The Disconnected Transit Challenge: People in Southeast Michigan go the extra mile to overcome disconnected transit

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016

Contact: Sara Wurfel, Truscott Rossman swurfel@truscottrossman.com

517-599-3470 (c), 517-487-9320 (o)

DETROIT – Southeast Michigan’s disconnected regional public transit system hinders people from getting where they need go. Everyone has heard stories of residents in Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne counties struggling through difficult bus commutes to get to work, school or doctors’ appointments. In some instances, bus routes don’t even exist. One person had to walk 20 miles a day to get to work. The “Walking Man” may have been among the first to receive widespread attention for the journey he was forced to take to work everyday, but he is not alone.

Citizens for Connecting our Communities (C3), the broad-based coalition supporting the Vote YES for Regional Transit campaign, is hosting an online-based contest to illuminate stories of the problems and struggles caused by disconnected transit. Through Election Day on November 8, C3 will be highlighting stories on its website and social media accounts.

“Many people throughout Southeast Michigan don’t own a car and go through difficult struggles spending too much time trying to get to work, doctors’ appointments, school or the grocery store,” said Shaun Wilson, C3 spokesman. “The person who had to walk 20 miles to get to his job magnified the problem of our disconnected regional transit, but there are other people with similar struggles. This contest is about telling those stories and showing people how the proposed regional transit plan will connect our communities when we Vote YES for Regional Transit this November.”

At the conclusion of the challenge, there will be an online poll to find the most inspiring story of perseverance — and the winner will receive a six-month bus pass to help them get to work!

Right now, 92 percent of jobs in Southeast Michigan are not reachable within 60 minutes on public transit.

“Connected regional transit is critical to Southeast Michigan. We need to Vote YES for Regional Transit to connect people to jobs, increase independence for seniors and people with disabilities, boost economic development, and connect our communities,” Wilson said.

Submissions will be accepted through Oct. 17 with voting ending on Oct. 24. Learn more about the challenge by visiting: www.VoteYESforRegionalTransit.com/Challenge.