Environment Picture

Transit Matters campaign finds online audience

Transportation for Michigan coalition infographics share vital data throughout legislative funding debates
This spring, as the Michigan legislature worked to craft a bill package to increase transportation funding, Transportation for Michigan (Trans4M) coalition members and staff promoted the importance of improving Michigan’s complete transportation system through their #TransitMatters social media and communications campaign. Insightful, fun and enlightening graphics highlighted the many reasons that funding our public transit, rail, waterways, trails and dial-a-ride services is just as important as funding our roads and bridges.

While lawmakers were unable to come to an agreement on a package before they adjourned for the summer break, the energetic effort put forth by Trans4M helped to transform the $450 million road funding package initially proposed by the House to a $1.5 billion funding package that would benefit our complete system.

Multiple benefits for diverse groups
Trans4M supports a complete transportation system as the best way to help revive our urban and rural centers, reconnect people to opportunity (and businesses to workers and consumers), and reduce our environmental footprint. Public transit and non-motorized transportation hold different benefits for different groups:
  • Community and business leaders continue to embrace transit for its economic benefits: every $10 million in capital investment in transit yields around $30 million in business sales, and every dollar a community invests in public transportation yields around $4 in economic return.
  • Four out of five older Americans in a University of Colorado study agreed that public transportation provides them with the freedom and mobility to do what they want and need such as access to medical appointments, shopping, entertainment and visits with friends and family.
  • Millennials are flocking to transit and non-motorized transportation because it provides a better connection with their community, opportunities to use digital media while traveling, money savings and better opportunities to exercise.
The work of Trans4M helped to bring to the forefront the importance of a serious, comprehensive transportation funding increase for Michigan and built a strong foundation for future action on the issue. Senator Randy Richardville, Majority Leader and sponsor of the main bill in the package, has indicated that he plans to continue work on this issue through the summer.

Although the legislative break provides a relief from the transportation funding debate, Trans4M hopes to continue the conversation, work with decision makers and keep the momentum going to promote the importance of improving our complete transportation system to grow our economy, increase access to opportunity and improve overall quality of life in Michigan.

For more information
Website: Trans4M.org
Twitter: T4Michigan
Facebook: T4Michigan
-Elizabeth Treutel
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