detroit mass transit en Below-ground work starts on Detroit light rail <p>DETROIT (AP) - Below-ground utility relocation is underway on a 3.3-mile light rail system that will run from Detroit's riverfront to the city's New Center area.</p><p></p> Sat, 21 Dec 2013 21:36:34 +0000 Associated Press 15800 at Below-ground work starts on Detroit light rail Commentary: Whatever happened to the fast buses? <p></p><p>Back in December, when the legislature stunned Michigan by making this a right to work state, the drama over that drowned out another hugely significant development. The lawmakers approved a Regional Transit Authority for the Detroit Metropolitan area, finally paving the way for a system of fast buses with their own special lanes and a long-overdue coordination of city and suburban bus systems.</p><p>But there’s been little publicity about the project since. Earlier this week, I talked to the two men who know most about it. Paul Hillegonds, who the governor appointed to head the new RTA, and John Hertel, now the general manager of SMART, the suburban bus system. Both told me things were on track.</p><p> Fri, 22 Mar 2013 12:22:19 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 11818 at Commentary: Whatever happened to the fast buses? Southeast Michigan has a regional transit authority. What's next? <P>Transit advocates in southeast Michigan are hailing the creation of a new regional transit authority.</P> <P>Governor Snyder signed legislation to create the authority this month. It will include members from Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, and Washtenaw counties, as well as the city of Detroit.</P> <P>Megan Owens heads the group <A href="">Transportation Riders United</A>. Thu, 27 Dec 2012 00:34:57 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 10536 at Southeast Michigan has a regional transit authority. What's next? Commentary: Good news for Detroit <p>Whether or not you are from the Detroit area, you may well have wondered about the ongoing issue of the street lights.</p><p>There’s been constant discussion about the fact that at least half the lights never come on. This is not a great selling point for a city with a major crime problem.</p><p>So, why doesn’t Detroit just replace the lights? How expensive can new bulbs be? Well, it turns out that isn’t the real problem.</p><p>A few weeks ago, I talked to Glenda Price, a member of the city’s financial advisory board. She had just had a tour of the lighting department. She told me “the wonder is that any of the lights come on at all.” Some of the equipment is a century old.</p><p>Not only is it worn out, there is no way to get spare parts. So technicians jury-rig things, and cannibalize some machinery to keep other parts going.</p><p>But there’s only so much they can do. There’s hope now, however. Yesterday, Governor Rick Snyder came to Detroit to sign legislation allowing the city to appoint an authority that will be able to issue bonds, raise money, and fix the lighting system.</p><p>That was one of the less controversial results of the legislature’s now-famous lame duck session. Additionally, the governor signed a law making it easier for the Downtown Development Authority to help Mike Ilitch build the new hockey arena and entertainment complex he wants in the city.</p><p> Thu, 20 Dec 2012 14:28:09 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 10461 at Commentary: Good news for Detroit Detroit area leaders hail federal transit grant as 'model for joint cooperation' <p>Bus riders in and around Detroit will enjoy some updated buses, <a href="">thanks to a federal grant.</a></p><p>Leaders officially announced a $30 million grant for regional transit systems Monday. It was the third-largest amount dispensed to any metro area nationally from the U.S. Transportation Department&rsquo;s State of Good Repair grant fund.</p> Tue, 24 Jul 2012 01:49:25 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 8407 at Detroit area leaders hail federal transit grant as 'model for joint cooperation' Hope still alive for Detroit light rail project <p>There&rsquo;s a chance <a href="">light rail might still be a part of Detroit&rsquo;s transportation future</a>.</p><p>But backers of a proposed rail line on Woodward Avenue face a deadline to prove they have a viable plan.</p><p>In December, federal transportation officials, Governor Snyder and Detroit Mayor Dave Bing decided the M-1 light rail project should be scrapped.</p> Fri, 06 Jan 2012 23:42:04 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 5685 at Hope still alive for Detroit light rail project Troy rejects federal grant, cancels transit center project <p>Officials in the Detroit suburb of Troy will<a href="|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE"> return $8.5 million in federal stimulus money that was supposed to build a new transit center</a>.</p><p>After a last-ditch attempt at compromise, the Troy City Council voted 4 to 3 to cancel the project.</p><p>The issue has been extremely contentious. Troy officials had worked on the project for more than a decade.</p><p>But Tea Party-influenced candidates recently won a majority on the Troy City Council. They saw the project as an example of wasteful federal spending.</p><p>Mayor Janice Daniels says her vote was a matter of taking a stand.</p><p>&ldquo;One of the issues that we campaigned on was we were not going approve this transit center because we didn&rsquo;t believe it was the right way to use the taxpayer&rsquo;s money or to move this city forward,&rdquo; Daniels said.</p><p>The Council&rsquo;s decision came despite pressure from Troy&rsquo;s business community and Governor Snyder, who see expanding transit as a way to boost economic growth.</p><p>William Cowger is with the Troy Chamber of Commerce.</p><p>&ldquo;Basically&hellip;they decided on ideology before Troy. That they would refuse funds that would help us in the future, for our economic development. Bottom line is, they gave away our money,&rdquo; said Cowger.</p><p>The money will be re-allocated for other transportation projects. Tue, 20 Dec 2011 06:22:52 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 5473 at Troy rejects federal grant, cancels transit center project Detroit light rail in question <pre> Federal officials and Detroit civic leaders want to reassure people that a light rail project is still going forward. </pre> <pre> Those reassurances come after a week of <a href="">press reports and swirling rumors</a> that some of the project&rsquo;s private backers may be pulling out. </pre> <pre> A group of private investors had pledged $100 million to finance the Woodward Avenue rail line. Mon, 11 Jul 2011 20:17:35 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 3250 at Detroit light rail in question