A powerful case for transit and call-to-action from Wayne County Exec Warren Evans

Tuesday night, Warren Evans gave one of the most compelling and well-reasoned transit speeches this region has ever heard.

Here are a few highlights of his State of the County address:

Transit is the intersection of moral and economic imperatives…. While the moral reasons, alone, should move us to improve transit, I’m okay focusing on the economic imperatives to get something done.

Amazon served this region a big reality check when they said “thanks, but no thanks.” Amazon told us: our lack of mobility was a deal-breaker.  They needed to build a workforce, not just a headquarters.

Not taking action in the wake of Amazon would be a colossal failure of leadership.

There is no national debate over public transportation, only a Southeast Michigan debate.

And we should want to create a vibrant region, which includes a well-functioning transit system, so our children can choose to pursue their dreams right here, at home.

As noted in Crains and in the Free Press, the most important thing he said is that he will present a newly proposed regional transit plan to the RTA Board on Thursday, March 15 to seek public comment:

Since April, the region’s county executive offices and city of Detroit started working on a plan we could all support. This plan offers much more value across the entire region. It has components that can be customized around the needs of all the counties. It’s flexible to evolve with mobility technology.

On Thursday, I will present a new regional transit plan to the RTA Board. And I will make a simple request: Review the plan and then let’s present it for public comment.

I believe that there is enough support for transit in the region to pass the right plan. If they vote it down, they vote it down. But I do think voters deserve a chance to let their voices be heard.

We need transit and we can’t wait. We can accomplish what we’ve argued about for 40 years. We can do it in a way that benefits us all. I am confident we can do it together.

I’m all in and I’m going to be all in on transit. I need you with me.

Are you with him?

Three important actions you can take:

  1. Come to the RTA Board meeting on Thursday 2pm at 1001 Woodward to share why transit is so important to you, urge them to put transit funding on the ballot this year, plus learn about the newly proposed plan.
  2. Come to the Oakland County Commission meeting next Wednesday evening and/or your next City Council meeting and share why transit is so important to you.
  3. Can’t attend? Support TRU’s work as your transit advocate so we can be your transit voice at every important transit decision!

And stay tuned for more!!