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turlough

Transit body keeps working

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Despite a legal ruling that has clouded the status of the Detroit Area Regional Transportation Authority, the group is moving ahead with trying to improve mass transit in southeast Michigan. A Web site -- www.darta.info -- is scheduled for launch Tuesday. It will provide information about the organization and links to the Web sites of the Detroit Department of Transportation -- www.ci.detroit.mi.us/ddot -- and SMART -- www.smartbus.org -- the agency that provides bus service in the suburbs. At a meeting Friday, the DARTA board also learned of cooperative efforts taking place between DDOT and SMART to better coordinate service. DDOT recently installed a trip planner on its Web site, which will map out routes and bus times for people looking to travel to a specific location. SMART will install the same service on its Web site in the next several months, and a coordinated trip planner for both systems is expected to be available next year. DARTA has not decided yet whether it will appeal a ruling by Wayne County Circuit Judge James Rashid that said the elected officials who created DARTA did not the have the authority to transfer their powers to the agency

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I'm not sure what the exact legal ruling was....something to check into I guess.

There are several major obstacles to ever getting a mass transit system in Detroit. One is federal funding. Michigan gets shortchanged when it comes to federal funding for transportation pprojects. I believe that Michgan gets more federal transportation money per dollar than only Ohio. I haven't seen the list in about a year, but I'm pretty sure MI was 49th & OH was 50th.

Also, there is a stupid law that says that not more than 10% of the transportation budget may be spent on mass transit, so the opportunities for getting any grants to help build a system are very limited.

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the legal rulling has to do with if the representatives that signed onto darta (county commissioners of the three counties, city of detroit folks, etc.) were legally able to sign onto it.

Since they were not motivated by the law (michigan house of representatives) some are critical of whether people were allowed to bound their constituents to this organization

EDIT: forgot "not" which might clarify it a little more

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Thanks ClevelandNO. I knew it was something along those lines, but wasn't 100% sure.

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