Update: Senate Committee’s Bills Include Transit
Good news for bus and train advocates
Local Motion, Choices | May 23, 2014 | By James Bruckbauer
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- Pete Farmer: Nice to read about the big picture of music around here. I am sure the scene will only get bigger as TC grows. We plan on helping in our own little way with a small venue at our workshop. All procee...
- Pat Weber: The music tradition in Traverse City begins in its schools- the feeder system as it were. Traverse City Area Public Schools has had a long and rich music legacy in both vocal and instrumental instruct...
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- Cory Johnston: Your reasons to vote NO are reason enough for me. This is 1960's mentality being used to fix 2015 and beyond problems. While mentioned, is there any guarantee that alternatives to one driver/one car w...
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|Groups all over Michigan are urging lawmakers to include transit in any new transportation funding proposal. (Photo: Bobby Alcott Photography)|
Earlier this week I wrote about a Michigan House of Representatives proposal that would leave transit out of a package of bills intended to raise money to improve our transportation system.
Groups all over the state urged lawmakers to make sure any new dollars go through the current transportation formula, Act 51, so all agencies get their share of the money—and so bus riders don’t get left at the curb.
The House passed the package of bills last week, so now it’s up to the Senate to amend and vote on the proposal. So far, there’s good news for transit.
On Wednesday, the Senate’s Infrastructure Modernization Committee passed five bills, three of the House bills and two from the Senate, that would flow new transportation money based on the normal transportation funding formula, Act 51. The bills would ensure that all transportation agencies get a share of the funding.
As early as next week, the full Senate could consider the bills.
The Senate’s move to include transit is welcome news among transportation reform advocates in Michigan. It shows that state leaders understand there’s a fundamental shift taking place in how people are getting around.
For example, transit ridership is at its highest level since 1956 while per-person driving in Michigan has dropped almost 7 percent since 2005. About one-third of Michiganders are too young, too old, or are just physically or financially unable to drive. Transit has become a crucial part of economic development strategies in Michigan’s talent-driven areas. And every year Michigan voters overwhelmingly show their support for transit investments.