Green Mobility event showcased great options and policy needs

Watch our full ‘Green Mobility Showcase’ now!

TRU Director Megan Owens addressed transit and climate equity before small in-person and large virtual crowds

Green mobility for all is a critical goal for TRU and our partners at DreamCorps Green for All.

So last Friday, November 19th, we partnered to present the ‘Green Mobility Showcase’ brought together service providers, policy leaders, and transit advocates to feature and celebrate the many green mobility options available in metro Detroit.

The Showcase closely followed the passing of President Biden’s ‘Build Back Better’ infrastructure bill, which promises to expand eco-friendly mobility infrastructure and underlined several of the presenter’s comments. 

“Great for the environment can also be great for the wallet”

TRU Executive Director Megan Owens kicked off the Showcase by reminding attendees of the magnitude of the climate crisis and the importance of equity within climate solutions.

Electric vehicles and renewable energy are a big part of climate solutions, but they are not the entire solution. There are a lot of other great sustainable mobility options other than electric vehicles…options that can be great for the environment, and great for the wallet.” 

TRU Director Megan Owens, Green Mobility Showcase opening remarks

After Owens’ introductory framework, representatives from seven green mobility service providers briefly took the stage to elaborate on the eco-conscious options they provide. Agencies and provider including SMART, May Mobility, Via, & MoGo Detroit spoke to the importance of adapting existing public transportation modalities to greener practices.

Robert Cramer, Deputy General Manager of SMART, speaks next to one of SMART’s cleaner-burning propane powered buses and the new SMART Flex microtransit vehicles
Perry Holmes from Bird gives a quick scooter tutorial

For example, SMART is currently awaiting the arrival of “four 40-foot fully electric buses” and Bird scooter riders have offset “250,000 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions” by skipping the car. As Omar Shaikh from May Mobility put it, green mobility options are “a compliment to existing transit infrastructure” that together “reduce harmful emissions.” 

Some newer partners joined the Showcase as well. KUHMUTE, a EV start-up that specializes in building charging stations, spoke about the importance of having green mobility infrastructure for consumer access. The Showcase also welcomed Electric Avenue Bikes, Detroit’s only all E-bike store (located at the intersection of Woodward and Martin Luther King). 

Need state, federal leaders to make green mobility more available

Next, the Showcase invited local policy leaders (Mayor of Ferndale Melanie Piana, Charles Griffith from the Ecology Center, and Todd Scott from Detroit Greenways Coalition) to testify on the importance of climate advocacy. For Piana, she is proud that “Ferndale is one of few cities in Oakland County that have made climate resiliency” a concrete policy goal. Green mobility options, she says, help our city [Ferndale] attract and retain talent.” 

Mayor of Ferndale Melanie Piana is proud of Ferndale’s commitment to sustainable mobility, safe streets, and climate resiliency

Charles Griffith helped close out the afternoon by outlining the major advocacy opportunity presented by Governor Whitmer’s Council on Climate Solutions. Charles is co-chair of the Council’s Transportation Workgroup, whose policy recommendations to the Governor include “investing significantly more in public transportation and shared mobility services.”

You can help TRU continue to push the Council and Governor Whitmer towards green mobility investment by signing our ‘Green Rides, Blue Skies’ Campaign Action Alert. 

Charles Griffith explains the opportunities ahead

In all, our ‘Green Mobility Showcase’ was a jam-packed half hour of perspectives from across the professional spectrum coming together to boldly emphasize the need for non-automotive, eco-friendly transportation. This recap is just a taste of what was said, so be sure to check out the full event on our DetroitTransit YouTube channel. Be on the look out for more exclusive video content from the Showcase too!

Adriel Thornton, Executive Director of MoGo Detroit takes the podium
Thank you to our sponsors, including Dream Corps Green for All, SMART, Via, Bird, and May Mobility