On January 28, 2011 Transportation Riders United (TRU) hosted the 2013 Annual Meeting at Quicken Loans (Chase Tower) featuring the Regional Transportation Authority (TRA) topic.
In December 2010 the legislature passed and Governor Snyder signed the RTA law. This law responds to the growing need for Southeast Michigan to have a better connected bus service and rapid transit that will help people connect to jobs, families and save them money.
The RTA includes Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw, and Wayne counties. The RTA will coordinate and manage regional transit improvement projects and will not takeover or merge the existing transit authorities of D-Dot, SMART, AATA, or People Mover. Four proposed area for rapid transit are on Woodward, Gratiot, Ann Arbor to Detroit, and Troy to Mount Clemens. The RTA will plan, fund, and operate these four proposed rapid transit systems.
The Board of Directors for the RTA comprised 2 appointments by County Executives, 1 appointment by the Detroit Mayor, and 1 non-voting board chair by the Governor. March 19, 2013 is the deadline for the appointments with a first meeting to be held within 30 days of the appointments. Washtenaw County has selected Richard Murphy and Elizabeth Gerber.
Once the Board of Directors is in place they will hire a CEO to manage daily operations. TRU encourages you to give your input to Detroit Mayor Bing (313-224-3400), Oakland Executive L. Brooks Patterson (248-858-0484), Macomb Executive Mark Hackel (586-469-7001), and Wayne Executive Robert Ficano (313-224-0286) to select appointees that understand the need for a national search to select the RTA CEO to ensure creation of an optimal regional transit authority.
Detroittransit.org is the website for TRU and it provides information on transit topics with the ability to sign up for their newsletter, learn about events and opportunities. TRU’s website has a quick action area to send county leaders your input on the selection for RTA Board appointee. Sign up and be involved.
TRU is a conduit to make everyday transit users voices heard. TRU has worked for last decade to restore urban vitality and transportation equity that improves quality of life. An essential factor of the RTA is regional coordination to improve transit for the whole community. The RTA will have a Citizen Advisory Committee to provide input and assist the RTA to make a leap forward in assisting our region to become vibrant.
Author: Michelle Abd’Elaziz, Reporter on Urban Planning, representing GreeningDetroit.com