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Happy Pi Day Supporter. Today I'm thinking circularly, of regional transit progess past and present. Who's made great transit in the past and should be nominated for our Regional Transit Awards? Plus who's on the new RTA Board to lead future progress? Read on . . . 

 Last Call for Nominations for Regional Transit Awards

Who do you think has done great work for 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, in the following categories: 

  • Citizen Activist of the Year

  • Corporate Transit Champion
  • Transit Employee of the Year
  • Exemplary Regionalism & Innovation Award
  • Forward Motion Award for Most Effective Public Servant
  • Top Progressive Initiative Award

Who do you think should be recognized?  Please submit your nominations asap - deadline extended to March 21.   

We'll then narrow the list to the top nominees in each category and a special expert panel 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!   

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 Regional Transit Authority Progress 

The new Regional Transit Authority is coming together, slowly but surely. Here's a quick update of what's been done and what's next.

Most of the RTA Board members have been appointed:

  • Representing Detroit:

  • Representing Macomb County:

    • Julie Gatti, President-Elect of the Macomb Bar Association and independant family lawyer
    • Roy C. Rose, President of an engineering consulting firm, on the Boards of Leadership Macomb and Focus Macomb
  • Representing Washtenaw County:

  • Representing Wayne County:

  • Non-Voting Chair, representing the State:

    • Paul Hillegonds, DTE Vice-President and former Speaker of the Michigan House of Representatives

Next steps:  The final two board members will be appointed by the Oakland County Executive by March 19.  The full Board will then meet for the first time in early April and get started developing bylaws, hiring a CEO, selecting a Citizen's Advisory Committee, setting up a website, and much more.  

Several MDOT and SEMCOG staff are supporting the RTA as it gets up and running, including:

  • Shanelle Jackson, a former Detroit state representative, to facilitate community outreach

  • Mario Marrow, to support communications

  • Joe Pavona, to coordinate public-private partnerships

Stay tuned for lots more!    

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 Have Your Say on the Region's Long-Term Transportation Plan

In June 2013, SEMCOG's General Assembly will adopt a long-range transportation vision defining how the region's transportation system can support continued economic recovery, environmental health, community revitalization, and quality of life. The short-term funding priorities identified in that plan will be spelled out in the FY 2014-2017 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). Together, these documents will guide planning actions and funding decisions for the region.

SEMCOG has posted videos and surveys on congestion – check them out and tell them what you think!

You can also email them directly with your comments, questions, and concerns.

Also, SEMCOG wants to speak to your business, civic, faith-based, or governmental group to spread the word on the importance of our regional transportation system and how everyone can participate in the planning process.

Want to learn more about how the transportation system impacts your everyday life? Contact Sue Stetler at 313-324-3428 or stetler@semcog.org.


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 Other Transit News

Other transit related news:

  • Metromode: Guest Blogger: Megan Owens (me!)
    • "Transit improvement is not optional. It's not a nice-to-have. It is absolutely essential. Greater Detroit has a great opportunity to dramatically improve our transit system with a new Regional Transit Authority being developed. But that will require strong leadership and a willingness to invest in great transit."
  • Freep / USA TodayPublic transportation hits 10.5B rides in 2012
    • Volatile gas prices and increasing interest among millennials and baby boomers led to the nation's the second-highest annual transit ridership since 1957!
  • GuardianJorge Mario Bergoglio: the humble pope with practical approach to poverty
    • The new pope has a history of fighting for the poor and riding public transit.
  • Farmington Observer / www.hometownlife.comBridges joins mass transit advocacy group
    • “Farmington Hills City Councilman Mike Bridges is among the latest to represent the suburbs and join Transportation Riders United.”

My sincere apologies if you've tried to contact us and haven't gotten a response.  We're short-staffed right now and I've been out sick for a while.  But we expect new staff to be joining in the next few weeks to help us catch up.  Please be both patient and persistent - feel free to call or email again if we don't reply promptly.  

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,                           


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