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Engineering Dean: “3rd World Mass Transit” crippling Detroit.

Posted to MichiganNow.org on Wednesday, February 29, 2012

INTRO: The Michigan Senate Transportation committee took testimony in Detroit yesterday. The committee has never done that before. They wanted to hear from metro Detroiters about the regional transit authority. A set of bills in the legislature could do two more things that have never been done: create a single agency to manage mass transit and, two, bring decent mass transit, although an elaborate street car system existed before it was ripped up in 1956.

Leo Hanefin, is the Dean of the College of Engineering &  Science at University of Detroit Mercy. He’s on the board of the M1 Rail project. He says the city and state’s economy have little chance of growing without decent mass transit.

He spoke at SEMCOG headquarters Downtown. About 120 attended and 25 testified.  Governor Snyder has put a regional transit authority high on his agenda.

Former State Representative Marie Donigan championed transit more than any other legislator.

Diane Bukowski is the editor of VoiceofDetroit.net. She was a city employee and an elected union official.

 

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Macomb County Commissioner Dave Flynn and SMART director John Hertel

Macomb County Commissioner Dave Flynn and SMART director John Hertel

Sandy Baruah is President of the Detroit Regional Chamber. He told the committee that mass transit is a vital part of any big city's economy. Baruah was George W. Bush's last administrator of the Small Business Administration. He's originally from Oregon.

Sandy Baruah is President of the Detroit Regional Chamber. He told the committee that mass transit is a vital part of any big city's economy. Baruah was George W. Bush's last administrator of the Small Business Administration. He's originally from Oregon.

Anna Holden of Grosse Pointe also testified.

Anna Holden of Grosse Pointe also testified.

Paul Tait, before testifying in a conference room at SEMCOG where he is executive director.

Paul Tait, before testifying in a conference room at SEMCOG where he is executive director.

Leo Hanepin, Dean of the College of Engineering & Science at the University of Detroit Mercy

Leo Hanepin, Dean of the College of Engineering & Science at the University of Detroit Mercy

Smart Bus waiting for 4 City of Berkley officials who testified before the Senate Transportation Committee in Detroit, February 28, 2012.

Smart Bus waiting for 4 City of Berkley officials who testified before the Senate Transportation Committee in Detroit, February 28, 2012.

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