FTA forms panel to help advance light rail, transit in Michigan

From Progressive Railroading

Yesterday, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) convened a panel of transit experts to advise southeastern Michigan leaders on ways to create a new public transit system that would include Detroit’s planned Woodward Avenue light-rail system.

Each of the five members of the Detroit Area Transit Panel has an “industry-renowned record of achievement” in creating or expanding rail transit in their own cities, FTA officials said in a prepared statement.

The panel includes John Inglish, chief executive officer of the Utah Transit Authority; Carl Marsella, retired general manager and chief executive officer of the Regional Transportation District of Denver; Neil McFarlane, GM of the Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon; Beverly Scott, CEO of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority; and Gary Thomas, president and executive director of Dallas Area Rapid Transit.

The panel will host workshops for regional transportation stakeholders in Michigan and meet one-on-one with key state, city and local officials to determine the challenges to and opportunities for implementing transit rail in the Detroit area, FTA officials said.

In 2010, Detroit was awarded a $25 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program grant for the first phase of the proposed Woodward Avenue light-rail line, a 3.4-mile system connecting downtown Detroit to the New Center district along the region’s main artery.

Source: http://www.progressiverailroading.com/prdailynews/news.asp?id=27571