Trans4M’s transit workgroup advocates for increased transit opportunities in our rural and urban areas throughout Michigan.
Most Michigan counties provide some sort of transit option for residents who rely on or choose to take public transporatation to get where they need and want to go. Millennials, elderly, those with limited mobility, and employees all choose to leave their cars at home and take the bus, and Trans4M supports efforts to increase opportunities for even greater ridership. 1 out of 3 Michigan residents are unable to drive, and that number will only grow with our aging population. The time to improve our public transportation is now!
Exciting transit projects are popping up all over the state, including the new Silver Line bus rapid transit in Grand Rapids and the M-1 Rail in Detroit. But Michigan continues to undervalue the transit systems that keep Michiganders moving. Funding for our complete transportation system is decreasing, from the national, state, and local levels. In the spring of 2014, the Michian House proposed an increase in gas tax that would fund much needed street repair. We believe that any increase in funding should flow to all aspects of our transportation system, including our valuable public transportation options.
To date, Trans4M’s transit work has focused on Southeast Michigan where members of the Regional Transit campaign have led efforts to enable and move forward the new Regional Transit Authority (RTA).
In 2012, Trans4M brought together hundreds of citizens to advocate for a new four-county RTA capable of coordinating local transit service, building rapid transit lines, and allowing citizens to approve new funding. After a tumultuous year, their hard work was rewarded as the RTA opened for business – the most significant step forward for metro Detroit transit in decades.
Now the RTA needs to hit the gas and make up for lost time. It must engage the public to develop a transit plan that improves local bus service and builds new rapid transit lines. For too long, metro Detroit has shortchanged public transit, and that needs to change. We are urging the RTA to allow the region’s people to vote on new transit funding in November 2016. Acting together, we can overcome metro Detroit’s historic disunity and bring a new birth of transportation freedom to the state that put the world on wheels.
Members of the regional transit work group include the Metro Coalition of Congregations, the Michigan Suburbs Alliance, MOSES, the Sierra Club of Southeast Michigan, the Michigan Association of Railroad Passengers, and Transportation Riders United.
To get involved, contact campaign coordinator Joel Batterman, MOSES Policy Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.