MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP - The Capital Area Transportation Authority, also known as CATA, presentations in Lansing, East Lansing, and Okemos last week to inform the public about their BRT plans. CATA has been working on a plan for this $155 million Bus Rapid Transit system since 2009.
CATA consultants of AECOM Consulting firm presented five possible options for the BRT. They showed the pros and cons of each option and took questions at the end of the session.
CATA representatives say the BRT will increase economic growth.
"More and more people are not wanting to own a car. More and more people are wanting to ride a bus, especially millennials," said Mike DeVries, AECOM consultant. "So its a shame when you have such a great university right here and students go to Michigan State and they all leave to go to Chicago or some other place thats a little more cosmopolitan and has things like the BRT and other options," he said.
Resident Mindy Rudolph came to the presentation to get more information and left the session as a BRT supporter.
"When you support mass transit projects and you support community development, the community grows and see a lot of positive aspects to encouraging people to take mass transit. All it can do is benefit the community as a whole," said Rudolph.
But critics say the plan would endanger pedestrians and increase traffic.
"I'm heartbroken about the BRT because its going to change thousands of people's lives and our ability to get where we need to go," said Donna Rose, Meridian Township resident.
The BRT options would eliminate stops directly in front of Meridian Mall and Meijer. Three of the five options change routes from MSU's campus to the Capitol.
CATA says this is a work in progress, they are in "listening mode", and will consider all concerns from the public.
Before CATA can begin construction, they will have to secure environmental clearance from the FTA, approve the final design, and secure federal funding for construction.