Sunday, December 8, 2013

Study ranks Flint's MTA eighth nationwide for growth in public transit ""We've seen it increasing, especially for work-related transportation," Benning said. "We've added new service to Saginaw -- two buses daily -- (and) to Lapeer and Imlay City.

"There is a growing need ... and what we're seeing is (that) public transportation is becoming the option of choice," he said. "The only thing that's limiting us now is that we have to live within the funds we have.""

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Saturday, November 2, 2013

Cleveland’s public transportation a model for Michigan

macombdaily: "Critics of public transportation attack the subsidies required to operate it. To our knowledge, no municipal transit system can operate without a subsidy. Fares are insufficient.

But we have a good idea of what a working regional transit system provides in other ways: It attracts employers and development. It makes a city more livable, and sometimes even more lovable.

Perhaps more of us need to visit Cleveland, a city that seems to have rediscovered mass transit and carried it off very well. If we make that trip, we might park the car and check out the sights and the dining via public transportation. And if we do, perhaps we should share the experience with the doubters around us."

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Millennials driving less, seeking alternative transportation

Great Lakes Echo: "Addressing public transit needs is long overdue, says Megan Owens, executive director of the nonprofit Transportation Riders United in Detroit.

“There’s a lot of frustration from younger people who either are paying off student loans or are trying to launch careers on internship salaries,” she said. “They’d like to be able to get around in the public transit system but it’s not reliable enough and it doesn’t run late enough.”

Owens says she looks forward to upcoming projects like the M1 rail line, but the Detroit area desperately needs more rapid transit like commuter trains and to improve existing bus lines to attract young professionals.

Competitive public transit is an absolute necessity, she said."

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Macomb residents happy but want better public transportation, survey shows

Detroit Free Press: "A majority of Macomb County residents are happy with their overall quality of life and believe quality of life and schools are the county’s biggest assets, but they want to see improvements in public transportation."

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Friday, September 6, 2013

Petition going to the RTA. Make your concerns known.

Transportation Riders United is petitioning the new Regional Transit Authority. As usual with online petition drives there is a form letter attached:
I want a regional transit system that provides the following: - More frequent, safer, and reliable bus service; - New rapid transit such as express buses, light rail and commuter trains; - Affordable, convenient transit from and to Metro Airport; - Better transit for seniors, people with disabilities, and others without options; and - Readily available transit information. These important improvements will not come free, but are worth the cost. I am willing to pay $20-40 a year more in taxes for more and better transit!
But there's also a text area in the form where you can make your specific requests. These could include fare-free operation. This is the text I submitted, which I'm happy to say wasn't too long for the form:
In addition to better transit for seniors, people with disabilities, and others without options, mass transit should compete directly over customers who do have other options, particularly the single-occupancy automobile. Competing against the automobile is difficult because every car owner or lessee has made a large commitment to motoring, mostly in the form of insurance payments, but with significantly much money sunk into fuel, parts, registration, etc. Going without a car, or going for a car-free lifestyle, is also a major commitment, especially in a pedestrian-cyclist-transit-hostile environment like southeastern Michigan. The automotive lifestyle, like most monopolistic phenomena, has high entry and exit costs. The lower the fare we can post, the clearer it becomes that a bus ride is cheaper than a ride in a car one already has. I'd really like to see RTA experiment with fare-free operation, at least on one line on one day. Hopefully this will lead to expansion of free service; the cost of which should be offset (probably more than offset) by the negative externalities of cars-first transportation. It should also be noted that oil and highway subsidies are making motoring artificially cheap. Be bold in asking for subsidies for transit, as the other mode of transportation is utterly shameless in its lobbying.
Visit the petition site here.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Driving down 7 percent in Michigan since 2005 [Michigan]

The Herald Palladium: "Michigan policymakers should wake up to the fact that residents are driving less and start focusing on public transit and biking alternatives, an advocacy group says."

Friday, August 30, 2013

As Michiganders drive less, is more public transportation funding needed? ""The main reasons for the decline in driving are increased telecommuting, increased use of public transportation, increased urbanization of the population, and changes in the age composition of drivers (fewer young drivers and more older drivers, with older drivers driving less in general)," Sivak said in an email."

Saturday, August 17, 2013

How Much Money Can You Save By Living Car Free

Living Carless: "If you sit down and calculate the numbers it seems that many people are possibly spending up to 50% of their income on vehicle ownership. Sometimes even more if your family has more than one car. With continually rising gas prices, car payments, insurance premiums, maintenance, auto repairs, and other car ownership expenses it’s no wonder that road rage exists. We have become a society that is enslaved by the gas and automotive industry."

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Money spent on cars leaves the community

Strong Towns: "My back-of-the-envelope calculation indicates that the Holland-Zeeland area (where I live) would see as much as $300 million returned to the local economy EACH YEAR if every two-car household became a one-car household.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Massive Toxic Black Cloud, Brought To You by the Koch Bros, Blows Over Detroit

Common Dreams: "MInd-boggling video of a billowing, high-carbon, high-sulfur cloud from the mountain of petroleum coke - waste from Canadian tar sands shipped from Alberta to Detroit, and the dirtiest potential energy source ever - illegally stored by the Koch Brothers along the Detroit River. Produced by Marathon Refinery but owned by Koch Carbon, the pet-coke piles have for months been producing "fugitive dust" - ie: thick black crud - that blankets the homes of outraged residents and lawmakers; analysis shows the dust contains elevated levels of lead, sulfur, zinc and the likely carcinogenic vanadium. Environmental officials say the Koch Brothers broke the law by not getting a permit for their toxic dump, and they can't guarantee there won't be another "dust event,""

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Build It Bigger: A 20th Century Solution to a 21st Century Challenge

Mode Shift : "In response to periodic congestion on these highways, SEMCOG proposes to make them bigger. Widening a highway has been the region's traditional "demand management" response, and it is distinctly a 20th century solution. It is a response that has resulted in ours being the only major metropolitan area in the nation without a comprehensive transit system to serve commuters. It is a response that has facilitated massive outmigration from our core city, helping to exacerbate the concentration of poverty that underpins Detroit's current economic struggles. It is a response that looks to the past rather than the future and offers our region, essentially, more of the same."

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Do you get it now? Koch Bros front group wants to cut education to fund cars

Americans for Prosperity wants Gov Snyder to use cuts to education & state employees to fund road repairs | Eclectablog: "As the debate rages on where to get the millions of dollars in funding needed to repair Michigan’s crumbling roads and bridges, Americans for Prosperity have an answer: use cuts to education and state employee wages to pay for them."

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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Great lakes low because #climatechange warming water faster than air. Time to rethink cars.

Good thing there’s no such thing as climate change or Michigan would have to dredge 58 harbors. Oh. Wait. | Eclectablog: "The Great Lakes are now at historically low levels. So low, in fact, that Governor Snyder was forced to prevail upon the legislature to pass emergency funding to dredge 58 harbors and bays so that ships and recreational vessels could continue to use them."

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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Young people ditching their cars

Public transportation hits 10.5B rides in 2012: "In Michigan, the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority (TheRide) saw a 6.6% increase in ridership to a record 6.6 million trips in 2012, spokesman Don Kline says. "We have the transit-dependent riders, but we also have the choice riders," he says. "We really play into the national trends, with young people ditching their cars."

The 34-year-old system, which operates mainly in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti, saw ridership numbers spike last year when gas prices hit $4 a gallon, Kline says."

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Molly Gail Shannon: Bus riders still left out in the cold | Commentary | Detroit Free Press |

Molly Gail Shannon
Molly Gail Shannon: Bus riders still left out in the cold | Commentary | Detroit Free Press | "I wished I could tell every person in that room to give up their car and live like the 30% of households in the city that do not own or have access to a vehicle. Let them navigate the network of SMART and DDOT buses that I and many others rely on for school, work, errands, appointments and recreation."

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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Public transit makes Grand Rapids more attractive

616 Lofts fosters community in downtown Grand Rapids | The Rapidian: "With the popularity of the 616 Lofts above Flanagan’s, Coppess and company helped to bring the idea of placemaking and residential community to downtown Grand Rapids.

“Placemaking goes back to our core mission,” says Coppess. “For us, it’s all about people. It’s all about community.”"

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Friday, January 25, 2013

Climate Change Affecting Great Lakes Farming And Health | Moms Clean Air Force

Climate Change Affecting Great Lakes Farming And Health | Moms Clean Air Force: "The warming of the Midwest over the past few decades is already affecting public health, the Great Lakes, and farming, and fossil fuels are the main culprit, according to the new draft of the National Climate Assessment Report."

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