Environment Picture
Topic: Transportation Policy

Michigan public transportation under attack

Senate cuts Amtrak funding by over 50 percent
On Thursday, June 11, the Michigan Senate voted to cut the Local Bus Operating program by $4.28 million and the Amtrak rail passenger operating grant by $2 million.

This is devastating to Amtrak. It will result in the loss of either the rail services along the Port Huron to Chicago route or the Grand Rapids to Chicago route. Or even both! It also continues the “death by a million cuts” effect on bus transit.

Fast, frequent and dependable trains, combined with local buses, are important tools for dealing with our economic, environmental and energy crises. With more Michiganders unable to afford personal vehicles, Michigan should expand passenger rail and transit, not cut.

Please contact your member of the Michigan House of Representatives and urge them to restore the funding (some talking points below)

Contact information available through this link: http://www.house.mi.gov/find_a_rep.asp
  • Restore Local Bus Operating Funding. The Michigan Senate on 6/11/2009 slashed Fiscal Year 2010 Local Bus Operating funds from the Governor’s recommended $166,624,000 to $162,340,600 – a $4.28 million cut. What this means in real life: Significant route cuts.
Focus action on Michigan House of Representatives: “Please restore Local Bus Operating funding to 2009 levels in this year’s transportation budget.”
  • Restore AMTRAK Funding. The Michigan Senate on 6/11/2009 dramatically slashed Fiscal Year 2010 AMTRAK funds to the extent that two of the state’s three train routes will cease to operate before this time next year.
Focus action on Michigan House of Representatives: “Please restore AMTRAK funding to 2009 ($7.1 million) levels in this year’s transportation budget.”

Thank You,
Timothy R. Fischer, Deputy Policy Director
Michigan Environmental Council
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