Detroit area transit authority sought at Michigan statehouse

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 10/11/2012

Relief from some traffic congestion in the Detroit area could soon be on the way.

A bill in the Michigan House would create a regional transit authority in southeast Michigan. Specifically, it would affect Macomb, Oakland, Wayne and Washtenaw counties.

Sponsored by Rep. Jim Townsend, D-Royal Oak, the bill would create a new regional transit board to coordinate public transportation in the region. A rapid transit bus system could also be set up for the area.

Supporters say something must be done to fix a local transit system that is fragmented. They note that the federal government has indicated that the state could be in line for about $50 million in aid if a regional transit board is created.

Gov. Rick Snyder previously stated that he supports a regional transit authority in southeast Michigan. He recommends using $250,000 in transportation funds to cover the initial startup costs.

The bill – HB5309 – is in the House Transportation Committee. If signed into law, voters would need to approve funding for the project through an additional vehicle registration tax and/or a special assessment.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Michigan, click here.

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