Public input sought on transit master plans

In case you hadn’t heard about this, I thought I’d pass along the follow note from Amanda Edmonds…

The AATA is undertaking a series of 20 public meetings to help with the creation of a Transit Master Plan for Washtenaw County. The project began in July, 2010 and will culminate in the creation of a Transit Master Plan in early 2011.

Currently, the AATA is holding outreach meetings across Washtenaw County to present options and scenarios developed from their first round of community input and assessment. These meetings are designed as drop-in sessions– you can stop by at any point to see informational displays, ask questions, and provide ideas. There will be a short presentation during the middle hour of the event.

The informational displays will focus on the Vision for Washtenaw County and the unmet transportation needs of its residents and workers and how this long term vision can serve these unmet needs.

I am promoting this event on behalf of the Ypsilanti Health Coalition, who recognizes that access to transportation of all kinds relate to access to health care, access to jobs, et al. We hope you’ll consider attending to share your voice.

The upcoming meetings in the Ypsi area are:

Wednesday, October 13, 6-8 pm, Ypsi Library– 5577 Whittaker Road
Monday, October 18, 3-5 pm, SPARK East– 215 W. Michigan Ave
Wednesday, October 27, 11 am- 1 pm, EMU Room 310B, 900 Oakwood Street

You can learn more about the process and other upcoming outreach meetings here.

And, speaking of mass transit visioning initiatives, the State of Michigan is just beginning to develop a State Rail Plan that will cover both passenger and freight rail. If you’d like more information, you can check out Michigan by Rail dot org. Or, better yet, you can participate in the official Ypsi/Arbor forum, which will be held on December 9, from 6:00 to 8:00 PM, at Washtenaw Community College’s Morris Lawrence Building (4800 East Huron River Dr, Ann Arbor MI 48105-4800). If you’re so inclined, you can also leave public comments on MDOT’s new website.

…And, while we’re on the subject of personal mobility and the like, I’d like to ask all of you in Ypsi consider voting in favor of the 0.9789 mil tax increase in support of public transit come November 2nd. I know it’s difficult to support a new tax, no matter how small, when our economy is in the state that it’s in, but, if we’re ever going to turn things around, it’s absolutely essential that robust public transit options exist.

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3 Comments

  1. Edward
    Posted October 12, 2010 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    No offense, but shouldn’t we have done all of this in 2000? I can’t believe it’s taken us ten years to get to the point of thinking about our vision relative to regional mass transit.

  2. John Galt
    Posted October 12, 2010 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    I’ve said it here before, but if the poor want trains and buses, let them build them. My money is MINE!

  3. Meta
    Posted October 18, 2010 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    From MDOT:

    October 18, 2010 — Amtrak trains in Michigan have set new ridership records for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30 and collected $24.5 million in ticket revenue. The strong performance on the Michigan routes is evidence that passengers are choosing Amtrak more often, and consider train travel in the Great Lakes State a convenient travel option.

    In figures for the 2009-2010 fiscal year, 479,782 passengers rode Amtrak Wolverine service trains on the Pontiac/Detroit-Chicago corridor, an increase of 8 percent from the same period a year earlier. Ticket revenue was up by more than 12 percent to $16,909,193.

    The Blue Water train on the Port Huron/East Lansing-Chicago route saw an impressive 18.7 percent increase with 157,709 passengers using the Amtrak service in FY10. Ticket revenue was up by 15.3 percent to $4,741,560.

    Ridership on the Pere Marquette train on the Grand Rapids-Chicago route experienced a slight drop, attributed to the fact that the New Buffalo station stop was switched from the Pere Marquette to the Wolverine and Blue Water lines in May 2010. Passenger travel was down by just 1.3 percent to 101,907, while ticket revenue rose 3.3 percent to $2,912,070.

    “We believe the uptick in passenger rail travel is an indication of a modestly improving business climate, continuing high gasoline prices, and in this new economy, people choosing rail travel closer to home with local and regional destinations,” said State Transportation Director Kirk T. Steudle.

    “People have told us through the State Transportation Plan that they value choices, and train travel with its convenience and comfort seems to fit their needs,” he added.

    “We thank every passenger for choosing Amtrak to meet their intercity travel needs,” said President and CEO Joseph Boardman. “More and more people see passenger rail as a way to get to where they need to go, and when our front line employees put them first, it helps to bring passengers back for another trip.”

    Amtrak operates the Blue Water and Pere Marquette trains under a contract with the Michigan Department of Transportation. At this time, Amtrak does not receive any direct state support for the Wolverine. Michigan is one of 15 states that provide state-supported service.

    For a Station Activity Summary Report that shows individual station statistics for fiscal years 2009 and 2010, go to the MDOT Web site for details.

    MDOT: Working with our partners at airports, bus systems, marine and rail to find innovative solutions for
    Michigan’s transportation systems.

    Mrs. Rianna Flores
    Communications Student Assistant
    Michigan Department of Transportation
    Office of Communications
    517-373-2160
    floresr1@michigan.gov

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