home > blog

Welcome to SEMCOG's Think Regional/Act Local blog! SEMCOG is the only organization in Southeast Michigan that brings together all governments to solve regional challenges and enhance the quality of life for the seven-county regions 4.7 million residents. With this regional perspective in mind, we work with member local governments to sustain our regions reputation as a great place to work, play, and do business.


Our panel of SEMCOG staff bloggers will post daily to this blog, discussing SEMCOG's data, federal and state legislative issues, and environmental and fiscal sustainability best practices for local governments all with the goal of creating a successful future for the region.



Think Regional/Act Local

Last chance?

(Public transportation, Transportation) Permanent link

October 16, 2012 – Yesterday, U. S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood paid yet another visit to Detroit to help us in our latest attempt to establish a regional transit authority in Southeast Michigan. LaHood, along with Governor Snyder and Mayor Bing, are working with state legislative leaders to resurrect the proposed Regional Transit Authority legislation that’s been idled in the legislature for months now.


Bus picture from Last chance? blog post - October 16, 2012

Nothing has happened because we have yet to address the same old issues that have plagued us for years: the Detroit delegation is concerned about shifting too much control away from the city, and suburban lawmakers worry about paying for a transit system that many suburbanites don’t use.

LaHood reminded us again that metro Detroit is the only big city in the country without a regional authority to oversee public transit. He is prepared to put millions on the table to help build a rapid-transit bus system on major routes such as Woodward, Gratiot, and Michigan Avenue, in addition to $25 million for a private venture to build a streetcar on Woodward from downtown to the New Center area, “if this community can get its act together.”

So there it is – again! Get our act together and get millions of dollars from the federal government that will improve our transportation system, enhance economic development opportunities, and help more people get to essential services. Or do nothing and lose the opportunity to improve our situation. The decision is ours. 

Last time we were in this situation, Gerald Ford was president and promised us $600 million to build a subway if we could agree on how to spend it. We never did and we have been living with that decision every day since. We have another chance. Please let’s not blow it! This could be our last chance for many years to come.


Carmine Palombo
If you want to know what about anything related to transportation in Southeast Michigan, don’t miss Carmine Palombo's blog. Carmine has more than 30 years of experience in various phases of transportation planning at SEMCOG. He is responsible for administering SEMCOG’s transportation planning program, which includes the region’s long-range transportation plan and short-term transportation plan.

You must be logged in comment. Log in or Register to comment.
By commenting, you are agreeing to the 
terms of use.