This August 5, voters in Oakland, Macomb and Wayne County will decide whether to keep SMART rolling through an increase in the millage that funds SMART’s long-underfunded bus services. Without a millage increase, the aging bus fleet will decay, and service will be cut back even further.
We can’t let that happen. We’re kicking off a grassroots campaign to keep SMART rolling – starting with a “SMART Start” Day of Action on Tuesday, June 17, seven weeks to the day before the vote. We’ll gather at major SMART stops and transfer points around the region, spreading the word about the election to SMART riders themselves. Don’t miss the bus – sign up to join us using the form below.
“Paul Tillich has said that sin is separation,” Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote in his Letter from Birmingham Jail. “Is not segregation an existential expression of man’s tragic separation, his awful estrangement?” This Easter season, we’re calling for more public transit to reconnect our divided communities with a Walk to Resurrect Our Region, Wednesday, April 16, 4:30 – 6 pm.
Since 2011, the SMART buses have only run into the City of Detroit on weekdays between 6-9 am and 3-6 pm. You can get a bus from downtown Detroit to Canada at almost any time of the day, but not to other cities in our own country!
We’re asking the County Commissions of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb Counties to let us vote on a higher transit tax millage rate – more than 1 mill – that will provide money for more bus service between Detroit and surrounding communities. The County Commissions are voting on the topic on Thursday, April 18. Please find your Commissioner by clicking on the name of your County (above), and give them a phone call to urge their support!
The day before the Commissions vote, Wednesday, April 16, we will meet at 4:30 pm at Woodlawn Cemetery, off Woodward just south of 8 Mile, the final resting place of Rosa Parks. After paying our respects there, we will walk or drive over to the intersection of 8 and Woodward, by way of the State Fair Transit Center. From either side of 8 Mile, we will walk across to meet in the middle, symbolizing the need to reconnect our region with reliable bus service. (See this map of the event area.)
We hope you can join this action to kick off the 2014 Motor City Freedom Summer. Please share the event widely with your colleagues, kin and congregants, whether by word of mouth, phone, e-mail, or Facebook!
Motor City Freedom Summer begins with you.
For decades, transportation planners have pored over plans for public transit systems in metro Detroit, while politicians have dithered over how to proceed. This must end.
We propose to build a mass movement of the region’s people on behalf of better public transit. This begins with restoring the bus service we have lost over the years. It must end with a truly regional transit system that connects all corners of our region.
It has been said that freedom is not free. Transportation freedom, too, will take the hard work and commitment of many people, all across the metropolitan Detroit region, dedicated to a fundamental transformation of regional politics, away from isolationism and towards reconnection. With your leadership, we will win the victory and build a Motor City region where all of us have the right to move.