Regional mass transit champions, especially of train and light rail, received several pieces of good news in 2011 as Amtrak operators and bus service providers saw ridership hit record numbers. Funding added up, new stations opened and Woodward Avenue light rail moved as close as ever to leaving the station.
Metro Detroit suburbs liked what they saw and threw money and manpower behind studies and possible land acquisition into linking their main corridors, namely Woodward Avenue and possibly 8 Mile, to light rail or other regional mass transit system.
Of course, the Woodward Avenue Rail project has been put on hold in favor of a rapid bus transit plan... but the conversation deepens and most assuredly continues.
Note: The record numbers and the funding have been a "trend" since at least 2008, but 2012 might show us if this thing that has brought so much economic stimulus to other towns can happen in metro Detroit. It's why we posed this in 2011: If Dallas can do it, why not Detroit?
As train and bus ridership gorw, $47 million is committed to new transit options
Transform Woodward ponders light rail beyond Detroit
Woodward Avenue as linear city
If Dallas Can Do It, Why Can't Detroit?
Case for Detroit light rail grows with $25M federal grant, 23 percent growth in Amtrak ridership
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New transit center in Pontiac welcomes bus, train commuters
By Kim North Shine