Exciting (though short-term) State Budget Win!!

Wednesday night, June 28, the Michigan House and Senate passed the 2023-24 state budget bills including a much-needed $110 million funding boost for public transit!

New State Funding For Public Transit

After decades of disinvestment, we’ve been fighting hard for a funding boost, especially for local bus operating (LBO) funds – and succeeded in winning an increase from $201 million last year to $261 million next year!!

Other new or increased transit-related funding includes:

  • $50 million in Intermodal Capital Investment grants
  • $20 million for High Speed Rail
  • $15 million increase in rail operations and infrastructure
  • $30 million for rail grade separations, especially in Trenton
  • $3.5 million for Shared Streets and Spaces

These are all hugely needed funds that will greatly benefits mobility throughout the state. Including ongoing, new, and one-time funds, the total state investment in transit and rail appears to be $726 million!

Join us in sending a big thank you to our legislative champion Rep Jason Morgan, transportation budget chair Rep Ranjeev Puri, and other legislative leaders for making it happen!!

One-Time Funds Mean Greater Needs Next Year

However, it’s important to recognize that most of these are one-time investments that won’t be available next year, while transit needs are ongoing and growing.

Local Bus Operating funds the backbone of transit statewide – covering 1/3 of the costs of operating public transit at 77 agencies throughout Michigan. While we’re excited about a $60 million LBO increase this year, $45 million of that is one-time funds, so we’ll back down to $216 million next year if we don’t develop additional or new funding. So we’ve got to keep up the work!

It’s also disappointing that the $260 million proposed for Intermodal Capital and regional/rail was cut down to $70 million. Those funds could have really jump-started some great transit expansion, but given transit interest among legislators, we’re optimistic for next year.

Thank You to Everyone Who Spoke Out!

Together, TRU and our allies, members, and activists mobilized more than 1,400 messages to legislators urging them to boost transit funding – emails, hand-written postcards, personal phone calls, and visits to coffee hours, plus we hosted two legislative breakfasts, and two Transit Days at the Capitol! All this outreach was vital in elevating transit – and especially local bus operating – among thousands of budget priorities. So thank you!

Total state investments in transit in 2023-24

  • $261M for Local Bus Operating ($15M ongoing increase, $45M one-time ARPA increase)
  • $222M for Transit Capital ($44M federal increase)
  • $153M for Rail Operations and Infrastructure ($15M one-time CTF increase)
  • $400k for Van Pooling (doubled)
  • $30M for Specialized Services ($4M increase from CTF)
  • Plus one-time
    • $50M for Intermodal Capital Investment grants (one-time, $45M CTF, $5M GF)
    • $3.5M for Shared Streets and Spaces grant (one-time)
    • $3.5M one-time Mobility Fund
    • $3.5M one-time Mobility Challenge enhanced transportation service for seniors, people with disabilities, and veterans


  • $181M for Critical Infrastructure Projects (one-time, GF, listed)
    • $10M rail grade separation
    • $1M Mack Ave Corridor Improvement Plan
  • $18.5M one time for New Tech/Mobility
    • $10M for drone infrastructure
    • $5M for Lake Michigan EV tour