Short Gains for Detroit Transit
House to discuss bills for new transit authority
All Aboard | December 4, 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...
|Detroit is one of the only metro regions without well-coordinated transit between suburbs and the city.|
A strategy for laying the groundwork for modern transit in Metro Detroit is gaining ground.
After almost 40 years of failed attempts, senators in Lansing last week finally passed a series of bills that would create a much-needed regional transit authority for Michigan’s largest metro region. Now it’s up to the House, where, on Wednesday, the Transportation Committee will discuss the bills.
The authority, like others around the county, would oversee and coordinate transit service in three counties, making the system more efficient and improving service for current riders and potential new riders. Detroit is one of the only metro regions without well-coordinated transit between suburbs and the city.
It would also lay the groundwork to plan, build, and operate a modern transportation system, one that includes light-rail and rapid buses.
But first, it must pass inside-game Lansing politics. Since the 1970s, roadblocks have stifled attempts to create a system that connects suburbs with the city. In fact, in 1976, Detroit suburban leaders turned away $600 million of federal funding that would have created a regional transit system largely because the city and suburbs could not work together. In years since, other failed attempts highlight the growing resistance to cooperation in the region.
This year, however, with strong support by the Governor, the state Senate, and the broad general public, transit advocates and business leaders have another chance. During this “lame duck” session, our representatives could finally set Detroit’s transportation system in the right direction.
And let’s hope they do. After all, Detroit will never be competitive in the modern world unless it builds a modern urban transit system that includes commuter trains, light rail, and rapid buses. Period.
The House Transportation Committee meets Wednesday at 10:30 AM. You can find the agenda here. Representative Wayne Schmidt from Traverse City sits on the Committee.