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Hi Supporter.  Your weekly dose of transit news here.  Read on for M-1 Rail info, transit in the State of the City Address, and a corrected nominating link for the Regional Transit Awards . . . 

 Woodward Streetcar Project (M-1 Rail) Public Hearing Next Thursday  

As you've heard, streetcars are coming to downtown and midtown DetroitIt will be a 3.3-mile, fixed-rail streetcar system running primarily along the sides of Woodward Avenue, with 11 or 12 stations from downtown to just north of Grand Boulevard in New Center.

MDOT and the Federal Transit Administration have completed an assessment of the expected social, economic, and environmental impacts of the project, which you can view online

Thursday, Feb. 28 is your chance to learn more, ask questions and share your thoughts and concerns!

Woodward Streetcar Public Hearing

Thurday, Feb. 28, 2013, 4pm to 7pm

(formal presentation at 5pm, stop by anytime)

Detroit Main Library, 5201 Woodward Ave., Detroit


Call 517-373-9534 with questions or to request interpreters or other accommodations.

Additional information is available on the MDOT website:

You can also submit comments on the project through March 14.

 Seeking Nominations for Regional Transit Awards (with corrected link)

Who do you think has done the most to improve regional transit over the past year?  

TRU will present Regional Transit Awards on May 21 to recognize the essential work individuals, organizations, and businesses have done over the past year to improve transit throughout greater Detroit.

Who do you think should be recognized?  Submit your nominations asap - deadline Feb 28.   

(Link corrected!)

We'll narrow the list to the top nominees in each category and a special advisory group will select the top nominee in each category for the top award.

The top nominees and award winners will all be recognized at TRU's big Regional Transit Awards dinner on May 21.  Mark your calendar for the celebration!   

Also, we're seeking some help in planning this great event.  If you're interested in sponsoring it, providing silent auction donations, or helping us seek sponsors and/or silent auction donations, please let me know!!

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 Transit in Mayor Bing's State of the City Address  

Transit was brought up three times in Mayor Bing's State of the City Address last week, in very different ways.

First the Mayor claimed DDOT improvement, which I strongly dispute:  

  • "We have made strides in improving our City bus system. Innovative programs have been implemented in order to provide good customer service. 

    For example, DDOT‘s 415 Plan guarantees the arrival of a bus every fifteen minutes on its four busiest routes. . . . As a result of these innovations, DDOT has experienced a significant reduction in customer complaints and ridership remains steady."

The buses on the 415 Plan are no more reliable than any other buses in the city, with just 67% showing up on time. How is that innovative, good customer service, or a guarantee?  And people have mostly given up calling in complaints!

Second, he touted the creation of the new RTA and M-1 Rail: 

  • "Both the M-1 Rail and Regional Transportation Authority represent bold and progressive changes for the Motor City."

No disputing that!

Last was the biggest transit news of the night:  

  • "Tonight, I am proud to announce my appointment to the Regional Transportation Authority Board. She is a lifetime resident of Detroit and represents an underserved population as President of Warriors on Wheels. Ladies and gentlemen, please recognize and thank Lisa Franklin for accepting this appointment."

This was a huge surprise and I applaud the Mayor's appointment of a strong transit supporter with deep community roots and a passion for the transit needs of people with disabilities.

For more about Lisa's work:  

http://wow4metrodetroit.weebly.com/

http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2011/08/31/disabled-detroiters-fed-up-with-poor-bus-service/

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2011/12/detr-d31.html

Absent from the speech was any real positive vision for improving the City or its transit system, or any real plans from the Mayor. Whether that is because the City is about to be taken over by an Emergency Manager or because the Mayor is too wrapped up in financial crises to look forward, it is a shame and a missed opportunity.   

Stay tuned for more on DDOT and all these issues.

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Quick staffing note - Michael Boettcher is no longer working with TRU.  Feel free to contact me with any TRU business or for Michael's personal email address.

We will be posting for a part-time Office Manager and a full-time Community Engagement Manager in the coming weeks. Stay tuned.

For even more up-to-the-minute updates, videos, articles, and more, make sure to like TRU on our Facebook page:  Support Detroit Transit.  And make sure to add your thoughts and share our posts with your friends!

As always, feel free to contact us before or after with any comments, questions, ideas or concerns.  Thanks,                           

                                         Megan

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