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E-M:/ Only two days left!! New funding proposal could provide an extra $150 million a year for transit



The Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association has proposed changing Michigan’s gas tax and increasing vehicle registration fees, an investment that would add a critical $1.5 billion into Michigan’s transportation network, including $150 million a year for public transit, while costing the average driver just 40-cents a day. While transit advocates rarely agree with MITA, we strongly support this proposal. Here’s why:

    * The $150 million public transit investment alone could create 6,500 jobs, while the full investment will support 70,000 jobs.

    * With this investment, Michigan cities could make critical investments in new rapid transit, including Woodward light rail, Grand Rapids bus-rapid transit, and the Detroit-Airport-Ann Arbor commuter train, just to start with.

    * With this investment, local bus agencies could run buses more frequently, add new evening and weekend service, or even add new routes to meet growing demand. Bus ridership has increased over 40% in the past four years and financially strapped bus agencies are struggling to provide sufficient service.

    * This investment would allow transit agencies throughout Michigan to buy up to 300 new fuel-efficient hybrid buses, decreasing pollution and saving money long-term.


For the past 22 months, the legislature has been discussing, debating and considering how to fund vital transportation needs. They held hearings, they took testimony and they appointed a task force to study it. That task force reported back that Michigan needs to double our transportation investment!

Given the enormous benefits, the vital need, and moderate cost, the Michigan legislature before they end for the year must pass transit funding legislation. We cannot afford two more years of legislative debate and delay.  However, most legislators are afraid of anything involving increased taxes, even when the benefits are enormous. We need to convince them that this is a great investment in Michigan.

Please visit www.FundMiTransit.com, enter your contact info to easily send an email to your legislators directly. You can edit the sample message with your personal thoughts and reasons or just send the message as is.

Or call their offices directly.  You can find your state representative's contact info at: http://house.michigan.gov/replist.asp

You can find your state senator's contact info at: http://senate.michigan.gov/SenatorInfo/alphabetical_list_of_senators.htm

After you call your local senators and representative, call the legislative leadership.  They need to schedule these votes!

- Call House Speaker Andy Dillion (at 517-373-0857 or toll-free 888-737-3455) and tell him to vote on this today or Thursday!!

-  Then call Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop (at 517-373-2417) and tell him not to end the session without voting on transportation funding!

Thanks!
Steve Gutterman
Transportation Riders United