Bus Rapid Transit Is Coming To Metro Detroit, Along With A Plea For New Tax
September 9th, 2013, 6:59 AM
Now that metro Detroit has a Regional Transit Authority and a officials in place, the concept of bus rapid transit is slowly becoming reality.
According to Leonard Fleming in the Detroit News, transit officials are planning for the BRT corridors, and also laying plans to educate the public about the need for a voter-approved tax that will be needed to fund it.
The first corridor that is receiving extensive study runs up Woodward from Detroit to Pontiac.
"A rapid bus system involves longer buses that travel in exclusive lanes where stoplights are synchronized to change as the buses approach. Riders pay fares ahead of time; the buses travel at about 35 miles per hour and have fewer stops to reduce travel time for commuters. It’s a cheaper alternative to light rail.
"Such a bus system and the transit authority’s operations would be financed by either a millage request — the size of which has not been decided — or a per-vehicle fee. A millage would not, transit officials say, interfere with the millage that funds SMART, the area’s suburban bus system. SMART’s millage comes up for renewal next August.
Metro Detroit, of course, trails many cities -- even Cleveland and St. Louis, not to mention Quito, Ecuador, and many other regions in Asia and the developing world.
Cleveland took nearly a decade before starting its bus rapid transit system in 2008, a $200 million, 6.8-mile route that runs from downtown to East Cleveland, Joe Calabrese, general manager and CEO of the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority told Fleming. The project had to navigate federal rules regarding environmental, traffic and engineering issues.