Meridian Township hears from public on CATA BRT plan


MERIDIAN TWP., Mich – A controversial plan that could drastically change how you travel through Lansing and East Lansing is up for a vote tonight: BRT.

They’re three short letters that have a big meaning for many people and business owners in Ingham County’s Meridian Township.

It stands for “Bus Rapid Transit” but a plan to add a bus lane through the Grand River corridor could come to a quick stop tonight.

There’s a huge divide between the public and CATA officials over the ramifications of the BRT project.

Many who have spoken against it live in Meridian Township.

Others have businesses along the Grand River corridor which is where the route will run.

Just to give you an example of how out-spoken many have been about this project signs against BRT are popping up along Grand River and in different locations in Meridian Township.

Now for those of you who are still unsure about what this BRT project will do we’re going to bring you up to speed.

CATA’s been working on this since 2009.

It would create “bus only” lanes for high capacity buses to move along Michigan Avenue all the way down the Grand River Avenue corridor.

CATA officials say, once completed the BRT system will reduce travel time and eliminate crowding on the buses.

But, even after much debate, the public is not convinced.

For months many have voiced their concerns rejecting CATA’s claims that a Bus Rapid Transit system would make getting from point A to point B faster, easier or safer.

The township board is expected to take action on the project tonight.

Last week we spoke with Debbie Alexander, who works for CATA, she addressed the controversy over the project.

We also talked to people today who are against it.

“I would like to think that common sense would prevail tonight and they would look at the purpose that they’re saying that we need the BRT and then the facts against that,” says Jeff Neilson, who is against the BRT plan. “Just look at it. We’re not any of these other communities that can absorb costs of something that doesn’t even have a basis to be here in the first place.”

CATA assistant executive director Debbie Alexander explains “from a public transportation perspective we believe it’s important that they be well-served and that the particularly those who ride the bus, which is about 60 percent.”

Again the meeting started at 6:00 p.m. the township board is expected to vote on this project and we’ll have updates online and on 6 News tonight.

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