Gretchen Whitmer will be sworn in as Michigan’s Governor on January 1, 2019.
What will that mean for transit?
While she has not made transit a priority in the campaign, this administration is expected to be strong transit supporters. Lt. Gov-Elect Garlin Gilchrist is personally a bus rider who has spoken out in support of transit on numerous occasions.
Both in the campaign and on the Michigan Transition website, they’ve included a Commitment to Regional Transit, specifically within their Fighting Urban Poverty plan to Support Working Families and Revitalize Michigan Cities (emphasis added):
“As part of our strategic investments in infrastructure, placemaking, and economic development, Michigan must get serious about building regional transit systems in metropolitan areas across the state. Affordable and reliable public transit is essential for working people in urban communities to get from one place to another. But when it takes a person more than two hours to get to their job – riding three buses plus a 30 minute walk – it’s safe to say the public transit system is a failure. This is a problem that must be solved. As Senate Democratic Leader, I supported the creation of the Metro-Detroit Regional Transit Authority. As governor, I am committed to bringing all stakeholders together to pass a regional transit plan that everyone can support, including local elected officials, business leaders, riders and taxpayers.
TRU has developed a series of Transit Policy Recommendations and shared them with the State Legislators. We at TRU plan to work closely with the new administration and with the legislature to ensure transit is strongly supported in greater Detroit and throughout Michigan. Stay tuned for more!