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Lots of important transit reminders this week Supporter. Join us in welcoming the new RTA this Wednesday! Plus intern with TRU, have your say on state transportation funding, Woodward Rapid Transit, and more! Read on . . . 

 Help Us Provide a Big Welcome to the New Regional Transit Authority!!

After decades of effort and months of preparations,

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

The first official RTA Board meeting will be this Wednesday, April 10, from 3:00 - 5:00pm at the SEMCOG offices.

Help us provide them an enthusiastic 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, chants, 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 ideas 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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 Spend Your Summer Improving Transit:  Intern with TRU!

This spring and summer, TRU will embark on a major community engagement campaign to build broad public support for regional transit.  And we need some help!

TRU is seeking four organized, outgoing people who have experience working in community settings, managing volunteers, coordinating events, and speaking before a variety of audiences. They will be part of a team that will begin a movement to invest in improved transit throughout greater Detroit. 

Community Engagement Interns will coordinate TRU’s participation in community meetings and events to build understanding and support of transit investments. Interns will work 15-40 hours a week and can receive a financial stipend and potentially course credit.

Review the position description for responsiblities, needed skills, and how to apply (due date extended, but only until Friday, April 12). 

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Should Woodward Rapid Transit Be Bus Rapid Transit?  Have Your Say!

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."

Do you agree?  

How can we make sure it's the best BRT ever?

Have your say at the upcoming 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
Background: 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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Speak Out on State Transportation - Come to Lansing or Write a Letter to the Editor

If you’ve heard much about state transportation funding recently, it’s probably been "just fix the roads". But as you well know, there is much more to transportation than just our roads!!

Our partners at Transportation For Michigan (Trans4M) have launched an effort called “Move Michigan,” to make sure our state lawmakers support funding for our complete transportation system, not just one part of it.

1)  They're hosting a big Transportation Day at the Capitol on Tuesday, April 16 in Lansing meeting with legislators!

Transportation for Michigan (Trans4M) members and supporters will meet with legislators to educate them on the transportation funding reform and other Trans4M priorities. Legislative background and talking points will be provided, as will travel and food. 

But you must RSVP ASAP so they can arrange meetings, travel, and food.  Visit the Trans4M website or contact Kathryn for more information.  

2)  Another part of this effort is a letter to the editor drive, in which we want as many people as possible to write a letter to the editor of their local paper, getting the word out that we need funding for our complete transportation system, including public transit and non-motorized modes. Can you help?

If you’re already inspired and ready to go, please submit a letter to the editor of your local paper on this theme.  Please let Dan from Trans4M know what you sent and where.  

Even easier than that, Dan wrote some sample letters.  Contact him to get a sample letter you can tweak and submit with a little help from Dan.

These next few weeks are a particularly critical time.  The legislature has begun debating transportation funding, but are back in their districts for spring break, listening to and reading what their constituents have to say.  Them we need to invest in our whole transportation system!! 

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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 preparing for maternity leave.  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,                                                                     Megan

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.   Click here to unsubscribe .