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11/12/2008



Rail News: Passenger Rail

New coalition to back transit efforts in Michigan


The Michigan Municipal League, Detroit Regional Chamber and Transportation Riders United recently teamed up to form Get Michigan Moving (GM-2), a coalition that plans to launch public policy and education efforts aimed at expanding public transit in Michigan.

Among the coalition's initial goals: working to pass state legislation to help communities establish transit systems. A state bill proposes to create geographic "transit revitalization investment zones" around stations. As the zones attract commercial and residential development, the resulting growth in property tax revenue would be used to operate and maintain the stations and related facilities.

GM-2 also expects to help fine-tune recently introduced state legislation that would advance a 3.4-mile light-rail system in Detroit, and implement recommendations recently released by the Transportation Funding Task Force that call for reforming and investing in Michigan's transportation systems.

In addition to the Detroit light-rail line, the state has proposed a rapid-transit project in Grand Rapids and a 48-mile commuter-rail line between Detroit and Ann Arbor.


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