My Thoughts

To say the transportation infrastructure in Southeast Michigan is presently outdated would be an understatement. As metropolises across the nation- and world- continue to press forward by expanding their transit systems, switching over to more environmentally sound transit options, and employing the latest technology to regulate the flow of commuters, Detroit is stagnating.

I found this video using blinkx (a more detailed explanation explanation can be found here). Even though it is a very old video, I think many of the problems it details are still relevant in today's Detroit.

Detroit was able to maintain its position as a center of the US economy for years as a capital of industry. But with the near failure of the US automotive leaders, Southeast Michigan has little to offer anyone considering relocation. In order to secure its future and continue to be one of the economic powerhouses of the United States, the cities and municipalities of the Southeast Michigan region must come together to make the region exciting, viable, and livable. Just looking at the most desirable cities in the country reveals an underlying theme: a strong public transportation system. New York, Chicago, Portland, and now even LA see their futures in strong, reliable regional transportation.

You will come to find that there is an immense amount of data and information available on the issue of public transportation and the role it will play in the development of America's cities. In your free time as you are completing your transition into your new role, you should consider making yourself an expert on the topic and take some time to truly understand why transportation is such an integral part of a healthy urbanized area. For articles on that matter, you can explore a deep web search engine like Google Scholar, which searches sites of a more academic nature. A quick scan of the results page for the query [detroit "public transportation"] reveals the harsh realities that face a region as disconnected as Southeast Michigan. Article titles include Neighborhood Poverty, and the Spatial Accessibility of Supermarkets in Metropolitan Detroit, BARRIERS TO A BETTER BREAK: Employer Discrimination and Spatial Mismatch in Metropolitan Detroit, and Racial and Spatial Relations as Fundamental Determinants of Health in Detroit.

As a member of the SEMCOG transportation board, I highly recommend that you keep your eyes on the prize: a Southeast Michigan that is well-connected by a reliable transportation system. That being said, I think that in order to continue to move forward you must have a strong understanding of where it is we are now. This page will serve as your resource to build up a background knowledge on public transportation in Southeast Michigan.

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