ROMULUS – A forum on transportation attended by more than 60 state legislators and representatives of local transportation agencies, the governor’s office and the Michigan Department of Transportation was an important first step toward finding real solutions for Michigan’s infrastructure problems, State Representative Jim Townsend (Royal Oak) said at the conclusion of the meeting Friday afternoon.

“Southeast Michigan has many transportation problems that must be solved if we are serious about getting Michigan’s economy back on track. The problems include dangerous bridges, crumbling roads and the lack of regional cooperation in overcoming these challenges,” Townsend said. “The meeting the Southeast Michigan Caucus hosted today brought together many groups so we can start finding solutions together.”

The forum included discussion of Gov. Rick Snyder’s transportation proposals, including the creation of a bus rapid transit system. Townsend’s proposal to establish a regional transportation authority, a proposal waiting action in the state Legislature, was also discussed, as were ways to fund transportation improvements.

“This meeting has helped educate everyone on the importance of these transportation issues,” said Carmine Palombo from SEMCOG. “A regional transit authority is essential if we are to have improved transit in southeastern Michigan.”