As part of the initiative, local businesses compete in the Commuter Challenge by logging employees’ alternative commutes to work. Competing against similar-sized organizations, participants have the chance to win prizes like gift cards and free lunches. More than 2,000 commuters participated in 2013’s challenge and already more than 700 commuters have registered this year.
Soon, it will be easier for even more employees to get to work by public transit. At the May 6 local election, 71% of voters in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and Ypsilanti Township passed a 0.7-mill tax increase to expand transit services, which will put more buses on the road, expand hours, redevelop and add routes, and broaden a digital ride service.
A National Trend
The broadening support for public transportation is not unique to Ann Arbor. Communities across the country are seeing residents push for better transportation options.
A national bill could make it easier for communities to do development around high-capacity transit lines. Under the act, eligible government and public-private partnerships would have access to low-cost loans or loan guarantees to support economic development near transit.
Do your part to support the bill and transit-oriented development by contacting your Senators.
Drivers and riders share the road in Ann Arbor.
Even with this spring’s cold, wet weather, Ann Arbor residents are committed to curbing their car and using alternative means for getting to work. With any luck, these “alternative” means of walking, biking, and taking the bus will no longer be “alternative,” but the norm. Our cities and regions should use Ann Arbor’s success as momentum for planning more effective and widespread public transportation throughout the state.