Published: 2022

/ Student Work

Evaluating Funding for Public Transit to Advance Michigan’s Climate Goals


Michigan is committed to addressing climate change throughout the state. The MI Healthy Climate Plan lays out a broad vision for fulfilling Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s pledge to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. However, this plan and others – such as the Michigan Department of Transportation’s (MDOT) long-range plan Michigan Mobility 2045 – fail to recognize that strong public transit systems are essential for addressing climate change. Transportation Riders United (TRU), a nonprofit organization that advocates for public transit in the Detroit region, understands that Michigan must reduce its heavy reliance on driving because single-occupancy vehicles are a leading source of greenhouse gas emissions. TRU can help shape how Michigan addresses climate change by encouraging state and local agencies to improve public transit so that Michiganders have a viable option to shift away from single-occupancy vehicles. This report provides actionable guidance to help TRU promote state-level actions to increase state funding to expand public transit as a means of advancing climate change commitments.


Shanea Condon, Andrew Darvin, Paul Jones III, Catherine Kemp, Camilla Lizundia, Christopher Moon-Miklaucic, Simon Rivers, Sydney Weisman, Arin Yu


Joe Grengs, Eric Bettis