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The Prosperity Agenda: Transportation Talk Should Include Public Transit, Economic Development

Transportation funding is currently the hot topic in Lansing, but the discussion shouldn’t just be about funding for roads. On this month’s Prosperity Agenda we talk about transportation funding in the larger context of what it can mean for our state’s economic turnaround. We discuss how improving our transportation system, including roads as well as public transit, non-motorized opportunities, will help keep our college graduates from leaving our state. Recent studies have found that college-educated people today want to live in cities that offer alternatives to driving a car. They want effective transportation options to driving like those offered in Chicago, Minneapolis, Boston, Austin and Charlotte. In fact, effective transportation systems help attract and retain residents and workers of all ages. My co-host for the show is Detroit Free Press reporter John Gallagher, who covers urban and economic redevelopment efforts in Detroit and Michigan. Our guests are Bill Rustem, director of strategy for Governor Rick Snyder; State Rep. Wayne Schmidt of the Traverse City area and chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee; and Melanie Piana, Mayor Pro Tem in Ferndale and deputy director for the Michigan Suburbs Alliance. The Prosperity Agenda is a monthly radio show that challenges listeners to help make Michigan a better place to live, work and play by creating vibrant and prosperous local communities. It airs on News/Talk 760 WJR on the fourth Wednesday of each month. Our February show is scheduled to air Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, however and you can listen to it anytime at the League’s website or by subscribing to the FREE iTunes podcast. Learn more about the placemaking concept here as well as on this blog.