Michigan Lawmakers Consider $2B Transit Bill

The bill would tie transit funding to business subsidies as part of a broader economic development program.

1 minute read

June 10, 2024, 8:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Detroit Public Transit

Detroit, Michigan / Shutterstock

A proposed bill in the Michigan state legislature would create a $2 billion transit funding program aimed at building new bus rapid transit (BRT) and commuter rail over the next decade.

As Brian Allnutt explains in Bridge Detroit, the bill, part of an initiative dubbed Make it in Michigan, would tie transit funding to other economic development programs that some critics say attract low-paying jobs to the state through tax incentives. “The legislation would extend incentives for businesses due to expire next year by another decade, providing $2.5 billion for companies investing in the state.”

For Megan Owens, executive director of the nonprofit Transportation Riders United, tying transit to business subsidies is a “necessary evil” to improve the state’s transit options. “The new legislation sets aside money for investments in transit, housing and community projects such as childcare. Michigan transit and mobility projects would receive $200 million a year, while housing and community projects would receive $100 million and $50 million, respectively.”

Sunday, June 9, 2024 in Bridge Detroit

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