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Hi Supporter!  Summer's starting this weekend!  So come out to Detroit RiverDays and help us talk transit.  Plus we're hosting an exciting Community Forum next week.  Read on . . .

Trans4M Oakland Community Forum  Thursday evening June 28

We in Michigan have long beeninnovators inportation. It’s time to mobilize our communities to rebuild the state’s transportation system around today's needs. 
Trans4M Community Forum, Thursday June 28, 6-8pm at Royal Oak First United Methodist ChurchTRU, MOSES,Michigan Suburbs Alliance, and your neighbors at one of 14 interactive community forumsacross Michigan to build a new transportation visionfor our state:   
  • Have your say on how better transportation can improve your life and your community
  • Discuss the funding needs to make our shared vision a reality
  • Take action to improve our transportation system.
This first event will be next Thursday, June 28, from 6-8pm at Royal Oak First United Methodist Church (320 W. 7th Street, a few blocks west of Main Street and south of the transit center in downtown Royal Oak).  Light refreshments will be served.
Additional events will follow in Wayne County (tentatively July 17), Detroit (tent. July 24), and Mt. Clemens (tent. Aug. 7), and elsewhere in Michigan
Please RSVP and get more information online, on Facebook, or by calling the TRU office at 313-963-8872.  Efforts will be made to address needed accommodations 72 hours in advance to ensure everyone can participate.

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Baby Steps Forward on M-1 Rail Streetcar Project

US DOT Secretary Ray LaHood sent a letter to Roger Penske and the M-1 Rail team today, saying:

"I am writing to reiterate my strong support for the M-1 Rail Streetcar Project . . . 

"Before we can move forward, however, a number of issues must be resolved, . . . including development of a creditble plan approved by all funding partners to cover both short-term and long-term operating costs . . . And finally, considerable progress on the authorization of a properly constituted regional transit authority to serve the greater transit needs of the region and serve as the eventual operator of the M-1 Rail project. 

"Given these challenges, I regret to tell you that we do not anticipate being able to provide funding from this current round of TIGER grants.  However, up to $25 million in alternative sources of Federal transportation funding may be rapidly available, contingent upon the ability of M-1 Rail, along with State and local stakeholders, to satisfactorily realize the mitigations cited above.

"In anticipation of our ability to resolve the remaining issues, I am directing the Federal Transit Administration to initiate the necessary Federal environmental work for the project."

The M-1 Rail team shared with me a memo in reponse:

"We are confident that those questions will be answered, and welcome the time and opportunity to work with the Governor, Mayor and U.S. Department of Transportation to provide every assurance that this project will be successful and sustainable.

"We are particularly encouraged that . . . in anticipation of our success that the U.S. DOT is initiating the necessary Federal environmental work for the project to move into construction.

We wish to thank the U.S. Department of Transportation for its continued foresight and cooperation as we work to create this unprecedented public/private partnership initiative that we believe is vital to Detroit’s growth and economic turnaround."

So it's not big news, but it is nice to hear continued support.  And starting the environmental work is an important step.  We'll see where it goes from here.

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Senate Goes on Summer Recess without RTA Vote, Governor Still Optimistic

As Secretary LaHood noted, an RTA is essential to both the M-1 Rail project and the overall improvement of transit throughout southeast Michigan.  Yet the Michigan legislature broke for their summer recess without voting on the RTA.  The Senate only plans to be in session for a few days all summer.

The closer to elections we get, the harder it will be to pass.  Yet when I spoke with the Governor's office, he is still optimistic that it will get passed this year.  We're not giving up yet!  Stay tuned for more action to come.

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Help TRU Talk Transit at this Summer's Festivals and Fireworks!

Summer is a great time to head out for fabulous fairs, festivals, and fireworks.  And all those people together make it a great time to talk transit!

TRU will be out and about this summer, starting this weekend at Detroit's RiverDays, the Rochester GreenFair, and Monday's fireworks downtown.  Join us!  TRU needs volunteers to hand out flyers and ask people to contact key state senators regarding the Regional Transit Authority bills. 

We do not have a table for these event, volunteers will be walking around with clipboards. There are 2-hour shifts available on Saturday, June 23, 12noon - 4:00 pm and Monday, June 25, 4:00 - 8:00 pm.   

To sign up email TRU's Community Outreach Intern Julia or call the TRU office at 313-963-8872 to get the times, places, and other details.  

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Please keep the conversation going - "like" our Facebook page Support Detroit Transit and provide your comments and ideas!

Let me know what you think of the new look and new tools.  As always, you can reach us at the TRU office at 313-963-8872, email me at MOwens@DetroitTransit.org. 


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