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Michigan's Transit Future Starts Today

April 1, 2001 | By Patty Cantrell
Great Lakes Bulletin News Service

Your voice is needed to guide Michigan toward passenger rail service. Here's how you can start moving the state through the three key “stops” of 1) planning 2) selling the idea and 3) raising the money.

Ask your state legislators to support State Representative Judith Scranton’s (R-Brighton) House Bill 4002. The bill directs a portion of sales taxes on auto leasing to transit and would boost state transit spending by about $23 million, or 10 percent. For more information, contact Rep. Scranton’s office at PO Box 30014, Lansing, MI, 48909, 800-295-0066, jscrant@house.state.mi.us.

Add your voice to the Michigan Transportation and Land Use Coalition, led by the Michigan Land Use Institute and the Michigan Environmental Council. Contact Kelly Thayer at the Institute, 231-882-4723 ext. 13, trans@mlui.org or go to the Institute’s Web site www.mlui.org under Key Issues — Transportation.

The Southeast Michigan Council of Governments is holding public meetings through June to develop a long-term transit vision for the region. Go to SEMCOG’s Web site at www.semcog.org or contact Transportation Director Carmine Palombo at 313-961-4266, palombo@semcog.org.

The West Michigan Environmental Action Council has completed a study of rail options for the Grand Rapids metropolitan area. Contact WMEAC Executive Director Tom Leonard at 616-451-3051, wmeactl@bigplanet.com or check the Web site at www.iserv.net/~wmeac/.

The Michigan Association of Railroad Passengers is working to advance rail options in Michigan. Contact Executive Director John DeLora at 810-772-7842, marp@mich.com or visit the Web site at www.marp.org.

The Southeast Michigan Council of Governments in May expects to have the results of a commuter rail study for service between downtown Detroit and Detroit Metropolitan Airport. For more information, contact SEMCOG Transpor-tation Director Carmine Palombo at 313- 961-4266, palombo@semcog.org.

Detroit’s Metropolitan Affairs Coalition will release this spring the results of its study on a train-like system of rapid buses. Contact MAC’s David Sanders at 313-961-2270, sanders@semcog.org or read about the “SpeedLink” study at www.semcog.org/mac/mac_speedlink.html.

Lansing’s Capital Area Transportation Authority completed a study last fall of commuter rail service between Lansing and Detroit via Howell and Ann Arbor.
Go to the CATA Web site at www.cata.org/news/rail_study/index.html.

New state-of-the-art Amtrak trains are scheduled by 2003 to link Michigan cities with Chicago, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Milwaukee, and Minneapolis. For more information contact Dusty Fancher at the Michigan Environmental Council, 517-487-9539, dustymec@voyager.net or visit the Environmental Law and Policy Center Web site at www.elpc.org.



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