The Michigan Flyer is the bus that takes riders from Brighton to Detroit Metro Airport and back again for the very reasonable price of $40. The service is part of the transportation master plan recommended to the Livingston County Commission by the Livingston County Transportation Coalition.
Despite a little bit of uneasiness, I tried it out recently. And the experience rated an “A” in my book.
I booked my transportation on the company’s easy-to-use website, by typing in where I was leaving from, where I was going, the date, and the number of travelers in my party. The next page asked me to choose my airline, Delta Airlines, and then the time I wanted to leave from a list of 14 departure times. The timetable also listed the time I would arrive at the airport, allowing me to pick a departure time that would get me to the airport two hours in advance. Then I paid with a credit card. I printed out my boarding pass, but paper copies are unnecessary.
Here are some things I learned to help you go like a pro on the Michigan Flyer:
• The buses are spotless and comfortable with wi-fi (110 plug-ins), a restroom, complementary bottles of water up front, and yes, cupholders.
• Signs ask passengers to avoid loud cellphone calls and to limit calls to five minutes. That makes the ride smooth and quiet, allowing you to work on your laptop if you wish.
• The bus drops off and picks up passengers at the McNamara terminal in front of the Delta Airlines International Departure door. For your return trip, a uniformed attendant is waiting inside to check your boarding pass and let you know when the bus arrives. The bus also stops at the North Terminal.
• There are 14 departures a day to and from Brighton. Depending on your flight’s arrival time, you might have to wait a bit for the next bus, but that time lets you claim checked baggage, grab lunch, or allow for a late-arriving flight.
• Besides Detroit Metro, you can also take Michigan Flyer from Brighton to Ann Arbor or East Lansing, a handy option for college students making trips home for the weekend.
• The $40 round trip fare is a bargain compared to gas for a round-trip and the cost of airport parking. And it’s nice to be dropped at the door rather than having to park and ride a shuttle bus.
Overall, the experience was smooth and hassle-free. My experience gives me confidence that the other parts of the transportation master plan are well-thought out, too. I urge the county to fully implement all the recommendations of the transportation coalition.