CATA officials clear confusion with BRT project


LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – Many different ideas are circulating about what a multi-million transit system would mean for mid-Michigan residents and businesses.

But what are the facts?

Since 2007 CATA’s “Bus Rapid Transit” project, known as the BRT, has been in the making.

For years CATA has held meetings to allow discussion about the proposed project in order to inform the public about what it will do and how it will affect the community.

For the last couple of days calls and emails were coming into our newsroom from angry business owners who say they have serious concerns about the project.

Tuesday night, at the Meridian Township Board meeting, some of those business owners spoke about it.

There has been a lot of misinformation going around that was being relayed to local business owners who are located along that strecth of Michigan Avenue and Grand River where the current CATA bus route runs.

But we found out at the Tuesday night meeting that the concerns some of those business owners had won’t be affecting them after all.

Some business owners were told that the BRT project would affect the road strecthing from downtown Lansing all the way to Cornell Road in Okemos.

“It will absolutely affect my business negatively,” said business owner George Tesseris. “Not only my business but several businesses up and down the street and I think I’ve talked to several business people and they feel the same way. The project is not a good project the way it’s being presented. I think they have to make an honest decision as to whether it helps or is a detriment to that corridor.”

While nothing has been approved yet many business owners at the meeting are asking for more transpareency in the process.

It’s something CATA officials say they’ll take steps to ensure in the future.

“We have had numerous public meetings, we’ve sent out two newsletters to people who live within half a mile on either side of this corridor on two different occasions,” explained Debbie Alexander, CATA assistant executive director. “But I recognize that we need to do more. We’re willing to do more, and I’m very happy to hold or attend any meeting.”

Alexander says moving forward the transportation company will plan to have a public hearing on the BRT in order to clear any confusion about the goal of this project and what it will do.

When we know when and where this will happen we’ll be sure to let you know.

Until then to find more information on the project just click on this link to go to the CATA site.

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