Jun 23, 2010

Approval of mass transit bills will spur development

The Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee unanimously approved bills on Tuesday to allow development incentives for transit projects.

The Senate committee unanimously reported Senate bills 1235 and 1238 - a package of five bills - that would allow building authorities and tax increment finance authorities (TIFA) to fund transit-related projects. Mass transit and always attracts development and jobs.
Sen. Hansen Clarke, D-Detroit, the Vice Chair of the Commerce and Tourism Committees, said the legislation will better serve families and workers already in Southeastern Michigan and attract more to the area with a modernized transit system.

“We must be aggressive in attracting new families and businesses to locate in the city and do what we can to keep people here,” Clarke said. “ Michigan needs to be the engine and not the caboose when it comes to competing against other states for improving and expanding our mass transit system. Detroit and the rest of the state have been facing some major economic challenges, and it’s going to take innovation and forward thinking to move the city and the state forward.”

Clarke has been a major advocate for reforming Detroit’s transit system, promising an easier mode of transportation for Michigan residents. These bills will support projects like the proposed light rail transit for the Woodward corridor. Expanding the state’s current transit system will create jobs, reduce the financial burden on families and businesses and make transportation easier. It will also spur growth in Michigan cities by giving residents and visitors alike more options to get to and from their destinations.

“These bills have been unanimously approved by the Commerce and Tourism Committee, and now its time for the full Senate to take the next step and pass this forward-thinking legislation,” Clarke said. “Public transportation helps our communities, our commerce and our environment, and its time for our state to take action to launch our transit system into the future.”

The other bills in the package, SBs 1233-1234 and 1236, are expected to be taken up by the committee soon.

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