The Regional Transit Authority was created to improve and expand southeast Michigan transit, but they can't do it without money.
To effectively coordinate the region's transit and to be able to put a plan before voters for sustainable funding, the RTA needs an investment from the state.
The Governor supports and the Senate overwhelmingly passed $2 million in essential start-up funds. But the Michigan House stripped those funds out. The bill now goes to a conference committee to decide.
Take Action: Tell legislative leaders to invest in the RTA!
The RTA has a big job to do, managing four transit providers, planning new rapid transit lines, overhauling a four-county regional transit plan, coordinating with state and federal bureaucrats, and engaging with thousands of stakeholders throughout. So far they’ve been functioning with borrowed staff and no office.
To effectively move through this start-up phase and put a plan before voters for sustainable funding, the RTA needs an investment from the state. An experienced CEO, dedicated planning staff, an independent office, and other basic operational expenses over the next three years are budgeted at $900,000 a year.
On Feb. 20, the Michigan Senate passed a supplemental appropriation bill, SB 608, which included $2 million in one-time start-up funds for the RTA. A strong bipartisan majority of 32 of the 38 Senators supported it. But last week the House stripped out those funds and rejected an amendment to restore them.
This week, a conference committee of Appropriation Committee leaders from each house are debating a compromise. The conferees include Sens. Roger Kahn, John Moolenaar, and Glenn Anderson along with Reps. Joe Haveman, Al Pscholka, and Rashida Tlaib. They need to know how important this RTA funding is!
Tell the conferees to invest in the RTA!
Let them know why improved regional transit matters to you.
Then urge your friends and colleagues to do the same! And thanks!
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