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Greetings Supporter! Join me in congratulating the amazing winners and nominees at our Regional Transit Awards last week.

Plus, watch out for RTA threas and proposed I-94 widening. . . 

 Thanks for a wonderful Regional Transit Awards dinner!

Thanks so much to everyone who attended TRU's Regional Transit Awards dinner last week.  This annual fundraiser was a great time, raising money for TRU and celebrating many wonderful people and projects working to improve transit.

Please join me in congratulating the Award winners, along with all the fabulous nominees:

  • Forward Motion Award for Most Effective Public Servant:
    • Dennis Schornack
    • (plus nominees Ray LaHood, Melissa Roy, and Conan Smith)
  • Unsung Hero:
    • Marie Donigan
    • (plus nominees Code for America / DDOT text-my-bus, John Swatosh, Laura Trudeau)
  • Corporate Transit Champion:
    • Michele Hodges
    • (plus nominees Andy Basile, Andy Didorosi, and Indian Trails)
  • Transit Employee of the Year:
    • Michael Childs
    • (plus nominees Ron Freeland, Barbara Hansen, and Larry Tiller)
  • Exemplary Innovation Award:
    • AATA’s AirRide
    • (plus nominees Stop 313 ap, Detroit Bus Company, and Freshwater Transit)
  • Citizen Activist of the Year:
    • Neil Greenberg
    • (plus nominees Joel Batterman, Cindy Reese and Daniel Duane Spyker)
  • Special Award for Regional Transit Opportunity
    • Regional Transit Authority board
  • Plus a surprise Above and Beyond Award:
    • Megan Owens

Special thanks also to our generous sponsors who really make this event possible:

  • Crothall Services Group

  • Rossetti

  • SMART

  • Telemus Capital
  • Miller & Tischler PC
  • W.J.O'Neil
  • TranSystems
  • Young Basile
  • Larson Realty
  • DDOT
  • Indian Trails
  • Kughn Enterprises
  • Michigan Environmental Council
  • URS

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 Speak Out Against Wasteful Highway Widening

What do you think is the best way to spend $2.7 billion in transportation improvements for greater Detroit?

Adding a lane to I-94 to allow trucks to get from Indiana to Windsor a minute or two faster?

That's what MDOT and SEMCOG want to do. 

If you think this is as outrageous as I do, speak out now!!

SEMCOG's 2040 Long-Range Plan calls for widening 6.5 miles of I-94 through the heart of Detroit to four lanes in each direction. This will cost $2.7 billion over the next 15 years, starting with $120 million in the next four years.  They admit it really isn't to help local people, it is to ease truck traffic traveling through our community.

While the narrative of SEMCOG's 2040 long-range plan highlights the importance of sustainability and transit, the dollars don't lie.

Tell SEMCOG not to waste scarce transportation funding widening roads and highways!  Our region's population isn't growing, why should our roads?!?

Read more in a recent MLive article:

"Detroit Medical Center CEO Mike Duggan, who hopes to become Detroit's mayor, doesn't like the idea.

"Neither does the large majority of nearly 60 people who attended a meeting at Plymouth United Church on East Warren in Detroit Thursday night, who feel the $2.3 billion, one-fifth of the total spending projected by the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) through 2040, could be better spent to benefit the citizens of this region and Detroit."

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Fight Back Against Threats to the RTA!

The new Regional Transit Authority for metro Detroit just held its first meeting this April. But the Michigan Legislature is already considering two bills that would hobble the RTA before it even gets started.

HB 4637 - the RTA Opt-Out bill - would allow individual cities and counties to quit the RTA. This is the exact same policy that has stunted suburban Detroit’s SMART bus system, creating holes in the transit network. That’s no way to build an efficient transit system. 

SB 265 – The General Motors Exemption Bill - The RTA can ask the region’s voters to decide on a vehicle registration fee to fund transit. SB 265 would exempt a manufacturer’s test vehicles, because GM doesn't want to pay its fair share. 

Take action!

Tell your legislators to oppose these harmful bills!!

We’re all in this region together, and our transit system has to reflect that.

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Transit In the News

Here's some other recent transit in the news:

  • metromode:  Driving Urban Vibrancy Forward
    • "Metropolitan Detroit’s fledgling Regional Transit Authority (RTA) is officially up and running, and is now beginning to take its first steps toward fixing the region’s dysfunctional public transportation system."

  • AnnArbor.com:  Washtenaw Avenue's future? Conceptual images show buffered bike lanes and dedicated transit lanes
    • Check out these interesting ideas for reconfiguring Ann Arbor's Washtenaw Ave. Which do you think is best for this busy roadway?

  • Good Jobs First:  Bosses for Buses: U.S. Employers Supporting Public Transit
    • "The remarkable local support for transit demonstrated by so many employers is truly heartening," said Greg LeRoy, executive director of Good Jobs First and lead author of the study. "But the lack of a unified corporate voice on federal transit issues is equally disheartening. It begs the big-picture question: when will the growing corporate consensus for transit outside the Beltway translate into stronger action inside the Beltway?"

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For even more up-to-the-minute updates, videos, articles, and more, make sure to like TRU on our Facebook page:   Support Detroit Transit.  And make sure to add your thoughts and share our posts with your friends!

As always, feel free to contact us before or after with any comments, questions, ideas or concerns.  Thanks,    

                             Megan

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