Editorial: Q&A with Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff: Build balanced transit

From the Detroit Free Press

Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff headed a panel of national experts Monday during a transit workshop at Wayne State University. Afterward, Rogoff sat down with editorial writer Jeff Gerritt to talk about the challenges and opportunities presented by Detroit’s Woodward Light Rail Project and regional transit in southeast Michigan.

QUESTION: The City of Detroit has already cut bus service significantly. Without a regional transportation plan in place, operating new light rail service on Woodward could divert more money from the Detroit Department of Transportation and the city’s already inadequate bus system. Does the FTA consider that an impediment to completing the Woodward Light Rail Project?

ANSWER: Yes, it is. We are critically concerned. We’re not interested in building a rail system that’s going to starve the bus system. For transit to work in this city — or any other — you need both, and you need to have them coordinated and planned in a way that they’re not only feeding each other but also serving all the requisite employment centers, hospitals, universities. Going through the financing plans, we do have concerns about whether funds for the bus service would have to be diverted for the rail system.

Read more: http://www.freep.com/article/20110814/OPINION01/108140440