at 971-0277 ext 16 or .