TRU supports passage of Prop 1 on May 5, 2015 because it will increase funding for public transit and other transportation needs without harming schools, cities, low-income families, or other important budget priorities.
While it is a complex proposal that is not anyone’s ideal solution, Michigan will be better off if it passes than if it fails. That is the most critical evaluation of any proposal.
Prop 1 will provide essential funding for important priorities:
- Prop 1 will provide $115 million per year in funding for public transit agencies throughout Michigan above current levels, once fully implemented.
- Of that, over $50 million a year will support DDOT and SMART (together), likely enabling expanded bus service for seniors, low-income workers, and other riders.
- While this is not enough to fund new rapid transit, it could enable restoration of bus service that had been cut in recent years or enable more buses to run more frequently.
- Prop 1 restores the Earned Income Tax Credit, providing net financial benefit for low income individuals and families from proposal.
- Prop 1 provides much needed funding for road repair throughout Michigan, making bridges safer (and providing a smoother ride for bus riders too!).
If Proposal 1 fails, Michigan’s legislature is unlikely to pass any additional funding for critical transportation infrastructure (they’ve only raised funding once in 30 years and they left transit out!!). Instead, other state budget items could be threatened, including transit funding, school funding, and funding for city service like police and fire.
To better understand this complex proposal and its benefits, check out these resources:
- From the Michigan Environmental Council: Here’s what Proposal 1 does (and why it’s good for Michigan)
- From the Michigan League for Public Policy: A solution at last to Michigan’s crumbling roads
- The Safe Roads YES support campaign
Here’s an infographic that explains some of the key numbers: