Michigan's Transportation Odyssey

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Across the state, people are focusing on transportation initiatives to help move Michigan toward a vibrant, connected future.

To accelerate that conversation, Transportation for Michigan will host the Michigan Transportation Odyssey, in which participants set off on a three-day voyage from Detroit Metro Airport to Traverse City using only Michigan’s transit systems and statewide passenger train service. The Transportation Odyssey gets under way on Wednesday, March 21.

The Odyssey begins with a speaker event presented by the Michigan Environmental Council and Metromode.

Come hear experts explore questions and topics related to Michigan placemaking, the future of a Regional Transit Authority, and economic growth and prosperity during a panel discussion, “Linking Regions in Prosperity.”

Speakers include:

  • Birmingham Mayor Mark Nickita will welcome Odyssey travelers to his city and describe the promise that a regional transit authority holds.
  • Keynote speaker Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff will discuss the importance of a coordinated regional transit system to southeast Michigan.
  • Dave Potts, Oakland County Commissioner has been invited to address the group on how investment in transportation and infrastructure is essential to the region's economic future.
  • Troy Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Michelle Hodges will outline how a complete, well-functioning transportation system is critical to keeping existing businesses and attractingm new business to our region.
  • Kresge Foundation’s Benjamin Kennedy, Program Officer for Detroit Community Development will bring the perspective of how vibrant, livable areas essential to achieving economically sustainable and equitable patterns of global development.

Cocktail and hors d'oeuvres will be served from 5:30-6:30PM with the speaker program kicking off at 6:45. The afterglow party will be held at the immediatley afterward.


Bob Cowen March 20, 2012 at 01:01 PM
Regional Transit Authorities have turned out to be bad ideas elsewhere. It’s easy to see a disastrous future if you search the Internet for RTA problems: huge cost overruns, long construction delays, broken promises about stops/stations, missed deadlines, service cut-backs of routes & hours, price increases, poor maintenance, overestimated ridership, underestimated operating costs, politicization and cronyism in-spite of the best intentions, due diligence, assurances and oversight. See what happened in Denver, Cleveland, Sacramento, St. Louis,Tampa, Portland, Los Angeles and elsewhere. Do your own research! Does anyone in Michigan really believe that a Regional Transit Authority can avoid these types of problems and properly serve the public and the taxpayers? A much better solution is to permit entrepreneurs to offer unrestricted transportation services (shuttle, van, taxi, jitney). Social media will very quickly spread the word about who is good and who is not. Low income & seniors can be given vouchers or a BRIDGE type of card. It’s worked elsewhere and well worth a two year test. Put the brakes on a Regional Transit Authority before entwining three or four counties with their layers of politicians into an even bigger SMART type of mess. Tell Lansing and local government to unshackle the free market; you’ll be surprised at how quickly two good things happen: much better service for customers and much lower cost for taxpayers! Bob Cowen Farmington Hills


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