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E-M:/ SB 1240

Enviro-Mich message from sgutt@umich.edu

Dear friends of transit and the environment,

The Michigan Senate is scheduled TODAY, Wednesday, to vote on SB 1240, 
sponsored by Senators McCotter, of Livonia, and Bennett, also of western 
Wayne County.  The bill was just yesterday reported out of the Senate 
Government Operations Committee, which McCotter chairs.  SB 1240 would 
allow any city with a population between 100,000 and 150,000 located in a 
county that is part of a transit authority to withdraw from the authority 
at any time.  In metro Detroit, this bill would apply to the cities of 
Livonia, Sterling Heights and Warren; Dearborn nearly met this criterion in 
the most recent census.

In sponsoring this bill, Senators McCotter and Bennett are seeking special 
treatment for a few communities at the cost of functional transit in 
southeast Michigan, which may be the point.  Passage of SB 1240 could 
effectively undermine the financial integrity of SMART or a future regional 
transit authority, and cut large holes in the fabric of a regional transit 

This assault on transit would further weaken the ability of thousands of 
bus riders to access jobs and to seek a better standard of living. 
Employers of bus riders will be less able to provide jobs to folks working 
to better their quality of life and to move away from dependency on state 
welfare.  This bill furthers Michigan's commitment to the status quo 
pattern of endless spending on new road building, continued sprawl, 
increasing urban blight, disappearing rural beauty and farmland, and more 
auto dependency.  It means a continued lack of viable transportation choice 
for the four million people who reside in southeast Michigan

Because this bill is scheduled for a floor vote today, please contact your 
state senator ASAP (call your local city/town/township office if you don't 
know who).  Let him or her know that you are outraged at this end-of-term, 
end-run attempt to undermine transit in southeast Michigan.  Ask your 
senator to support transit and vote no on SB 1240.

Thanks for your help,

Steve Gutterman
Transportation Riders United

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