Lansing Chamber opposes proposed bus plan

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The Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce has added its voice to the growing chorus of groups opposed to a special transportation proposal.

The “Bus Rapid Transit” – or BRT – would run from the Capitol to the Meridian Mall. It would make use of a dedicated lane – often in the median – to take people along the route (which you can see here).

The Capital Area Transportation Authority (CATA) is proposing the $133 million plan because officials there say the route, which serves 1.7 million trips a year, get so crowded during peak hours that there’s sometimes no room on board for new passengers. CATA also says the BRT would be 10-12 minutes faster than buses during peak hours.

Much of the cost would be covered by federal grants.

That hasn’t convinced many members of the public, who have questioned the need and the safety of the plan.

Those concerns prompted the Meridian Township board to go on the record opposing the program.

Now the Chamber is joining the opposition, as well/.

“While we appreciate CATA’s efforts in developing and presenting the BRT concept to our region, we continue to have concerns that prevent us from supporting the current proposal,” said Joe Ford, chair of the LRCC Board of Directors said in a press release. “Feedback from our members and the business community and other concerns has led us to conclude that the current BRT plan is not feasible for the corridor.”

“This has been a difficult decision for us. The Chamber has been a strong advocate for the development of the Michigan Avenue Corridor as a top priority for the Greater Lansing region,” said Tim Daman, LRCC president and chief executive officer in the same release. “We understand the critical nature of public transportation, however, in this case we believe other options need to be considered.”

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