A place is great only because of the people, and that is the reason Ann Arbor is awesome.
By Umer Sultan
Ann Arbor is a great town, about an hour drive to the west from Detroit. A university town, with plenty of greenery across the city.
A place is great only because of the people, and that is the reason Ann Arbor is awesome, because in general the Ann Arborites are awesome.
Last year, nearly 12 Million times* people hopped on AATA, the public bus system, to commute, while serving an area of about 150,000 people – Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti and vicinity. When this ratio was compared with other transit systems serving their communities, Ann Arbor left all of them behind, according to the article published by Ann Arbor Observer. Whether it be the Detroit System, Smart Bus System serving metro area, Grand Rapids, or Kalamazoo, the amount of times the bus system was used to commute in relation to the population being served, they all were lagged behind.
A couple of years ago, AATA was barely surviving, due to which they had to raise the fare. Now, AATA has a Moving You Forward vision, a vision that I am so excited about. More operating hours, and a vision of rail connecting Dearborn and Detroit with Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti. That would mean quick commute to key places in Dearborn and Detroit, like Henry Ford Museum and the Metro Airport; that would mean less cost of Gas and being more environment friendly. So many good things and Oh! Not forgetting about so many more jobs. All of this was only possible because people in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti, use AATA to commute, kudos to them!
Before you read further, you can watch this video above! Click here if the video is not to be found.
Whats more? The Birders!
Now three local birders, Andy Dettling, Jacco Gelderloos, and Laurent Fournier, in Ann Arbor have gone Green as well. They have decided to do Big Green Big Year, or BIGBY this year- seeing as many species as possible without using any fossil fuels.
The main objective for a BIGBY is environmental, because pursuing rare bird sightings by car contributes to global warming- and so, distantly and ironically, harms the birds’ habitats. But there are other benefits. It’s great exercise, with six-to-eight-mile runs and fifty-to-hundred-mile bike rides. 
So the three birders, will be riding their bikes in town and long distances for counting different species, while leaving no carbon footprints behind. That is the spirit worth recognizing. Kudos to all three of them as well!
It is because of the concerned citizens that make conscious decisions which makes a place a nice place to live. Because of such citizens and their government, Ann Arbor came to be at 24th position in a research by Popular Science for America’s 50 Greenest Cities, Ann Arbor being the 1st of the only two cities from Michigan.
Government can only do so much, but its the people who have to make a conscious decision in every step of their life. There are also those who do not care about the environment. About that I will Inshallah (God Willing) write next.
*exact figure is 11.7 Million times according to the footnote  below.
 Ann Arbor Observer, May 2011. Page #15-16.
 Ann Arbor Observer, May 2011. Page # 18.
Photo Courtesy: Joe Braun.