News & Views » Politics & Prejudices

What’s ahead. How to influence it.

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Transit funding

• Ask your state legislators to support State Rep. Judith Scranton’s (R-Brighton) House Bill 4002. It directs a portion of sales taxes on auto leasing to transit and would boost state transit spending by about $23 million, or 10 percent. Contact Rep. Scranton at PO Box 30014, Lansing, MI 48909, 800-295-0066, jscrant@house.state.mi.us.

• Add your voice to the Michigan Transportation and Land Use Coalition, led by the Michigan Land Use Institute and the Michigan Environmental Council. Go to www.mlui.org, under “Key Issues — Transportation.”

Planning

• The Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) is holding public meetings through June on a long-term transit vision for the region. Go to www.semcog.org.

• The Michigan Association of Railroad Passengers is working on state rail options. Go to www.marp.org.

In progress

• In May, SEMCOG expects to have results of a commuter rail study for service between downtown Detroit and Detroit Metropolitan Airport.

• Detroit’s Metropolitan Affairs Coalition will release this spring the results of its study on a train-like system of rapid buses.

• Lansing’s Capital Area Transportation Authority has studied commuter rail service between Lansing and Detroit via Howell and Ann Arbor. Go to www.cata.org/news/rail_study/index.html.

• New state-of-the-art Amtrak trains are to link Michigan cities with Chicago, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Milwaukee and Minneapolis by 2003. Visit the Environmental Law and Policy Center at www.elpc.org.

Kelly Thayer is transportation project coordinator for the Michigan Land Use Institute. E-mail letters@metrotimes.com

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