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Stateside: Mass transit a possible option for the state

An artists rendition of the "Foxtown/Stadium" stop for the proposed light rail project in Detroit.
screen grab from YouTube video
An artists rendition of the "Foxtown/Stadium" stop for the proposed light rail project in Detroit.

Michigan’s  Regional Transit Authority will attempt to redesign travel throughout the state.

Adie Tomer, a Senior Research Associate at the Brookings Institution, says implementing a mass transit system in Detroit is entirely possible. Tomer says the state has put spending highway infrastructure ahead of spending on mass transit.

"One of the consequences of building out so many highways… is an underinvestment relative to those highway miles for public transit. In many ways, this left Detroit as one of the few cities without a major mass transit system," said Tomer.

Tomer claimed  many people  are trying to create more options for transportation in America.

“What we found from Detroit was that buses tend to run fairly well in terms of neighborhood service. The problem arises from Detroit being so spread out now. Will this Regional Transit Authority give leaders the opportunity to make planning more aligned with where people have chosen to live? A lot of tough decisions are ahead of them.”

Tomer noted the importance of residents taking action to further the progress of the legislation.

“There is so much that can happen from having this regional governing structure in place. If there is a willingness on the part of the residents to pay for it, there is an opportunity to make some of these investments."

Tomer says people in cities across the country are choosing to tax themselves a little more to invest in public transit.

There are two ways you can podcast "Stateside with Cynthia Canty"

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