Almost Half of Michigan Community Colleges Not Transit-Accessible

Access to transportation is a major hurdle for many community college students, but local transit systems often fail to serve them.

1 minute read

February 13, 2023, 10:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Writing for WDET, Eli Newman reports on a new study from the Civic Mapping Initiative that reveals that 44 percent of Michigan’s community colleges are not within 4.5 miles of a bus stop or transit station. According to Bill Moses, managing director for the Kresge Foundation’s Education Program, “We found that for many low-income students, transit is one of the biggest barriers to actually going to college. It’s literally getting there.”

Newman notes that “The Civic Mapping Initiatives claims by extending bus lines or making other route adjustments, an additional 25% of community colleges could become accessible by public transit.”

Abigail Seldin, co-founder of the Civic Mapping Initiative, points out that distance to transit is just a starting point for determining true accessibility. “Access requires affordable fares, routes that work, stops where you want to go,” Seldin explains. 

Seldin urges stronger collaboration between colleges and local and regional transit agencies. “Right now there’s tremendous recovery dollars around. There’s a focus on workforce attainment, and connectivity and public transit investment. If we want students to be able to get to school to get workforce training, they have to be able to actually set foot on the campus in many cases, and there’s not a better time for folks to come together to really work on this.”

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