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AADL & TheRide Summer Game Bonus: Free Ride Fridays In August With Your AADL Library Card

Fri, 07/29/2016 - 8:55am by TimG


AADL and the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority (TheRide) are partnering this summer for a fun, new addition to this year’s summer game!

Every Friday in August, AADL cardholders can ride any of TheRide’s local fixed-route buses for free. The only item you need to take out of your wallet is your AADL Library card.
Show the driver your card and ride for free!

While you ride, look for the summer game code sign inside the bus and win 1,000 points to trade in for great [| Summer Game Shop] prizes. It’s easy – there’s only one code to find, repeated on every single bus. When you see it, text the code to 4AADL (42235) or visit [|] to enter the code and get 1,000 points.

TheRide and AADL have created even more ways to get summer game points:
• Find the code featured on the outside of several buses for 500 points.
• Find the codes at bus stops nearest to any AADL location for 500 points.
• Codes are also hidden on TheRide’s website - [|].

Find all the codes to earn the Ride Master Badge and a 500 point bonus!

It’s a great way to end the summer – ride TheRide for free, and get points to trade in for excellent prizes at the [| Summer Game Shop]. For more information about TheRide’s buses and schedules, visit [|]

New to the AADL summer game? Last year, there were 5,476 active summer game players who were awarded 85,850 badges and selected 7,227 prizes. Will you be a player this year?

Visit [|] or text NEW PLAYER to 4AADL (42235) to get started.


I'm a regular bus rider - usually to get from home to the downtown branch - and am thrilled at this collaboration. Everyone will win with this genius promotion!

so this doesn't tell us how many codes in total, hope the badges will help us out in this area... and does West count for needing to find a code at a bus stop by West?

We ride TheRide all the time and were SO excited to stumble across the 1000pt code yesterday! We will definitely be on the lookout for codes on buses and at bus stops!

Great idea! I don't ride the bus much anymore, but it looks like I'll be riding it at least one more time this summer.

Great. We may see a few buses when we visit the downtown branch, today. Are they out now?

@Thomas B Brown

I too really hope the codes are out now, but I have a feeling they will only be on the buses in August, since AADL cardholders can ride free on the bus on the Fridays in August.

That is terrific! What a wonderful idea. :) Great outreach to the community and a nice benefit of having a library card.

The codes on the outside of some buses and inside every bus are pretty much up. There's a single code that appears on the outside of buses, almost always on the side without the boarding doors. Then, there's a card among the ads in each bus with another code. Those two codes are the only ones you'll find on or in buses. Then there will be 5 codes, one on the bus stop closest to each branch (including westgate!) and we are still working on the AAATA website codes. Watch for the upcoming badges to help you know what to do!

Thanks for the clarification, eli. I thought each bus would have a different code on the outside. It's good to know that I won't have to stalk all the AATA busses trying to find all the different codes.

@SBNB, agreed. I thought the buses were going to have different codes on the outside and the city was gonna be filled with a bunch of bus chasers... WAIT, I DON'T THINK I HAVE THAT CODE!!!!!

Wow, this is an excellent idea! I look forward to seeing the badges when they're released, and hope I'll be able to get out to see some of the in-person bus badges as well. :)

An awesome idea where everyone wins! I hope this is repeated for next year's summer reading program too.

As someone who has barely any idea how the Ann Arbor public buses work, this seems like a fun challenge!

My daughter and I happened to see a code on the outside of a bus this afternoon - while driving to a library branch no less! We were so excited, it was before we knew it was going to be a whole badge series.

I'm wondering if maybe not all the codes from the AATA website are in the system yet. I'm pretty confidant I've got what was asked for, but it's telling me code not recognized. I guess it's time to just be patient.....

@palanijr it's just one click away from the homepage menu. Good luck! Thanks AADL - love using our bus system in AA!

@Zekicmom - I just earned the badge, and all the codes seemed to be properly in place. Perhaps they've been added in the time between your comment and when I started work on the badge a minute or two later? I'd advise trying again and, if you still can't find the code, you're probably looking in the wrong place. (I did that at first for a couple of them.)
And if you need any additional help on specific codes that are stumping you, feel free to ask! ;)


When you say "bus stops", do you just mean the ones with shelters or do the stops that are only signs stuck in the ground also count?

Paperback writer
AAATA bus rider
I search for clues
and pay my dues
Casting my gaze ever wider.

A2 is 'crunchy-granola'
say friends wearing Shinola,
But I'll save on gas
without needing a bus pass
use the money I save for a cola.

I hope to spot some of these while doing an errand or two! Might have to make some strategic detours!

there’s only one code to find, repeated on every single bus but it appears you can earn additional points finding the code featured on the outside of several buses the codes at bus stop nearest aadl location and website

When I saw the code nearest West Branch, I asked myself if it was the code, or a message! It made me laugh.

Zekicmom - I ended up using the site map on theride site a lot to get the codes there. They are all in a special section marked with the badge image, not buried in the text or anything, so the challenge is finding the right section on the site.

Thank you to everyone who's advising me about the codes on the AATA website. I got them. I think I was looking for them too early. I've been known to jump the gun on Fridays!

This is great! As a *former* UM employee, I miss my bus pass privileges - nice to have a month to enjoy 'free' rides again. And as I parked at the downtown library today (on a series of errands), what should drive by but a bus with the code on the side. Score! :^)

@Judeyblu Oh, very well done!
*imagine your favorite applause gif here*

I found all the ones on the website, with some trial and error. It wasn't quite as easy as I expected based on the comments, and I wonder if that had to do with my mobile browser. But I was able to finish that one Ride badge!

@Xris - Find the Schedule section, and then scroll far down. There will be something pointing you to the specific page that will have the code. Good luck. :)

AATA should be aware that on some mobile devices their web page is not searchable. I couldnt do the badge until i tried on my desktop computer. If you are having trouble finding codes, use a desktop.

This is the best idea ever. Will be using my card for a round trip to Depot Town in Ypsi. Thanks!

Went to Depot Town last night for dinner after spending the afternoon at Gallup Park searching for codes. Sat outside in the absolutely beautiful summer weather outside Maiz (yummy yummy yummy Mexican if you've not been there, Sundays kids eat free and Tuesdays are Taco Tuesday, all tacos are $2!). My son had the best night. First, an ambulance went screaming by lights and sirens flashing. About a half hour later, it came back through, no lights or sirens this time. He LOVES ambulances, one of his favorite trucks. Then an Amtrak train came through. AWESOME! He got to see and hear the train, because you know, what little boy doesn't LOVE trains! And then... here comes the AAATA bus with the code. MOMMY MOMMY THAT BUS HAS A CODE! I FOUND ANOTHER ONE!

@AprilCDB - Wow, good for you, and good for your son!! Sounds like a wonderful evening. ;)


Bus stop codes at branches aren't necessarily AT a bus stop. They are outside near the bus stop. I kinda wondered about this, because the closest stop to Mallets is just a pole and how was a code going to be attached to those poles? Well, the code isn't AT the bus stop. It's outside, near the bus stop.

Thank you for this! I'm using the bus more and more these days, and free Fridays is a nice gift.

I have not ever taken the bus. With 3 kids it would be a nightmare. This will be a new experience for us all 0_o

Cory Michael - my kids really liked riding the bus when they were small and had so much fun there was little tendency to veer into naughty behavior. It might be more fun than you think! Especially if they are going somewhere fun such as to the downtown library for a fun activity. Bring a snack and eat it in the little garden on the first floor, off the kids' room. :) Please post if you try it and let us know how it goes!

P.S. Just a suggestion - make sure you know where you are going and headed in the right direction. I once had a bus mishap with my kids and they still remember the whole thing. Ha ha.

AADL and AATA are two of the best things about living in Ann Arbor. We are very lucky to have both of them.

I work downtown so I've seen plenty of buses go by this week, but have yet to spot a code on any of them! Just have to keep watching...


The codes are not on the outside of all AATA buses. The badge description says that there are only 10 buses in town that have the code on the outside, so in order to get the code and badge, you must find 1 of those specific 10 buses.


Right... and since the transit center is also downtown you'd think I'd have seen at least *one* bus with the code! I just need to keep my eyes open.

The codes being on only ten of the buses is a bit of a bummer. I am not likely to get any of those.

Oh well, back to the web searches! And reviews, and rating, and tagging...

(And commenting.)

Thank you! My family is planning a special trip via AATA to search for AADL codes. You rock!


I got lucky and saw a code on a the first bus I passed last Friday. It was on the driver's side of the bus (not the door side).


The one that I saw was actually not on the driver's side. The bus was going in the opposite direction of us, so we were able to quickly catch it.

found the bus tonight!
Look for a bus that is advertising the Summer Game- it has the colored squares as a border!

I wonder if the busses with codes are always on the same route, or if they change them around.

I've seen the code on buses in different parts of town, first on Plymouth Road, for sure downtown, and I think there was at least one other place as well.

I scoped out at least 20 busses (including at BTC) today. Only one had the summer game ad and we were each going 40mph in opposite directions. I opted not to cause an accident by craning my neck to catch the code. Hopefully it will be on the one that drives my route.

I'm really curious to hear how many people take advantage of the free ride today and the next few weeks. If it's tracked in some way please fill us in!

I don't think they are tracking it. When I showed my library card to my regular driver instead of swiping my go card she just smiled and didn't seem to record anything. Unless they record once they're back at Blake which is possible.

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