Public transportation and sustainable mobility are issues that I spend a lot of time advocating for, and these issues and how they relate to Dearborn will probably be a recurring theme in some of my blog posts. In Dearborn, transit is both useful but limited – it carries a lot of potential, but is often constrained by political and social divisions. The issue is so closely tied to social mobility, employment, climate change, and economic development that I find it hard not to see the impacts of our regional disinvestment from transit over the past several decades. Recently I have been preparing for a presentation with the organization Moses to address transit in our region. Moses is an interfaith community organizing group based in Southeast Michigan that is hosting their annual public meeting 7 p.m. tomorrow at Greater Apostolic Faith Temple in Southwest Detroit. At the event, Wayne County Commissioners will be present and will be asked to commit to a number of different policy issues, one of them being transit. Transit is one of the core issues addressed by the organization, and the importance of the issue is described on their website:
Because it is so central to all of MOSES core objectives, Transportation Equity stands as a Pillar of its own. Much of MOSES’ work is centered on transportation reform, with the goal of realizing a strong regional network of mass transit options. With improved transportation, residents will have access to healthcare services, healthy food, employment, education, public forums, polling places, and other resources that many currently lack.
At the meeting, myself and some other members from Motor City Freedom Riders and Moses will be calling for a 2018 regional transit proposal to be put on the ballot, as well as make Wayne County an all opt-in county for transit. Currently some communities like Westland, Canton, and Livonia opt out of bus service, and a structure like Macomb County’s successful 2014 opt-in campaign could significantly improve transit access in our county. A successful 2018 RTA proposal would also significantly impact transit in Dearborn, addressing the issues of service coordination and lack of investment that make it difficult to use existing services efficiently. Just as importantly though, the plan will potentially add rapid transit to Michigan avenue going downtown and to the airport, and regional rail to Ann Arbor. Attending this public meeting is an effective way to show our elected leaders that transit is an issue we care about.