Monday, February 8, 2010

Full Speed Ahead…

Last week President Obama announced that Michigan will receive $40 million in high speed rail funding from the American Recovery Reinvestment Act Congress enacted last year. We were quite pleased to learn that the State will invest a portion of these funds to build the new Troy/Birmingham Transit Center.

When completed, the transit center will serve as a hub for regional public transportation, using existing Amtrak rail infrastructure along the Wolverine Corridor while providing a transfer point to SMART bus services, taxi and sedan connections consistent with the Detroit Regional Mass Transit Plan. It will also create more transportation opportunities for patrons of the Oakland/Troy Airport. Local and state level officials from both parties support the Center. Troy and Birmingham City officials have been working toward the creation of the Transit Center for years, as have the two Chambers and other local business leaders.

As piece of the regional transportation puzzle, once finished we anticipate the Troy/Birmingham Transit Center will offer:
• A draw for transit-oriented development, providing increased tax revenue
• Better coordination of services for existing and future ridership
• Higher, more stable property values
• Greater mobility options, for work and recreation-related travel

This is a landmark win for both communities and for transit in the region. I am very proud to be a part of the team effort for the creation and revitalization of public transportation in Southeast Michigan. I look forward to announcing the groundbreaking!

For more information on about the Transit Center and the economic benefits it can provide, please visit our Web site at or follow us on Twitter: @15MileTransit. If you’d like to sign a letter of support for the project you can also contact the Chamber at (248) 644-1700. Carrie Zarotney is president of the Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber.

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