What’s Missing for a Great Michigan?

Michigan has so many wonderful things going for it:

Tons of beautiful lakes.

Kind people and welcoming communities.

Inventive, hardworking businesses.

Interesting cities with historic buildings.

A wide diversity of great places.

Yet for decades, Michigan has been falling further and further behind.

Families struggling to pay the bills.

Young people moving away.

Businesses struggling to find reliable talented employees.

An aging population struggling to age in place.

Climate change flooding our roads and basements.

What’s missing from making the great Michigan puzzle complete?

Michigan needs transit.

To save families money.

Michigan families struggle to pay the bills because cars are really expensive. Including gas, repairs and insurance for every adult, Michigan’s auto-centric transportation system costs most families 20-40% of their household income. Reliable transit broadly available would save families thousands of dollars a year, money better spent on education, home repairs, and local businesses.

To attract and retain young people.

Michigan raises and educates many young people who then choose to leave the state. While the reasons are broad and varied, many polls, surveys, and studies have shown that many people want to live in vibrant walkable communities where driving is not a requirement, yet Michigan has very few such places. Rapid transit is key part of developing more places where people can get around safely and affordably by walking, biking, and riding public transit.

To connect workers to businesses.

Businesses need a broader supply of capable workers and many people want jobs. Yet there is a significant gap between where workers live and where businesses are, as well as a gap in worker education and skills. Reliable transit broadly available would better connect more workers to jobs as well as enable more people to access education to build needed skills.

To enable our elders to age in place.

Michigan’s population is aging. A growing number of seniors have lost their ability to drive, are choosing to drive less, or may not be able to safely drive in the near future. While family or friends can provide some rides, convenient public transit broadly available will enable our elders to remain in their own homes far longer while maintaining their independence.

To minimize the climate crisis.

Transportation is the leading source of climate pollution, primarily from people driving cars, trucks, and SUVs. Despite improved fuel efficiency, it hasn’t substantively declined because people keep driving more and further each year. Providing Michiganders with attractive options for people to get around without cars – especially bike lanes, safe streets, and convenient public transit is a critical part of the climate solution.

Public transit is a critical part of resolving many of the persistent problems that have been plaguing Michigan.