Regional Transit Authority a big win for Michigan
RTA will oversee service in four counties
All Aboard | December 13, 2012 | By James Bruckbauer
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- Pete Farmer: Nice to read about the big picture of music around here. I am sure the scene will only get bigger as TC grows. We plan on helping in our own little way with a small venue at our workshop. All procee...
- Pat Weber: The music tradition in Traverse City begins in its schools- the feeder system as it were. Traverse City Area Public Schools has had a long and rich music legacy in both vocal and instrumental instruct...
- Mario: Great article Hans Well written and an important message....
- Cory Johnston: Your reasons to vote NO are reason enough for me. This is 1960's mentality being used to fix 2015 and beyond problems. While mentioned, is there any guarantee that alternatives to one driver/one car w...
- Gerald Wilgus: Much of this is disingenuous rationalization in support of a "lesser of two evils" argument. This is how privatizing profit and socializing risk is maintained. We all agree that transportation inf...
|The RTA is a a big win for Michigan, for Detroit’s revitalization, and for the groups that have advocated for regional transit over the past few decades, including many members of the Transportation for Michigan coalition.|
Reliable, convenient, and efficient transit may soon make a much-needed comeback in the city that gave the world modern transportation.
Last week, lawmakers in Lansing passed a series of bills that would create a regional transit authority (RTA) for Metro Detroit.
The authority will oversee and coordinate transit service in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb and Washtenaw Counties and lay the groundwork to plan, build, and operate a modern transportation system—one that may include light-rail and rapid buses.
Not only will it force two separate transit agencies to work together, one in the suburbs and one in the urban core, it will boost Metro Detroit’s competitive edge when applying for federal funding for transit. And the authority’s board, representing each county, would be able to ask voters to approve vehicle registration fees to fund local projects.
The bills soon head to the governor’s desk and he is expected to sign them, making the RTA official.
In a surprising political twist, only two Democrats in the House of Representatives voted in favor of the bill: Lesia Liss, of Warren, and Shanelle Jackson, of Detroit. All other House Democrats withheld their votes in protest of the right-to-work legislation. The measure passed almost entirely on Republican support.
Republicans who supported the measure included Rep. Ray Franz from the Benzie/Manistee area and Rep. Wayne Schmidt, of Traverse City.
It’s a big win for Michigan, for Detroit’s revitalization, and for the groups that have advocated for regional transit over the past few decades, including many members of the Transportation for Michigan coalition.
Most importantly, it’s a big win for the thousands of Detroit residents who need to get to work, shopping centers, and school—and for the thousands of visitors who have been left stranded at the curb.