Detroit, MI - Thanks to pilot funding by the University of Michigan’s Transforming Learning for the Third Century Fund, the U-M Detroit Center and Semester in Detroit Program will launch a free Friday and Saturday shuttle service between the two cities on Saturday, October 5.

“The University’s ties to Detroit run deep,” says Addell Austin Anderson, Director of the U-M Detroit Center and Co-Director of the MDetroit Center Connector, “but until now, there have been few options for a reliable transit system connecting us.”


The new shuttle service will be available to transport U-M students, staff and faculty from the Ann Arbor campus to the U-M Detroit Center. In addition to the main stop, the project planning team is exploring the possibility of adding stops in areas such as Downtown, the Cultural Center, Eastern Market and Southwest Detroit.


The initial schedule was chosen based on feedback gathered in late-April 2013 through a formal online survey completed by over 300 students, faculty and staff.  The full report on the survey is now available to the public at:

According to Anderson, “Our aim is not to become a full-scale transit provider, but to better facilitate and advance learning and engagement with the City, as well as to deepen relationships between Detroit and the U-M Community.  Moreover, as this project grows, we’re also very interested in enabling Detroiters - young and old - to more easily access Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan communities.  We believe this is a true win-win situation for everyone.”


The MDetroit Center Connector received funding in the first round of the Transforming Learning for the Third Century Fund - a five-year, $50 million internal grant campaign challenging U-M faculty and staff to rethink teaching and learning, as the University grows closer to its bicentennial in 2017.

“Detroit is a major American city located only 43 miles from Ann Arbor; yet, many students and faculty miss out on meaningful and accessible engagement with the City.” says Craig Regester, Co-Director of the MDetroit Center Connector and Associate Director of the U-M Semester in Detroit Program. “What if by 2017 - the year U-M celebrates its long, historic relationship with Detroit - there were an hourly shuttle connecting campus to midtown Detroit?  This would change everything about how we teach, live and learn in this region.”


Centrally located on the corner of Woodward and Martin Luther King Jr. since September 2005, the U-M Detroit Center is home to University programs engaged throughout the city in community-based research, public health outreach, service projects, internships, technical assistance, and creative collaborations.


For more detailed information about this initiative, including the launch calendar and preliminary schedule, please visit:




The University of Michigan's Detroit Center offers instruction and provides a central base to support and sustain research and partnerships among the University, civic leaders, arts groups, and community organizations. The Center recognizes Detroit for its rich urban arts and cultural context and opportunities for meaningful education and scholarship. The Center also embodies the University's commitment to the City, and serves as a visible and accessible community center gateway to the University for Detroit's residents and its institutions.