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Greetings Supporter. It's finally here! Join us in welcoming the new RTA, which will meet next week! Plus more Woodward Rapid Transit news and meetings. Read on . . . 

 Welcome the New Regional Transit Authority!!

After decades fighting for its creation and months of waiting on appointments and preparations,

Southeast Michigan's Regional Transit Authority is finally getting started!

All the RTA Board members have been appointed and met each other for the first time last week.  The first official RTA Board meeting will be on Wednesday, April 10, at 3:00pm at the SEMCOG offices.

Help us provide a big, public welcome!!

1) Join friends and allies from across the region in an RTA march and "Birthday Party" to welcome them at their first meeting April 10!

  • 1:30 pm:  Meet at Rosa Parks Transit Center, downtown Detroit
  • 2:00 pm:  March down Michigan Ave. with banners, balloons and more
  • 2:15 pm:  "Birthday Party" press conference, at Michigan and Woodward
  • 3-5 pm:   RTA meeting, at the SEMCOG offices, 1001 Woodward Bldg., 14th floor, with public comment opportunity
Get details and RSVP on Facebook.

2) Also, share your welcome and suggestions with the RTA online.

I set up a quick and easy way to email the new RTA Board members and interim staff with your message of welcome and some suggestions of how to make the RTA as open and successful as possible.  Our suggestions for them:
  • Develop open and welcoming processes that encourage maximum public involvement.
  • Hold a nationwide search for a strong CEO with proven experience developing a successful regional transit system.
  • Hold the earliest possible public vote on funding transit to quickly fund major transit improvements.
You can also add your own suggestions and ideas!  Let's get open communications with the RTA started right away!!  

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 Regional Transit Authority Board

The new Regional Transit Authority has finally all been appointed.

  • The last two appointments, representing Oakland County:
    • Steven M. Potter, Rochester Hills resident, trial attorney, and former law partner of Brooks Patterson

    • Matthew M. Wirgau, Bloomfield Hills resident, former SMART board chair, and president of Midwest Financial Service

They complete the full ten member board, joining:

  • Representing Detroit:  Lisa Franklin (Warriors on Wheels)

  • Representing Macomb County: Julie Gatti (Macomb Bar Association) and Roy Rose (engineering firm)

  • Representing Washtenaw County:  Richard Murphy (Ypsilanti Planning Commission) and Elizabeth Gerber (Policy Professor at U of M) 

  • Representing Wayne County: Dr. Curtis Ivery (WCCCD) and Mark Gaffney (Teamsters)

  • Non-Voting Chair, representing the State:  Paul Hillegonds (DTE)

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Woodward Rapid Transit Will Be BRT, Plus More Public Meetings

News on the Woodward Rapid Transit Alternatives Analysis:

"After extensive analysis and community input, Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) has emerged as the preferred modal option for rapid transit along Woodward."

Mark your calendar! There will be another set of public meetings on Woodward Avenue Rapid Transit this month.

Learn more about BRT and how it was chosen. Give your input on BRT routes, potential station locations and on local feeder bus routes.

Wed., April 17, 6:30 pm - 8 pm
St. James Catholic Church, 241 W. Pearson St., Ferndale, 48220

Tues., April 23, 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm
Detroit Public Library, Main Branch, 5201 Woodward Ave., Detroit, 48202

Thurs., April 25, 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm
Berkley Community Center, 2400 Robina Ave., Berkley, 48072

Sat., April 27, 11 am to 1 pm
Detroit Public Library, Main Branch, 5201 Woodward Ave., Detroit, 48202

Tues., April 30, 6 pm to 8 pm
Manresa Jesuit Retreat House, 1390 Quarton Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48304


SEMCOG is conducting the Woodward Avenue Rapid Transit Alternatives Analysis (AA) project to review rapid transit options for a 27-mile corridor along Woodward Avenue from downtown Detroit to downtown Pontiac. The AA process will take a comprehensive look at regional mobility needs in southeast Michigan and guide the alternatives discussion through a streamlined environmental review process. The Woodward corridor is the first of four corridors in the governor's proposal for a new 113-mile regional transit network. The AA phase will be completed in early 2014.  

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Reminder:  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 transit, non-motorized, congestion and more – 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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My sincere apologies if you've tried to contact us and haven't gotten a response.  We are still short-staffed and I've been out a fair bit.  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,                           


PS - You are subscribed to Transportation Riders United's email list. TRU is Detroit's nonprofit transit advocate, dedicated since 1999 to improving bus service, removing barriers to rapid transit, and advocating for smart transportation investments.  

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