In December 2019 I announced a new initiative to push forward with efforts to make sure that Southeast Michigan’s proposed Regional Transit Authority expansion moves forward as a ballot initiative– and gets passed in 2020. This begins with making the business case for it– exploring and quantifying how transit is a win for everyone. A huge part of this is outreach, education, and stakeholder engagement. Previous iterations of the RTA failed for a variety of reasons, but limited outreach was a major contributor.


Working with Detroit-based Transportation Riders United and other partners, I will be chronicling the adventure on this very blog. I will also be linking to an assemblage of related articles on transit and mobility.

Articles, from planned to newest to oldest, are listed below.

Also, check out the diverse and dedicated Detroit transit scene through our super-cool co-conspirators and other organizations we’re generally a fan of: Michigan Mobility Institute, MOSES, Motor City Freedom Riders, Transportation Riders United, and Young Transportation Professionals of Detroit.


The APTA is a great resource for fun facts on public transit. CityLab also covers transportation issues, as does Streetsblog. Remember to support independent journalism!


Separate from Handbuilt’s growing subscriber base, we are working on building an informal coalition of businesses, nonprofits, and individual supporters to demonstrate broad public support for transit expansion. As they advocate for our cause, so, too, do we advocate for them. The first step in building the coalition involves agreeing to a common vision statement on what transit means for the region. Here’s the working draft:

“We, the undersigned, support efforts to improve transit infrastructure, service, and connectivity in Southeast Michigan as a means to facilitate individual mobility, talent retention and attraction, and to contribute to the sustainable development of regional workforce, communities, and the built environment. We believe in the need for comprehensive, well-maintained, and adequately funded infrastructure that allows for the safe, affordable movement of every citizen, in the transportation mode of their choice, to and from their homes and places of business, study, or worship. We believe in pursuing solutions that will strengthen the competitiveness of Southeast Michigan, reduce regional carbon footprint from transportation, and increase economic access for all.”

Members of the coalition include the Detroit Bus Company, energy and sustainability consultancy EcoAchievers, the Michigan Minority Contractors Association, Southwest Detroit Business Association, and more.