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MEC calls on southeast Michigan leaders to send RTA plan to voters

Jul 27, 2016
The Michigan Environmental Council on Wednesday urged southeast Michigan leaders to come to an agreement around the Regional Transit Authority’s master plan and put funding for the plan before voters in November, noting the Aug. 16 deadline for county clerks to approve ballot language. 

“It took four decades to win the support needed to create the RTA, and I hope regional leaders and board members will not let this transformative moment for Metro Detroit be lost over last-minute disagreements,” said Chris Kolb, MEC president. “Voters in all four counties understand that implementing the RTA master plan will strengthen the economy and improve quality of life for the entire region, and it is critical that we have an opportunity to show our support at the polls this fall.” 

Underinvestment and a lack of coordination have left the region's transit system disjointed, unreliable and plagued by barriers to opportunity and mobility for workers, seniors and people with disabilities. 

Released in May, the RTA master plan has the potential to remove those barriers, and will fundamentally transform southeast Michigan's transportation system, connect residents with jobs and opportunities, drive economic development and make the region a magnet for innovative businesses and talented workers, Kolb said. 

“Whether they live downtown or in the suburbs, everyone in southeast Michigan stands to benefit from unlocking the RTA plan’s potential for economic growth, access to jobs and education and cleaner air,” Kolb said. “As a Washtenaw County resident, I’m excited to watch the region thrive as we move forward with this blueprint for a 21st century transportation system. I urge regional leaders to reach an agreement quickly so fellow voters and I can have our say in November.” 

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