Southeast Michigan Council of Governments

project purpose & need


The Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) is conducting the Woodward Avenue Rapid Transit Alternatives Analysis (AA) project. The alternatives analysis will review rapid transit options for a 27-mile corridor along Woodward Avenue from downtown Detroit to downtown Pontiac. The study area includes Cities of Detroit, Highland Park, Ferndale, Pleasant Ridge, Royal Oak, Huntington Woods, Berkley, Birmingham, Bloomfield Township, Bloomfield Hills, and Pontiac. The AA process will take a comprehensive look at regional mobility needs in southeast Michigan and guide the alternatives discussion through a streamlined environmental review process. The Woodward corridor is the first of four corridors mentioned in the governor's recent proposal for a new regional transit authority and bus rapid transit system for a 113-mile regional transit network. The AA phase will be completed in early 2014.

The key tasks in this Alternatives Analysis are:

  • Purpose and Need for the project
  • Development of Alternatives (includes definition of these alternatives; mode, alignment, connections, projected ridership, capital and operating costs etc.)
  • Screening/Evaluation of Alternatives
  • Selection of a Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA)
  • Federal Transit Administration (FTA) reporting for appropriate funding framework
  • Environment Review (Draft Environmental Document)

Building upon previous planning efforts, in the first 90-120 days, the study will create a set of alternatives that will be reviewed and screened with the goal of selecting the most feasible rapid transit alternative. This transit alternative, also known as the "Locally Preferred Alternative," will move forward for detailed analysis and environmental review. The alternatives will be evaluated using a set of criteria that closely reflects the study's purpose and need.