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Lmichigan

Transit plans gain momentum

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I'm not quite so sure the title of the article is anything much more than a wish, since, it still sounds like they've been doing what they've been doing for decades (i.e. talking and planning), but it does give a little bit of insight into what may be going on:

Transit plans gain momentum

From proposed commuter trains to regional bus service, the long-failed effort to establish mass transit in car-crazy Metro Detroit is building steam, officials say...

http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/artic.../703050375/1016

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that title has merrit. I've been a member of TRU since 2000 and i've never seen this much energy surrounding the issue. Our past few meetings have all been well above the capacity of the room. The townhall meeting that the photos shown in the article were taken spilled over into the hallway.

Barring some sort of major stalling point, some sort of commuter rail will happen this year, its just a matter of how much we get. We are pushing semcog to seriously consider adding the detroit to pontiac segment to their trial service. I honestly think that this line will FAR outpace any ridership that is generated on the Det AA segment.

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Has the big 4 (Det, OC, MC, WC) ever been at any one rally at any one time and spoke? My thoughts are no.

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I didn't mean to be so negative, but then I do have reasons to be skeptical. Sorry, if I'm belittling any of your guy's work. It just seems like we've all been burned too many times. This is something I'm always going to doubt until it happens. I hope community activist really take advantage of this new Democratic leadership in the House, and put pressure on Granholm now that she's pretty much free to do anything she'd like (2nd termer) to start turning around this state.

I am heartened to see people finally realizing that transit will be a HUGE component of ANY economic turnaround in this state.

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Folks, this is just talk, thats it! for the past several years we've heard 20 diffrent proposals to make this a reality, none of which seem to be followed agressively. Anywhere form Amtrak service, to DPM expansions, to more buses, they never go beyond "talk." Just give up hope, we are NOT even going to be close to have what you would call major-city mass transit in this decade. I will bet on that. We have a higher chance of getting the superbowl (2wice) and maybe the olympics before these proposals are even out of the planning stages and into the drawing stages.

Lets try to keep this thread alive for years, and then come back here and read this again to see how I told you! :)

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Uh well, if Ann Arbor can put together commuter rail to nowhere this month, I'm sure something will be together within the Detroit metro area over the next few years, even if it's just trial run of sorts.

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Has the big 4 (Det, OC, MC, WC) ever been at any one rally at any one time and spoke? My thoughts are no.

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Tapezord, has anyone on TRU talked about a county-level or metro-level retail sales tax in Detroit to fund transit? I've been working on a project similar in nature for the Grand Rapids area, and I just wonder if pressure from Detroit groups and from us might help get Michigan's constitution changed to allow local sales taxes.

If my computations are correct, Metro Detroit counties would be looking at something like this:

Wayne County Retail Sales: $15 Billion

.5% (1/2 cent) sales tax = $75,000,000/year in tax revenue

.75% (3/4 cent) = $112,500,000/year

1.00% (1 cent) = $150,000,000/year

Oakland County Retail Sales: $17 Billion

.5% = $85,000,000/year

.75% = $127,500,000/year

1.00% = $170,000,000/year

Macomb County Retail Sales: $10 Billion

.5% = $50,000,000/year

.75% = $75 Million/year

1.00% = $100 Million/year

1% across the board for the tri-county area would produce a whopping $420 Million/year, or $4.2 billion over 10 years. That'd buy a lot of trackage.

In fact, Denver voters passed a sales tax bill that will finance their $4.7 Billion FASTRACKS transit plan, that will build 119 miles of commuter rail and light rail, 18 miles of bus rapid transit, and expand bus service throughout the 8 county area over 12 years.

In addition, is there someone with TRU that you would recommend I get in touch with to discuss this further?

Thanks

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Wow, id be in favor of that. Thats a ton of revenue. Toss Genesee County in there too, if you want, lol.

Maglev, anyone? :lol::rolleyes:

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This is our answer to mass transit, sounds like a plan.

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How can we convince the politicians to change the constitution?

I say, lets just re write/ revise ALL of the constitution. I think the last time it was rewritten was the 60's...

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I personally think the state constitution needs a major rework, myself, given these deseperate times when we've thrown everything at the wall and things still aren't working. But, you'd need a constitutional crisis to even get the legislator to even look at such a radical idea. It seems anything transit will have to go through ballot initiative (something I'm generally against).

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How can we convince the politicians to change the constitution?

I say, lets just re write/ revise ALL of the constitution. I think the last time it was rewritten was the 60's...

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There are more than just three counties in Southeast Michigan that could ultimately be part of a transit system. Including Jackson, Adrian, Lansing, Owosso, Lapeer, etc. there could be 12 counties under this tax umbrella with a total population of 5.8 million.

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I can't see how the State Republicans could be against empowering local governments.

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Of course, I can't see how State Republicans could be against reducing the size of government by doing away with townships and consolidating school districts, but one thing I've learned, is never underestimate the power of our legislature to find a way to screw things up in this state... even if no one else can.

By the way, I really like your plan - especially the distributional effects within society.

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