Wow Supporter, what a big day for transit!
Great New RTA CEO Selected: AAATA's Michael Ford
The RTA Board unanimously voted this afternoon to offer the position of CEO to Michael Ford. Mr. Ford has 35 years of transit experience, ranging from a bus station janitor in Seattle to directing bus and rail operations at TriMet in Portland.
For the past five years he has been CEO of the Ann Arbor Area Transit Authority, leading it through a very successful community engagement, planning, and funding process, ultimately persuading 71% of voters to approve a tax hike to expand transit service by 44%! Now he just needs to do the same here, with 10 times the population and in half the time!
While he still needs to negotiate a contract and give 60 days notice to AAATA, we at TRU look forward to the opportunity to work closely with him to make a transformational change in Detroit area transit!
Mich Senate Proposes Major New Transportation Investment!!
It's great to have a new CEO for the RTA, but will he have the funding he needs to improve our transit systems? He will if the Michigan Senate gets its way!
In contrast to House Speaker Jase Bolger proposal to provide a little new funding for roads without any funding for transit, the Senate proposed a major investment in our entire transportation infrastructure! Up to $1.5 billion in total, meaning $150 million for transit! (Read the details at Trans4M, Free Press, or Detroit News.)
Unfortunately anti-tax crusaders are fighting against any new funding and the House GOP is trying to cater to their small thinking. Media are also dwelling on the potential costs - eventually up to 25-cents a gallon - without nearly enough focus on the enormous benefits - like improved roads and real transit expansion.
We need your help now more than ever!!
Act NOW: The Senate may vote tomorrow then the House needs to consider the Senate package.
Already emailed? Then call your legislators too! And please encourage your friends and organizations to act too - this chance is rare and essential!!
Media Coverage for Transit
TRU has been very busy building support for this transportation investment. In addition to talking with our legislators, testifying before the Senate, and mobilzing hundreds of emails to legislators, I've also been getting the message out through area media.
We partnered with Amalagamated Transit Union, MOSES, Sierra Club, and others to hold a press conference and launch a major day of action yesterday. Thanks so much to everyone involved!!
Check out my interviews with WDET's Craig Fahle Show (listen to here), Michigan Public Radio (listen/read here), and WJR.
PS - You are subscribed to Transportation Riders United's email list. TRU is Detroit's nonprofit transit advocate, working since 1999 to improve bus service, remove barriers to rapid transit, and advocate for smart transportation investments.
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