BACK TO ~ The abolition of state revenue sharing for mass transit in Michigan


Alternatives to replacing fuel taxes and user fees

Please sign Petition on Homepage and get full buses,
as a prerequisite for all future transportation tax increases.


Transit Tax
Increases
vs. Other Options
 

Allowing state fuel taxes to expand urban freeways and roads by supporting the August_2018_SMART property tax renewal for public transportation expenditures would achieve far less per dollar of tax expenditure than any of the plausible alternatives available as listed below.

Support
The Plan
That Worked
to protect all funds
 

Option 1 ~ Operation Bring Back SMART
(Proven to fill up fare boxes from June 2003 to November 2006)

A leadership plan where everyone says, "How do we do this together?" This plan is a set of conditions which were previously proven to work and are documented to save the taxpayers millions of dollars every year.
--- Please sign petition to give to the Regional Transportation Authority of Southeast Michigan - RTA and SMART to take actions to secure federal and state funds and make public bus service work.

SMART assists in the interdiction of public bus services - Click here
SMART supports freeway expansions without frequent bus service - Click here

 

 

Option - 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 ...


(2) Increase
other funds for
large freeway projects
 

Using state funds for more freeways adversely affects the low income and the transit dependent unless more state (CTF) transit funds are raised to provide alternate facilities. The replacements of these funds are presently pushing higher taxes on the low income in Michigan. Promote development and user fees to help pay for new roads and the $530 Million I-75 project. When transit tax advocates claim their cause will mean more jobs and federal transit grants, ask them for facts. Without more direct industry supports and investments for "cost-effective" transit alternatives they have no real cause. (National Low Income Housing Coalition) ~ next option

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(Option 3) Privatize the
bus system
 

Privately owned and operated buses typically have costs less than half that of municipally owned bus systems. Less bureaucracy and sensible route selection by privately operated buses could increase transit service without increasing taxes. (Urban Transit, Ballinger Publishing Co., 1985)

As transit workers retire; present taxes can then be used to keep remaining workers. The free market system and competitive bidding can prevail. The petition drive in (Option 1) above, if signed protects state CTF funds for the handicapped and corresponding transit operating expenses.

Your NO vote can work to stop state transit money being shifted to expand urban freeways if funding is not restored. ~ next


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(4) Restructure public
transportation
 

Rather than continuing to hold those who can't drive hostage to a monopoly transit bureaucracy or bureaucracies, we could achieve better customer service and attract more riders by promoting competition among transit providers. Government funds could be used to issue vouchers to the transit-dependent and pay the remaining transit workers until retirement. Private companies could earn these vouchers by offering the kinds of service customers really want and need, without regional and local tax increases. ~ next

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(5) More use of
“proximate
commuting”
 

Proximate commuting is a strategy that can be employed by businesses that have multiple work sites. Workers could be transferred to sites closer to their homes and their commuting distances would be reduced (Proximate Commuting, Washington DOT, 1995). ~ next

 

(6) More use of the “compressed”
work week
 

By converting the traditional 40 hour work week from a five-eight-hour-day schedule to a four-ten-hour-day schedule, the number of work trips could be reduced and peak-hour traffic congestion partially mitigated. ~ next


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(7) More use
of “flex time”
 

By spreading work trips out over a wider interval, the peaks of the peak periods will be lower. Declines of 3% to 10% in peak period travel have been achieved at work sites using flex time (A Toolbox for Alleviating Traffic Congestion, Institute of Transportation Engineers, 1989). ~ next

 

(8) Implement
Ride Sharing
 

Ride Sharing programs have built “personal rapid transit” systems in Detroit, MI without a tax increases. Since there is not enough limited tax money to implement full bus and train service everywhere, it could offer a quality of service higher than buses or trains can achieve With no required tax increase, there is no good reason for Detroit to refuse to give ride sharing a chance. ~ next




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(9) Seek support
for other "non-user" taxes
 

Instead of saying the problem is the lack of local taxes which is what government officials want you to believe, insist that northern Oakland county raise their property taxes to pay for the widening of I-75 instead of the state or you. Since "they" claim this will increase jobs, then publicly challenge them. Let "them" provide the facts? (Michigan Land Institute) ~ next


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(10) Use existing lanes for
High
Occupancy
Vehicle and
Toll lanes
 

The capacity in the fast lanes of M-53 and other State funded roads could be “rented” to single-occupant-vehicles willing to pay a fee for the privilege. This can become a source of revenue to pay for operating costs to get people into downtown Detroit on buses instead of adding more freeway lanes. This can generate millions of dollars per year for essential frequent downtown/airport bus service. Since "top county officials" claim these roads create more jobs, then let them prove it by paying for SMART and DDOT bus services and other transportation providers with these jobs. A small gas tax increase will do the same. Voluntary tolls can give drivers a "freedom of choice" between traffic congestion or pay more and technology eliminates the labor of toll collectors. (High Occupancy/Toll Lanes: Phasing in Congestion Pricing a Lane at a Time, Reason Foundation, 1993). ~ next


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(11) Computerized
traffic signals
 

New “state-of-the art” computer controlled traffic signals have been demonstrated to reduce intersection delay by 25% This along with bus only roads can make our existing transit providers increase ridership. Proof of this is the New York City transit system getting buses into Manhattan. (Rh odes: Real-Time Traffic-Adaptive Signal Control, University of Arizona, 1997). ~ next


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Option - 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19

The Conclusion ~ Click Here


Without making savethefueltax.org extremely well known and go viral ---
there will be no or little opposition to more regressive transit tax increases
without first improving existing mass transit in southeast Michigan
OR filling empty SMART and DDOT buses.


 

(12) Decrease matching state
grants to expand freeways and roads
 

The communities of Novi and Livonia voted for more roads. If those who want larger roads pay more, then transit systems such as SMART could keep more state funds to pay for those who can least afford to pay higher taxes. There are no reasons why counties such as Lapeer and Oakland can't pay more for road expansions, where MDOT is spending money to widen state roads due to new growth. New development fees can help pay for these roads instead.(Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, SEMSCOPE) ~ next


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(13) Use existing
highway taxes with
congestion pricing
Volunteer, community
actions
 

Private businesses faced with the kind of peaks in demand we see on our roads use peak/off-peak pricing to make more efficient use of their existing capacity. Congestion pricing could readily reduce peak traffic volume by 25%. Electronic congestion pricing can replace or be added on top of existing highway user taxes in order to avoid the inequities and inefficiencies of the existing tax structure. Voluntary and community actions alone can save millions by correlations between road capacity and bus service as unique to the direct alignments of bus routes and freeways to downtown Detroit. (Road Work, Brookings Institution, 1989) (Citizens Research Council of Michigan, Pub. 1064) ~ next


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(14) More
telecommuting
 

Information type jobs could be done at home and the work transmitted via FAX, e-mail, or telephone. As a result, work trips could be reduced (Potential of Telecommuting, Texas Transportation Institute, 1995). ~ next


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(15)Just Say
NO
 

Say NO to county tax increases for the Woodward Ave trolleys and other expansions wanted by transit advocacy groups. This includes the Transportation Riders United. Let’s first get these groups to protest the many millions of limited tax dollars which could be used for mass transit but is instead planned to match federal grants for the freeway expansions as described in the section under ~ The abolition of state revenue sharing...

~ Click here to get these groups to debate these WebPages and others on television. Mass transit needs both government and industry support to work. Companies have offered to build people mover systems in Detroit, MI without taxes. Interstate Traveler website, ~ www.acsa2000.net/hshrt There are no good reasons to refuse to give these companies a chance. ~ next


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(16) Super emitter
measures
 

In 1996, the Arizona Governor’s Task Force recommended four options for reducing the emissions of the worst polluting vehicles: (1) high polluting vehicles would have to pay more to register their vehicles, (2) an emission fee assessed at the emission testing site, (3) retrofitting older vehicles with catalytic converters, and (4) accelerating the scrapping of older vehicles. The Michigan Department of Transportation claims that widening I-75 will lower air pollution but they provide no evidence to support this. ~ next


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(17) Expand the
freeway management
system
 

The US DOT estimates that computerized freeway management systems can reduce traffic delay on the freeways by 20% to nearly 50% (Intelligent Transportation Infrastructure Benefits: Expected and Experienced, USDOT, 1996). ~ next

 

(18) A statewide fuel tax increase by public vote  

Compassion for the disabled is needed and wanted by the majority of those who vote. Anyone who can drive a gas-guzzler to Downtown Detroit, pay $10.00 to park and pay $$$ to see a sporting event or a concert, certainly can help pay for 24 / 7 handicapped accessible bus service known as "The Plan..." or a similar effort. A campaign for this will educate the public to understand that paying a little more at the gas pump can enforce compliance to pay for mass transit as a necessary feature of the gas tax as opposed to an additional need for new ones. This can work to give our transit providers a better chance to excel in the world marketplace. ~ next


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(19) Raise the Federal Minimum Wage  

An increase in the "federal" minimum wage will help ensure more workers will have bus service by increasing farebox revenues. There is still hope, if this alternative is rejected. It's possible that someday industry will provide everyone with a decent paycheck and reliable public bus service "out of the kindness and generosity of their big hearts". ~ next


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The Conclusion

It’s long past time for public bus systems in southeast Michigan to respond to increasing costs by moving people faster, cheaper, and more reliably.

  • Click Here ~ The purpose of Operation Bring Back SMART

Regional transit officials are required to conduct a more detailed demographic analysis of the population that was impacted, both positively and negatively, by the changes made as a result of the November 27, 2006 Livonia bus service reductions to receive more federal transit grants from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 42 USC 2000(d)-2000(d) (1) is specific that
all government entities must support community transit



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