Active students, faculty, and staff with a yellow Mcard at the University of Michigan and the University of Michigan Health System have unlimited access to TheRide’s fixed route bus service through an agreement by which U-M pays fares for U-M riders.

U-M and Michigan Medicine staff also enjoy other transportation benefits.

  • Unlimited use of all of TheRide’s fixed-route buses with a valid Mcard. Simply swipe your Mcard when you board the bus!
  • Free parking at any of TheRide’s Park & Ride lots.


The unlimited access service, named “MRide Program,” provides many benefits to the University and the surrounding community, including:

  • Reduced parking demand, both on campus and in nearby municipal lots and streets, by providing another major transportation option for employees and students.
  • A no-cost transportation option for students to access retail and entertainment venues.
  • Leverage available federal and state funding to provide additional transportation service to the U-M community.
  • Improved service levels (increased frequency and added service hours) available to U-M employees and students, as well as to the general public.
  • Reduced traffic volume on local streets and highways.
  • Reduced vehicular traffic will result in reduced air and noise pollution.

Frequently Asked Questions

What exactly is the unlimited access agreement?
The University has contracted with the AAATA to permit all active U-M faculty, staff and students to ride on all AAATA regular fixed route buses without paying a fare.
Will all MCard IDs be valid for this service?
No. MCards are sometimes issued to vendors, contractors and certain visitors. Only active U-M faculty, staff and students can participate – those with a yellow card. In addition, when students or employees leave the University, their MCard ID is no longer considered valid.
What about retirees and emeritus professors?
Emeritus professors and retirees who have a continuing relationship with the University are issued MCard IDs that will be valid for unlimited access privileges.
Are part-time students and temporary employees included?
How do I find out if AAATA bus routes will work for me?
AAATA services are contained on their web site: (external link) and also are available on hard copy (The Ride Guide) at over 250 community locations, including 44 campus sites, and at their offices on South Industrial or at the Blake Transit Center.
Can I only ride the bus to and from work or school?
You can ride any day of the week, any time of day on all fixed-route service.
What do I have to do to ride for free? Do I need a bus pass?
No, you don’t need a bus pass. Just show your valid MCard ID when you board the bus.
It’s only good on fixed route service. What services are excluded?
Special services such as Night Ride, A-Ride, Senior Taxi Service, Football Ride, Art Fair Shuttles and Commencement Shuttle are excluded from this agreement.