It’s progress, right?

An article in The Oakland Press today outlines the discussions in the Michigan House of Representatives concerning public transit and the need for increased funding to bus systems and Amtrak train service. Democrats and Republicans formed a Public Transportation Legislative Caucus to educate fellow legislators.

According to SEMCOG, by 2030, Oakland County will account for 42% of traffic bottlenecks and 34% of congested traffic corridors in the region. Wayne County follows with about a quarter of the region’s bottlenecks and slow traffic areas. But traffic congestion isn’t the only reason for improving public transportation. Consider those with no car or who do not drive (Rep. Donigan cites 30% of the southeast Michigan population) who cannot get to work, the doctor’s office, the grocery store, etc. They have to rely on inadequate bus systems. Or no bus system at all: it’s a good thing I own a car, because SMART bus does not run through my community.

It may be slow, but it’s progress. I’m glad to see it’s a bipartisan effort. Widen I-75 if you must, but let’s not sell short public transportation.

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