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Hi Supporter! As the summer winds down, the RTA is heating up.  They've selected a CEO and a Citizens' Advisory Committee. Read on . . . 

 RTA Selects John Hertel as First CEO

Current SMART Manager, former RTCC Director, and longtime area politician and statesman John Hertel has been selected as the first CEO of the RTA.

While final negotiations have not taken place and a start date has not yet been selected, the Regional Transit Authority board voted at its August meeting to offer the position to John Hertel.

Mr. Hertel has dedicated the last seven years of his long and impressive career to improving regional transit.  He led the Regional Transit Coordinating Council in developing a regional transit plan that got unanimous support from the tri-county city and Detroit executives.  He has directed SMART's bus service through tough budget times and helped ensure overwhelming renewal of SMART's millage by area voters.

However, he has had a rocky relationship with DDOT and Detroit leaders, may struggle to overcome SMART bias, and has limited experience with effective public engagement.  

But with a strong board, active Citizens' Advisory Council, and sustained public involvement, he will be a strong leader for the RTA in these first crucial years.

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 RTA Citizens' Advisory Committee (CAC) Selected  

This week the RTA also selected a CAC.  They sorted through over 70 strong applications and struggled to select a manageable 30 people to invite to serve on the CAC.  Those invitations went out this week and will publicly be announced soon.

But I can tell you that it is a very impressive group of diverse transit advocates from across the four county region, including seniors and young professionals, lifelong residents and those with experience in other metro regions, people with expertise on transit, labor, urban planning, business, air quality, law, and economic development, along with transit riders, bicyclists, people with disability, and many others.

I am honored to be on the committee along side so many other passionate advocates!

The group will start meeting in mid-September to develop bylaws and elect officers and will soon jump into the important job of advising the RTA board and CEO about issues critical to the region.

Stay tuned for more information

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 Don't Forget to Tell the RTA What You Want in Regional Transit!

Quick reminder - in the coming months, the RTA will develop a Regional Transit Plan detailing how they plan to improve transit.  

We want to make sure that plan matches what you want and need – that’s why we are asking for your support.  What improvements are important to you?  And because transit doesn’t come free, are you willing to pay a little more taxes for these improvements?  

If so, tell the RTA how YOU want transit to improve your life and boost our region!

And please invite your friends and others to do the same!  We've gotten input from nearly 2,000 people so far - help us break 2,500!!

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 Help Freshwater Transit Create a Great Brand for the RTA!

A great idea from our friends at Freshwater Transit:

Strong identities help to sell products and ideas. It even applies to public services such as transit. Would transit in Portland be as successful if TriMet went by its official name?

Help brainstorm branding concepts for Southeast Michigan’s new RTA. While we haven’t been officially enlisted to do this work, we will compile the best ideas and present them to RTA stakeholders.

If you have a mind for marketing and an eye for design, please come to our brainstorming session on Wednesday August 28, 8:30p to 10:00p.

Email stephen@fwtransit.org with a brief description of your interest in design and we’ll hit you with more details.

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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!

And FYI, our website has been hacked several times and we've lost a good portion of the information that had been posted there.  We will be overhauling the website this fall with new information, interactivity, and style.  Please forgive it's lack of detail and polish in the meanwhile!



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