Sunday, November 23, 2014

The rise of @autosprawl was not a market event, but a coup.

Crain's Detroit Business: "Through the early 1950s, Detroit upgraded and expanded its bus system, rail system and highways in an effort to maintain and feed its tremendous economic growth in the postwar environment.

It all came to a stop in 1956. The Metro Detroit Streetcar Service ceased after 93 years — yet this was not a spontaneous event. In 1933, the voters of Detroit approved a subway plan, but the "state advisory board" refused to recommend construction to the federal government. "

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Coming soon, the car-loan crash

Monday, August 18, 2014

Everyone benefits from #publictransit, not just the riders "The study found that public transit in Michigan delivered $804 million in social benefits statewide.

The value of these benefits far exceeded the cost to operate and maintain the transit system. Each dollar spent on transit services provided $1.46 in economic value to the community.

Hiring and spending by public transit agencies contributed $1 billion in economic activity in 2008, according to the study. The study also found that every 10 jobs created in the public transit sector help create six additional jobs in the rest of the economy."

Thursday, July 31, 2014

The high cost of failing to fund public transit

The Detroit News: "We have failed to understand that efficient, reliable public transportation is a factor in people’s calculations of choosing where to live, even when they don’t regularly use it.

In the meantime, other places that have consistently invested in better public transportation infrastructure continue to be more attractive places to live.

Playing catch-up is better than not being in the game. But it’s time we pull up our socks and get to work."

Friday, July 18, 2014

#Freetransit for Grand Rapids ArtPrize event "ArtPrize plans to work with community-based organizations to supply free public transportation, to promote fully accessible walking paths, and to create multilingual marketing information to assist non-English-speaking visitors."

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Transit funding is where justice and economics meet

Rev. Joan Ross "There is yet another reason to increase investments in public transportation: The rights of those who are dependent on public transportation. Our seniors and young people, folks with low incomes and people with disabilities have just as much right to get around as people with private vehicles. A truly civil society respects everyone’s right to mobility, to get to school, medical appointments and work regardless of the person’s ability to drive or have access to a car.

There is a huge economic incentive for us to do the right thing. When we recognize the rights of the transit dependent and invest more in practical public transportation, hardworking folks will have reliable means to get to work. If we want to work towards increasing access to jobs and lowering the unemployment rate, we need to recognize everyone has a right to mobility. In short, public transportation is a key nexus between social justice and economic viability — and we need both."

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Benzie County, Michigan. "People would rather take public transit if it's readily available."

Future of Benzie Transportation Authority discussed at public forum : News : "More than 50 community members gathered in Beulah for the forum.

They held brainstorming sessions to help identify future public transportation needs in the region.

This is the first step toward assembling a county-wide strategic transportation plan."

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti #publictransit funding wins 70% of vote

Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti area voters approve transit millage - Ypsilanti Courier - Heritage Newspapers: "The five-year, 0.7 mill increase will generate an estimated $4,368,847 in 2014 which the AAATA plans to use to fund an intense increase in bus service throughout Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township. Homeowners with a home value of $100,000 can expect to pay an additional $35 each year."

Friday, May 2, 2014

What about public transit? Advocates say Michigan road funding push leaves riders on curb "LANSING, MI -- Public transit advocates are urging Michigan lawmakers to look beyond roads and bridges as they debate long-term plans to increase annual infrastructure funding."

Sunday, April 20, 2014

University presidents throw support behind AAATA transit expansion proposal "The presidents of the University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University and Washtenaw Community College have announced they're endorsing a proposal to expand transit services in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township."

Thursday, April 17, 2014

#Publictransit saves the USA 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline per year

4 Reasons To Love Public Transportation | Get on Board | The Rapid Blog | Grand Rapids, MI: "3. Public transportation helps the environment. If you’re looking for ways to live a more “green” lifestyle, then developing a crush on public transportation can help. A private auto produces 0.96 pounds of carbon dioxide per passenger-mile, while public transit (averaged out among bus, heavy rail, light rail, commuter rail, and van pools) yields 0.45 pounds per passenger-mile. It’s been estimated that public transit saves America 37 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year, while also saving the U.S. 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline every year."

Ann Arbor needs #morebuses more places more often

Ann Arbor mayoral candidates share views on downtown growth and public transit | "Taylor said public transportation is good for the economy, the environment and the quality of life of all Ann Arborites.

"Whether you're a senior, whether you're a student, whether you're a worker without a car, whether you would never ride a bus in a million years," he said.

Taylor said it's the mayor's job to be an advocate for public transportation, and he's a "hearty supporter" of having more buses going more places more often."

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Dirty tricks used against #publictransit advocates

"We’ve been working all year on transit improvements that will work for our community. That’s why we’re happy to report that the More Buses campaign is up and running.

But it isn’t going to be easy. On Friday, a group calling themselves “Better Transit Now” formed to oppose the AAATA’s May 6 Transit Improvement Millage. Their choice of name, clearly created to deceive and confuse the public, offers no alternative plan. They have no interest in connecting our communities or expanding service to our most vulnerable citizens."

Thursday, March 27, 2014

A revolution that can change the world, one backyard at a time

swmichigan.secondwavemedia: ""Can we change the whole planet?" he asks. "No. But we can do many things in our own neighborhoods and in our own communities. If we wait for the government to do it, it will be too little, too late. But first we need to admit that this is real."

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Carfree life is rare but nice in Detroit

Detroit Metro Times: "Clutching a copy of The New York Times outside the DIA on the last day in February, Storm says of his bus route: “It works out great, I read the paper in the morning; I don’t have to worry about parking, paying insurance on a vehicle, a lot of stuff,” adding, “Thankfully, I live within walking distance to my stop.” "

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Why oil industry fears buses. When people get them, they want more.

The more buses are put in service, the more people use them, and then they want more buses. Imagine how this would accelerate if there were no fares? Notice that in the video, fares are not even mentioned as revenue.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

ANN ARBOR: "expanding public transit is one of the most important things we can do to reduce carbon pollution"

ANN ARBOR: Coalition launches ‘More Buses’ campaign - Ann Arbor Journal - Heritage Newspapers: "“Transportation is a leading source of greenhouse gas emissions, so expanding public transit is one of the most important things we can do to reduce carbon pollution,” said Ecology Center director Michael Garfield. “What’s more, the AAATA plan will reduce congestion, make the region more bike and pedestrian friendly, and help get seniors, people with disabilities, and workers where they need to go.""

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Transit leaders look to simplify public transportation "TRAVERSE CITY -- For those who use public transportation it may be easier to get around northwestern Lower Michigan in the future.

At a Buses Without Borders meeting Monday, leaders focused on what it would take to build a regional transit network."

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Washtenaw County sheriff says public transit expansion will boost public safety "Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton has declared his support for an expansion of public transit in the county's urban core, saying it will boost public safety."

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Wealthy creditors micromanage #publictransit in Detroit

Workers Inquiry: "In response Dirks indicated that the level of service would be dictated by the city’s wealthy creditors. “Right now the Emergency Manager is negotiating with creditors about what level of service all departments should be operating under. Transportation is one of those. Creditors are suggesting that you should only have service weekdays from 8am to 4pm, and nothing else. We are advocating for more. The Emergency Manager is advocating for more. I think that eventually what’s going to happen is that the bankruptcy judge is going to decide what levels of service there are — what folks are going to make, how many people you need, and what the fares are.” 

There is no plan to replace the roughly $30 million in annual funding cuts that have crippled daily operations of the city bus system over the past four years. Half of the buses disappeared when routes were officially slashed in 2009 and again in 2012. Over this time the number of city bus drivers was also cut in half."

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

26% of Detroit households do not have a car

What's happening with public transportation in Southeast Michigan? | Michigan Radio: "Couple this with the fact that, according to the University of Michigan's Transportation Research Institute, 26% of households in Detroit do not have a car."

'via Blog this'

Thursday, January 23, 2014

China recession will devastate auto industry

This article in tells about the falling U.S. demand for cars. It is noted that demand in China is strong. Then the comment is made that cars could be a small player in the markets. Oooops!
Bridge : Domestic automakers, of course, also sell cars and trucks globally, helping to hedge against sales hiccups in their home markets. General Motors, for instance, sells more vehicles in China than in the United States.
“We’re always going to have cars and an auto industry,” Maynard said. “But it’s becoming less of a mass-market industry. It’s skewing higher toward upper-income and luxury buyers.”
The idea that cars can be a niche market is more incorrect thinking based on incorrect information. The thinking in North America and much of the world now, is that cars are just another way to get around that happens to be very popular. Not true. Cars are part of a system of autosprawl. This system is a massive collection of fixed, hard assets. It includes roads, pipelines, gas stations, refineries, military, houses, driveways, DIY stores, big box stores, junk yards, repair shops, and on and on. This system is subsidized, heavily subsidized. It cannot easily be switched to something else. When cars lose critical mass, this system will crash. The sooner we start dismantling it, the better.

Maybe the thinking is that the U.S. can make expensive cars, and import the cheap ones. Think what that means. If you thought foreign oil was a problem, wait until foreign countries literally drive you to work.

Right now, cars sales are dropping in the U.S. and Europe. As this continues, people are going to be less willing to pay the huge infrastructure costs subsidizing autosprawl. When the recession hits in China, the auto industry will not have enough customer base to support its own weight. Then what?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Mason envisions transportation hub in its master plan

Lansing State Journal: "A new formal master plan is in the works, and it acknowledges the growth of public transportation across the state, and calls for Mason to eventually have a “Public Transportation Hub”."

'via Blog this'

Friday, January 10, 2014

Ford admits cars don't work. His solution? Smarter roads. (LOL)

Bill Ford: A future beyond traffic gridlock | Video on "Bill Ford is a car guy -- his great-grandfather was Henry Ford, and he grew up inside the massive Ford Motor Co. So when he worries about cars' impact on the environment, and about our growing global gridlock problem, it's worth a listen. His vision for the future of mobility includes "smart roads," even smarter public transport and going green like never before."

'via Blog this'