Transportation for Michigan hailed Governor Snyder’s signing of the Regional Transit Authority bills today as a major step toward creating an effective transportation system for Metro Detroit.
Governor Snyder signed the bills just four blocks from the site where Henry Ford built his first automobile in 1896.
“Detroit and Michigan are ready to reclaim our heritage of transportation leadership,” said Joel Batterman, transportation programs coordinator for the Michigan Suburbs Alliance and leader of Trans4M’s Regional Transit Authority campaign team. “This bill is a a great victory for everyone who cares about reconnecting our communities and sustaining our state into the future.”
The Transit Authority will help create safer, more efficient and better coordinated transportation systems across the Southeast Michigan region, which is the last major metropolitan area in the nation to create such a coordinating agency for transportation.
“The authority is an indispensible step in creating a network that connects people with jobs, cultural attractions, retail and one another,” said James Bruckbauer of the Michigan Land Use Institute. “That will be a key component making Michigan more competitive for jobs, residents and visitors on the national level.
The next steps toward a Regional Transit Authority will be the selection of its board members, including two each chosen by the executives of Wayne, Oakland, Macomb and Washtenaw counties, one chosen by the Mayor of Detroit, and a non-voting representative of the Governor. Trans4M is urging the selection of board members who support expanded transit and regional cooperation.
In addition to the Regional Transit Authority, Trans4M’s priorities for 2012 included improving Amtrak service in Michigan and ensuring the state’s adoption of a strong Complete Streets policy. The coalition also seeks to realign state transportation funding to support public transit, bicycling, and walking.