What’s the Future of Public Transportation for Southeast Michigan?

Michael Ford talks about the Regional Transport Authority’s plan for public transportation in southeast Michigan.

Stephen Henderson discusses the future of Southeast Michigan public transportation with Michael Ford, CEO of Southeast Michigan’s Regional Transport Authority. 

Some of the major points that emerge from their conversation are: 

  • Major corridors.  Ford says the RTA is conducting studies on transportation on Woodward, Michigan, and Gratiot. 
  • Finding and fixing gaps.  Ford says that they are focused on finding and fixing gaps in southeast Michigan’s public transportation.  He says it should be easier to get from neighborhoods or suburbs to the city.
  • Hearing from the public.  Ford says the RTA plans to hold many public forums in the coming months, and that it has held public forums and received feedback on what public transportation users want. He says he has heard that busses should run earlier and later, that there should be more direct routes, and that millennials and the elderly want easier access to public transportation. He says the RTA is using this feedback to form a plan, and that they will commit to executing this plan.  
  • Willing to pay for a better system.  Stephen asks if listeners are willing to pay higher taxes for better public transportation, and if they would use public transportation if it were better.  Most callers say that they would be willing to pay higher taxes for better public transportation, but that they would like that system to be more efficient and better integrated than the current busses. 

Click the audio link above to hear the full conversation.