Friday, August 29, 2008

Joe Biden and Mass Transit in Detroit

Update: Barack and Michelle Obama and Joe and Jill Biden will be in Detroit on Monday at Hart Plaza! 11 am at the end of the Annual Labor Day Parade! See ya there

Last week, I promised that I would find a connection between Democratic Vice-Presidential Candidate Joe Biden and Detroit. Betcha didn't know that Senator Joe Biden (D-DE) is one of the staunchest supporters of the development and growth of mass transit options for America!

Here in Detroit, the Motor City, it has been decades since mass transit was a really viable and reliable option. As people moved further and further away from the City Center, highways were built and cars became almost indispensible--except a lot of people don't have cars. The absence of a modern mass transit system has been a detriment to the development of a truly regional metroplex. In 1919, Detroit voted for a bond issue to finance a subway system, but it was vetoed by Mayor James Couzens.

Along the east coast of the United States, especially between the Washington, D.C. area and points north and west, Amtrak has continued to run commuter trains used by millions daily. Senator Biden has for years taken the "train" daily to and from his home in Delaware, and has sponsored several bills to strengthen the funding for Amtrak.

Back here at home, the non-profit group Transportation Riders United (TRU) has been in the forefront to bring back good mass transportation to Detroit, including working with different government organizations and community groups on the two primary plans for light-rail service in Detroit: the publicly -funded DDOT 5-year Plan and the privately-funded Woodward Catalyst Project.

There is also an excellent and complete history of mass transit in Detroit from 1863 to the present on the TRU Website.
On Sunday, Senators Barack Obama and Joe Biden, along with their wives, Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, will be campaigning in Michigan. Hopefully we'll hear about future mass transit plans for Detroit and Michigan.
Pictures of Detroit Department of Street Railways credit: Dave's Railpix

Shameless Plug: please read my husband's blog The "D" Spot...

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  1. this is fascinating. it's so sad to imagine what a much different future Detroit would have had if the mayor hadn't vetoed the subway system in the 20s.

  2. ^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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