Mass transit initiatives gain speed, momentum as the public and local
officials get behind efforts. The Establishment of a commuter rail line
between Ann Arbor and Detroit and north of Ann Arbor is moving forward.
From proposed commuter trains to regional bus service, the long-failed effort to establish mass transit in car-crazy Metro Detroit is building steam, officials say.
Bringing the issue to the forefront are increasingly congested roads, soaring gas prices and the fact that Democrats -- who historically have championed public transportation -- now control the state House, governor's office and Congress.
Advocates say city after city has benefited from building a transit system, creating jobs and economic development along the routes. With the possible exception of Los Angeles, Detroit is the only major U.S. city without effective mass transit, critics say.
"I think it's really important that we develop an effective and efficient public transportation system if we're going to move ahead with economic recovery in this state," State Rep. Marie Donigan told a standing-room-only crowd at a public transit meeting last week in Royal Oak.
"We think there's an urgency in our work. We know the status quo's not working."
Read the entire article here.