The state Senate has passed legislation to create a unified public transit authority in southeast Michigan. The body would craft a transportation strategy for the region and could lead to millions of dollars in federal funds for projects.
Democratic state Senator Coleman Young II was the only member from Detroit to vote against the measure. He says he supports creating a regional transit authority, but not one with the power to take away property.
“I think that when you have appointees making decisions about whether or not grandma’s going to keep her house or not, I think that’s wrong,” says Young.
“They were valid concerns,” says bill Sponsor Tom Casperson. “But I think there needs to be a regional transit authority set up, in my opinion, based on what I’ve seen down in Detroit. And I think there was plenty of support for it. You saw it today, and hopefully we see the same thing over in the House.”
That’s where the bill heads next. Casperson, a Republican from the Upper Peninsula, says improving transit in southeast Michigan is essential to statewide economic recovery.