Detroit poised to improve traffic congestion

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 12/20/2012

An effort to relieve some traffic congestion in the Detroit area is now law.

Gov. Rick Snyder signed a five-bill package into law Wednesday, Dec. 19, to help get people around the city and reduce some traffic. Specifically, it creates a regional transit authority to benefit Macomb, Oakland, Wayne and Washtenaw counties.

The governor made a regional transit authority in southeast Michigan a priority late this year. He recommends using $250,000 in transportation funds to cover the initial startup costs.

The main bill – SB909 – creates a new regional transit board to coordinate public transportation in the region. Another bill, SB967, authorizes a rapid transit bus system to be set up for the area.

One more bill – SB911 – requires voters in the affected areas to approve transit funding through an additional vehicle registration tax or a special assessment.

Supporters said something is needed 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 $25 million after a regional transit board is created.

The money would be used to help build a light-rail line in downtown Detroit.

Snyder said the bill package ushers the region into a new era.

“Connecting people with safe, reliable and efficient transit will be instrumental to our ongoing economic comeback.

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

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