The Michigan Transportation Odyssey – a yearly two-day trip across Michigan using trains, buses and bicycles – demonstrates both the opportunities and challenges to our passenger transportation system. As you may have read in our previous post introducing the 2013 Michigan Transportation Odyssey, 2013 has been a groundbreaking year for transportation across Michigan. In fact, this year’s Odyssey theme is Groundbreaking Adventures because along the way we will highlight groundbreaking transportation successes across the state.
Michigan still faces a fair number of challenges when it comes to our transportation system, but every small success brings us closer to a modern comprehensive transportation system that is sustainable and equitable for all. Throughout the past year, we’ve seen hard fought battles won across the state on behalf of all modes of transportation.
Below we’ve highlighted just a few of the transportation successes in Michigan:
- Grand Rapids – Construction has begun on the Silverline Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) System.
- Traverse City – TART Trails is now facilitating construction for the Buffalo Ridge Trail – a proposed 4.5-mile trail connecting the west and southwest areas of Traverse City.
- Metro Detroit – The Regional Transit Authority (RTA) was founded and has started work. It recently hired a CEO and appointed a Citizen Advisory Council (CAC).
- Kalamazoo – A two-thirds majority vote approved renewal of the city’s transit millage despite erroneous ballot language describing it as a new tax; the millage request is part of the overall strategy for a fully integrated countywide transit system.
- Ann Arbor – City Council moved forward with a city-wide bike share program that is expected to be launched next spring.
- Lansing/Ann Arbor – The area’s Tri County Regional Planning Commission voted 10-9 to support a $595,000 federal grant which will allow Indian Trails to increase East Lansing – Ann Arbor service to 12 daily round trips.
- Statewide – 2012 passenger rail ridership hit a record high in Michigan with a 58% ridership increase since 2003.
- Metro Detroit – The Woodward/M-1 Streetcar project has received funding and federal approval – the project is expected to start construction this fall.
- Eaton County – The ETRAN millage renewal passed with 60% in favor.
- Howell/Ann Arbor/Detroit – The Ann Arbor-Detroit and WALLY commuter rail line project is underway with much support. The newly refurbished train cars were unveiled in June at the Ann Arbor Green Fair.
- Troy – The new Troy Transit Facility is set to open this fall.
This list is just a snapshot of the many exciting groundbreaking transportation projects across the state. Over next month, leading up to the 2013 Transportation Odyssey on September 26th and 27th, we will highlight groundbreaking stories on our blog and social media sites. Each week, we will detail a major groundbreaking success on our blog which will also be highlighted at events along our Odyssey journey. Each day, we will highlight a success from across the state on our Transportation Odyssey Facebook and Twitter pages using #MIOdyssey13.
We would love to hear about the projects in your community. Please leave your groundbreaking transportation stories in the comments below and it could be featured on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
Written by Liz Treutel, Trans4M Fellow