This week, the Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan (RTA) kicks off its public comment period about its proposal to create a comprehensive, connected transit system across Metro Detroit.
It’s a crucial process to collect input from residents of the region, who narrowly rejected the RTA’s 2016 proposal. Will this time be any different?
Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson talks with two people at the center of this effort.
Matt Webb is the RTA’s COO. He says they’ve learned a lot of lessons from the failure in 2016.
“Coming out of 2016, many hours have gone into evaluating what was good in that plan, what needed improvement, and discussions especially with our region’s leadership have taken place across the last six-to-eight months and really helped to shape what this new vision looks like,” says Webb.
It’s those regional leaders that could prove to be the biggest obstacle to the RTA plan making the ballot in November. Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson and Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel have both indicated they don’t support the plan at this point. They could effectively kill the proposal before voters have a chance to cast their votes.
Henderson also speaks with Megan Owens, executive director of Transportation Riders United, which advocates for better transit in Southeast Michigan. She says the plan takes into consideration and addresses many of the concerns raised by Patterson, Hackel, and other critics last time around.
“It allows every single township to have funds and support to provide their local needs,” says Owens. “No community in this region does not have direct benefit.”
Click on the audio player above to hear the full conversation.
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