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In and outs of the political campaigns, focusing on Michigan and Lansing, Tim Skubick will report regularly throughout the primary and then general election campaigns.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Get On The Bus

  Get On the Bus
      Former Michigan Governor William Milliken holds the all time record for riding to work in the most unusual vehicle.  When the state was blasted with about two feet of snow during the 70's, the only way he could travel was in a National Guard half-track troop carrier.  It pulled up to the back steps of the capitol and Milliken emerged all smiles.
      While she can't top that, the current governor was all smiles this week, as she became the first chief executive to ride the bus to work.
      "Good morning," she beamed to the driver as she boarded a Capitol Area Transit Authority bus at about 6:55 am as a band of sleepy eyed capitol correspondence chronicled the event.
        She put five quarters in the box and off she went. The three "regulars" on the bus looked on in wonder as three TV cameras dominated the scene as she moved to her seat right next to the rear exit.
        The photo op was aimed at promoting mass transit and providing motorists with relief from four dollar a gallon gas… if they would only ditch their cars.
        But on the issue of mass transit in Southeast Michigan, this governor's record to date is not any better than the three guys who preceded her.  Milliken, Jim Blanchard and John Engler huffed and puffed about the need for a Detroit area light rail system..a debate that goes all the way back to Mayor Coleman Young.  They delivered nada.
       As you might have noticed, all Detroit has is its dinky People Mover and some SMART and D-Dot buses.  "We're the only region in the country without a=2 0major transit system," Granholm lamented.
       But she reported help is on the way.  A light rail system down Woodward Ave. is reportedly in the works with both public and private contributions.  Granholm is upbeat about the two sources of revenue.
      She hopes it eventually runs into Pontiac, Ann Arbor and Metro Airport.
     Haven't we heard that tune before?


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