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Public transportation, regional authority to take center stage at legislative luncheon

Event, speakers part of daylong push at State Capitol Thursday
Feb 22, 2012
Lansing – Public transportation advocates and policy experts will lunch with members of the Michigan Senate and House of Representatives Thursday as part of a daylong push to educate lawmakers on the need for a regional transportation authority in Southeast Michigan.

“A regional transit authority is an important step in the right direction in providing a higher level of coordinated transit service in Southeast Michigan,” said Tim Fischer of the Michigan Environmental Council and the Transportation for Michigan coalition (Trans4M). “This is a critical tool to increase the region’s capacity to compete with other Midwest states and big cities.”

Dennis Schornack, senior strategy advisor for Gov. Rick Snyder, will address the gathering as will legislators and other policy experts. The luncheon runs from 11:30 to 1 p.m. in the Senate Hearing Room at the Boji Tower building near the State Capitol.

During the remainder of the day, dozens of advocates will meet with their legislators and staff to ask for support for an authority that would:

• Coordinate transit in Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne Counties, including the City of Detroit.
• Plan, fund and operate a Rolling Rapid Transit service along Woodward, Gratiot, Big Beaver/M-59, and connections to Detroit, the airport and Ann Arbor.
• Propose to the voters a new regional vehicle registration fee dedicated to transit.
• Create a Citizens’ Advisory Committee including riders, seniors, and people with disabilities.
• Be run by a professional staff and governed by a board made up of two people appointed by each county, one appointed by Detroit, and one non-voting appointee of the governor as chair.
Tim Fischer: 734-255-9206
RELATED TOPICS: transportation policy
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