Curbed readers, we have an important decision to make here at the polls this November. That’s right — the RTA (we know that’s what you were thinking). Right now, there are a few public transit stories in southeastern Michigan. Someday, maybe something will all work together so we can all move around the region better. Let’s look at what’s in front of us, and then start dreaming.
First, there’s the M-1 rail, which now that we have a (21st century) streetcar delivered to Detroit, we can imagine seeing it in place. Even if the M-1 rail isn’t the most efficient system, and it only goes up and down one street, it will make that one street look very, very different. And it sure is increasing property values along that corridor, for now.
Also, DDOT just announced a huge expansion in service, including 24-hour routes, service to Eastern Market, and a refleX service that gets you from downtown to Somerset (plus a line on Gratiot). This is moving (literally) in the right direction!
And then there’s the RTA, and getting it on the ballot this summer was more drama than it needed to be. It’s up to voters now to see if we can get more cohesive, reliable service throughout southeastern Michigan. This will include a rail from downtown Detroit to Ann Arbor and a lot more bus rapid transit (BRT), a bus line with attributes similar to light rail, including dedicated lanes, permanent stations, traffic signal preference, and pre-board ticketing. It’s not perfect, but it’s a start.
What do you think, Curbed readers? Is one of these your dream projects? We know many of you would like to see rail, and some don’t want to see anything, and many are in the middle. Will these all work together? What would you like to see to connect the region? Will there ever be a day when cars, buses, rail, bikes, and pedestrians coexist peacefully on the same streets? Or are we a forever car culture?
- Update: The first M-1/QLINE streetcar arrives in Detroit [Curbed Detroit]
- DDOT announces major service expansion; adds Eastern Market service [Curbed Detroit]
- Regional Transit Authority Plan for Rapid Transit in SE Michigan [Curbed Detroit]