Monday, December 2, 2013

Bus Rapid Transit (What?)

Is bus rapid transit coming to metro-Detroit? Possibly.

We know that this system is working in Cleveland and Chicago. It might be a good form of transportation for Detroit. The Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) will host a series of meetings to share information about the proposed system and to gather input from us, potential users of this system. Unfortunately, this is probably the worst time of the year to gather this input but nonetheless, this is our opportunity to explain what we want and need for public transportation in metro-Detroit.

What is bus rapid transit? Some refer to it as BRT. Basically, it is a bus-based form of mass transit. What would set it apart from DDOT and SMART if it came to Detroit is that the buses often get their own lane on the road, which allows them to move faster. In some cases, there are sensors on the buses that trigger traffic lights to go green, which helps increase the efficiency of the buses even more. Also, instead of paying the fee on the bus, you pay at the bus stop to save time. It also requires less construction than rail. It sounds like it might have some promise in our region. What do you think?

Will you attend one of SEMCOG’s meetings?
Here are the meeting dates, times, and locations. If you need help finding a bus to one of the meetings, go to SMART or DDOT’s websites. (NOTE: Unfortunately, DDOT’s “trip planner” is not working so the link goes to all the bus schedules.  Also, many of the locations are not immediately near bus stop locations, so plan accordingly.)

Tuesday, December 3, 2013, 6-8 p.m.
Beaumont Hospital Administration Building, 3711 W. 13 Mile Rd., Royal Oak, MI 48073 (Free parking in South Parking Deck; access through South Entrance, Coolidge Highway)

Thursday, December 5, 2013, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Berkley Community Center, 2400 Robina Ave., Berkley, MI 48070

Saturday, December 7, 2013, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
St. Joseph Hospital, Anthony Franco Communications Center Auditorium, 44555 Woodward Ave., Pontiac, MI 48341

Monday, December 9, 2013, 6-8 p.m.
Michigan State University Detroit Event Center, 2nd Floor, 3408 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48201 (elevator access through Erskine Street entrance)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013, 6-8 p.m.
NextEnergy, 461 Burroughs St., Detroit, MI 48202

Wednesday, December 11, 2013, 6-8 p.m.
Coolidge Intermediate School Cafeteria, 2521 Bermuda St., Ferndale, MI 48220

If you cannot attend one of these meetings, please send your comments and suggestions to Tiffany Gunter with SEMCOG. Her email address is gunter(at)

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