Nina Ignaczak | Model D Media

All around the Motor City, people are starting to talk transit.

In 2013, M-1 Rail broke ground along Woodward in Detroit, work commenced to speed up the Pontiac-to-Chicago Amtrak line, talk of an Ann-Arbor to Detroit commuter line moved incrementally closer to reality, AirRide expanded bus service between Ann Arbor and DTW, Bus Rapid Transit emerged as the preferred alternative for regional mass transit, and after 40 years of failed attempts, a Regional Transit Authority was finally established for metropolitan Detroit.

Now, public officials and developers across the region are readying themselves to reap the economic potential of functional transit — something many cities across the country have already done.

Take Atlanta, for example.

“Atlanta was the poster child for sprawl,” says Chris Leinberger, Research Professor at George Washington University School of Business. “The metro area grew from 50 miles north to south in 1970 to over 120 miles today, sprawling farther and faster than any city in human history.” {….}