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MEC applauds full funding for public transportation

House, Senate, governor hold line, maintain budget
May 26, 2011
The Michigan House of Representatives today concurred with the State Senate and with Gov. Rick Snyder’s recommendation to fund passenger transportation at the same level as last fiscal year. Appropriations committees in both chambers had previously cut the fund. More state revenue than earlier anticipated and constituent interest combined to convince both chambers to fully fund passenger transportation in this year’s budget.

“This news is a relief to the thousands of Michiganders across the state who depend on public transportation to get to work,” said Tim Fischer of the Michigan Environmental Council. “With volatile gas price swings and Michiganders struggling to make ends meet, public transportation is more important now than ever.”

Public transportation agencies in both urban and rural communities have seen their percentage of state funding drop in recent years. State support for public transportation has decreased by 27 percent over the last 10 years, thereby shifting the costs to Michigan’s local communities.The legislature’s action today holds the line on these cuts.

Public transportation ridership in Michigan has increased 6 percent between 2007 and 2009, and moved close to 100 million passengers in 2010. All 83 Michigan counties have some form of public transportation service.

Thirty-four percent of Michigan’s public transportation passengers use the service to get to and from work. Over 20 percent of Michigan intercity bus passengers come from households with annual incomes of less than $10,000.

Over 20 percent of Michigan intercity bus passengers indicate it is the only form of transportation available to them. ###
Tim Fischer, 734-255-9206
RELATED TOPICS: transportation policy
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