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The Right to Know

and DARTA ~ Detroit Area Regional Transportation Authority

DARTA ~ This regional authority was marketed as a milestone in the efforts to improve mass transit in southeast Michigan. Proponents in power still claim new service drives along I–94 in downtown Detroit and 18 miles of new High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) freeway lanes on I–75 in Oakland County can actually improve bus service. There would be less opposition for these freeway projects if the money was there to build them and keep good bus service, but this has not been the case in the past. This is a primary reason prominent transit advocacy groups, the Michigan Land Institute and others protest freeway and road plans. The public has the right to know Act-267 of 1976 to fully protect mass transit's share of state fuel tax money to pay for "Operating Costs." The use of the state fuel tax for existing needs is not required to receive federal transit grants, The seeking of a chief executive officer without dedicated operating funds means money must be secured, but from "Where?" The protection of existing funding mechanisms to coordinate city and suburban bus and transportation routes were omitted throughout this detailed document. An agreement such as this one or similar to coordinate and fund city and suburban transit operating expense can become legal, if signed and agreed upon by our state government leaders or a majority vote.

These webpages do not stand alone to defeat the freeway expansions without mass transit

  • Comments from a transit advocacy group...

A consensus is needed to make mass transit work in southeast Michigan

Consensus usually involves collaboration, rather than compromise. Instead of one opinion being adopted by a plurality, stakeholders are brought together (often with facilitation) until a convergent decision is developed. If this is done in a purely mechanical way it can result in simple trading—we'll sacrifice this if you'll sacrifice that. Genuine consensus typically requires more focus on developing the relationships among stakeholders, so that they work together to achieve desired results. It is a no-brainer solution to raise taxes with the promise of getting more federal grants or improved service.

Public transportation in Michigan lost $12.7 Million per year in the 1990's when sales taxes levied on vehicles, fuel, parts and accessories were shifted into the general fund. Since 1997 to 2004, millions of dollars were transferred from transit operating budgets to match federal grants. The funding for the SEMCOG studies for new rail service received approval at the same time public bus routes were permanently eliminated in the cities of Detroit and Livonia on November 27, 2006. Since 1995, an estimated $13.2 Million per year was lost due to the lack of coordination between city and suburban public bus systems.

Today, regional planners are working on a third regional transit agreement. But, will they remember the forty-five percent of the Livonia voters who voted to save SMART?

Comments from a transit advocacy group on expanding urban freeways ~ back to top

The organization below has given permission to post their reports on these projects.

Transportation Riders United
500 Griswold, Suite 1650
Detroit, Michigan 48226

Permission was given to post their comments on the I-75 and I-94 MDOT freeway projects ~ I-94 (SEMCOG RTP 935) and I-75 (RTP 2514). These documents are not related to these webpages. They are posted here to show that the opposition to these projects came from many people with many different reasons to support the fact that a balanced transportation system with options other then driving are most essential.

NOTE: The publications below are in PDF (Printable Document Format)-for viewing & printing purposes. To view & print these publications, you will need the Adobe Acrobat Reader plug-in installed in your browser. If you don't have the plug-in, it can be downloaded FREE from Adobe's web site at:

Click Here - I-75 Expansion Project, FHWA- MI-EIS-03-01-D
Click Here - I-94 Rehabilitation Project, FHWA- MI-EIS-01-01-D

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