Balanced transportation investments? Ha!
The Michigan House Transportation Appropriations committee passed a budget June 6 that would drastically gut many essential transportation investments in a vain attempt to fix the roads without any new investments.
Public transit provides a critical lifeline to hundreds of thousands of Michiganders who don’t drive, providing access to jobs, job training, schools, doctors, local stores, religious services, and much more. Many others choose to ride to save money, decrease pollution, and avoid driving stress, among other reasons.
According to our allies at the Michigan Public Transit Association and Michigan Environmental Council, the House committee budget would cut $36 million from transit and rail!
- Cut funds DDOT and SMART and other local bus agencies to the lowest level in 14 years!
- Slash senior services by 70%, eliminating 350,000 rides seniors statewide are depending on
- Limit funds for urban systems to buy new buses
- Cut transportation to work funding
- Completely eliminate funding for Vanpool services that currently decrease traffic
- Require senior transit providers to bid out their services to ride-sharing companies (then pick up the slack they don’t cover)
- Require transit providers to increase costs to riders to meet an arbitrary “farebox recovery” level, if they want to qualify for more funding
- Limit repairs of railroad tracks and related improvements
They’re so desperate that they’re proposing a one-time cash grab of selling the Blue Water bridge, 8 Welcome Centers, the state rail line between Grayling and Gaylord, and the 4 state owned airports – which would result in travelers paying a private company to use these state resources.
“These painful cuts to transit and passenger rail programs and departmental services would provide less than 5% of Governor Whitmer’s proposal for road funding, and the subcommittee’s revenue proposal only raises a quarter of the Governor’s proposal.”Sean Hammond, Michigan Environmental Council
Take these two actions to fight back:
- Send a message to House leadership that you oppose gutting transit for roads!
- Tell YOUR local legislator that you expect them to fight back against this awful budget!
Then urge all your friends throughout Michigan to do the same.
We can’t let them think no one cares – take action now!