The Regional Transit Authority is considering a new possible Regional Transit Plan.
A team led by Wayne County Executive Warren Evans has spent the past year listening to people’s feedback, concerns, and complaints about the Regional Transit Plan that was adopted by the RTA in 2016, but never funded. They worked hard with a professional planning team from HNTB to address as many of those concerns as possible in shaping this new plan.
From TRU’s perspective, it’s a great plan that would connect more places more frequently:
- More frequent services – 15 transit routes running every 15 minutes (at least during rush hour)
- 5 routes would run at least every 15 minutes for 15 hours a day: Woodward, Gratiot, Michigan, Grand River, and Mound/Van Dyke
- 10 additional routes with high frequency at rush hour
- Connect to more places – 15 new regional express routes
- 11 Commuter Express routes connecting people to important job centers like Great Lakes Crossing, 12 Oaks Mall, Canton, and Livonia
- 4 Airport Express routes from Novi, Pontiac, Mt Clemens/Lakeside Mall
- Commuter Rail between Detroit and Ann Arbor
It carefully addresses complaints about the 2016 plan:
- Every community gets local funding to spend on local transit needs, addressing the complaint that some communities wouldn’t benefit or wouldn’t control funding
- Funds to explore and test autonomous vehicle infrastructure and pilot cutting-edge technology
The downside is that this plan does not explicitly commit to advanced Bus Rapid Transit (or Light Rail) on our busiest corridors. Instead it allocates funding to studying those options and implementing them to alleviate major choke-points.This plan spreads the proverbial peanut butter more smoothly throughout the region instead of prioritizing the corridors of highest demand and transit potential. While this may not be TRU’s preference, we recognize the political necessity for each community to directly benefit.
Review it yourself and provide feedback!
The RTA has posted a link to the framework summary of the plan (pdf) and the plan map (pdf). They invite input to firstname.lastname@example.org or 313-400-9234, and will be planning a broader public input process in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!
Then Tell the RTA Board to Put it on the Ballot and Opponents to Stop Blocking Progress
Despite nearly a year of ongoing negotiations and compromise, Oakland County Executive Brooks Patterson and Macomb Exec Mark Hackel both refuse to support they plan.
Come out to the Oakland County Commission meeting next Wednesday March 21 to voice your support for investing in great transit!
Stay tuned for more ways to help fight to get this on the ballot and passed.