Transit roundup: PBS documentary, investment, and Farmington Hills

Mass transit in Metro Detroit is taking a couple of baby steps forward.

First,
the Farmington Hills City Council decided not to leave SMART, instead
putting the question of whether to remain a member of the transit
agency to voters in August.

“It was frustrating that they felt
they needed to even debate this since they have been a part of SMART
for so long,” says Megan Owens, executive director of Transportation Riders United,
a local mass transit advocacy non-profit. “But they did realize that
transit is part of the community and something it couldn’t do without.”

Secondly, a new PBS documentary about mass transit in Metro Detroit called Blueprint America: Beyond the Motor City examines how Detroit, a grim symbol of America’s diminished status
in the world, may come to represent the future of transportation and
progress in America. It asks whether it is time to fundamentally change
the way Detroiters – and by extension all Americans – get around.

Third,
the latest data on stimulus spending show that investment in mass
transit has created twice as many jobs as investment in highways. The analysis
from Smart Growth America shows that every billion dollars spent on
public transportation created 16,419 jobs, in comparison to 8,781 for
highways.

Source: Megan Owens, executive director of Transportation Riders United
Writer: Jon Zemke