Transportation Riders United

Proposal 1: Lessons Learned and Steps from Here

Statement from TRU Executive Director Megan Owens:

On behalf of TRU, I’m very disappointed that Proposal 1 didn’t pass. Transit systems throughout Michigan needed the extra $115 million a year Prop 1 would have provided to restore and improve service!

Thank you to everyone who voted and campaigned in support of Prop 1. We put forth a valiant effort but the complexity of the proposal and the distrust of government proved too large of hurdles to overcome.

To everyone who opposed Proposal 1 but who recognize the importance of funding transit, let’s come back together and figure out how to move forward.

Three thoughts I’d like to share and requests for your help as we move forward:

1) As the road funding debate rages on at the Capitol and throughout the state, transit advocates will need to stand strong and make a powerful case that transit cannot be cut in the effort to increase road funding. Transit is an essential part of the transportation system and must be funded along with any and all road funding packages! For decades Michigan allocated 10% of the transportation funding system to transit (and rail and trails, etc) and must continue to do so.

Please seize any opportunity to tell your state legislators that we need a transportation funding fix that includes transit and doesn’t gut essential state service!

2) That said, it appears unlikely that we can count on state government to provide the increased funding transit so badly needs. So it is up to us in southeast Michigan to raise the transit funding we need ourselves. In November of 2016, the RTA will ask voters to do just that. So we’ve got 18 months to persuade southeast Michigan voters that transit is worth investing in.

What do you think it will take to build a broad-based consensus that our transit system needs fixed? There is clear public consensus that our roads need repaired; it’s up to us to make a clear strong case that transit matters too! TRU will be working this summer to get people throughout the region talking about and sharing why #TransitMatters to them and their community. 

Please support TRU’s work financially and by volunteering your time to spread the message that #TransitMatters!

3) Voters in November of 2016 will clearly need a clear, simple, well-reasoned plan of what they’re being asked to pay for. So the Regional Transit Authority (RTA) will be spending the next six months asking people throughout southeast Michigan where we want in a public transit system. Using public input, past plans, and technical expertise, the RTA will put together a Regional Master Transit Action Plan by the end of the year that clearly shows the short, medium, and long term steps the RTA will take to create a quality regional transit system for our region, if we’re willing to pay for it.

Join the Regional Transit Authority next Tuesday, May 12, 11:30am at Campus Martius for the kickoff of a big region-wide discussion on where we want transit to take us as a region. Let’s plan the transit system our region wants, needs, and is willing to pay for!!