Beginning May 8, the MDetroit Center Connector (MDCC) will add the University of Michigan Matthaei Botanical Gardens as a new weekly bus stop between Ann Arbor and Detroit.
In addition to five bus stops in Detroit, Matthaei Botanical Gardens will be the first new Ann Arbor bus stop since the service was launched in September 2013.
The added route is a collaborative effort between the University of Michigan Detroit Center, Semester in Detroit program, and Matthaei Botanical Gardens & Nichols Arboretum.
“We’re grateful for this new partnership with Matthei Botanical Gardens which we see as a sign of both the University’s growing demand for creative collaboration and the southeast Michigan region’s need for greater transportation connectedness,” says Dr. Addell Anderson, Co-Director of the MDetroit Center Connector.
“Stopping at the Botanical Gardens offers many benefits,” says Karen Sikkenga, Associate Director of the Matthaei Botanical Gardens & Nichols Arboretum. “I see great potential for programmatic cross-pollination. Our Cultivating Community student gardening group can use the shuttle to travel to Detroit, while Detroit schoolchildren can take field trips to the Gardens.” A combined shuttle service is more cost effective, too,” Sikkenga adds. “We can run the shuttle more often instead of administering two parallel services.”
The MDetroit Center Connector currently offers round-trip transportation for U-M students, faculty, staff and their guests from central campus in Ann Arbor to multiple locations in the City of Detroit.
As the busy spring season begins, excitement about the new stop is running high at Matthaei Botanical Gardens & Nichols Arboretum, says Sikkenga. “Joining forces with the MDetroit Center Connector and Semester in Detroit is a perfect opportunity to show the U-M communities in Ann Arbor and Detroit what we have to offer.”
Interested riders can visit the Detroit Center Connector web page to make reservations, view bus schedules, get service updates, and find out additional information on all MDetroit Center Connector stops.
Reservations and a valid MCard are required; riders must present their U-M ID cards to ride the bus.
Matthaei Botanical Gardens & Nichols Arboretum offer nature-based programming, classroom/rental space, adult/youth programs, and major annual events such as Shakespeare in the Arb, Music in the Arb, conservatory exhibits, and more). Nichols Arboretum is home to the largest collection of heirloom peonies in North America.
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. Additional funding for this transit initiative was provided by the Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs.

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.