Rally Today Backs Public Transit

April 23, 2003
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GRAND RAPIDS — Faith in Motion and Concerned Citizens for Improved Transportation (CCIT) will rally outside the offices of The Rapid this afternoon in an effort to sway the Interurban Transit Partnership’s opinion toward increasing the transportation millage level.

The rally will begin at 3 p.m. at 300 Ellsworth Ave. SW, followed by the ITP board meeting at 4 p.m., where both groups will continue to support an increased millage through their presence and public comment. Faith in Motion is planning a special program for the rally at 3:30 p.m.

“Grand Rapids is facing the issues of urban sprawl,” said Barb Stoops, co-chair of CCIT. “An effective public transit system can alleviate some of the worst effects, including air pollution and congested roads.”

But that costs money.

“The only way to move this transit system forward is an increase in the millage,” said Rev. Andrew DenBraber, community organizer for Faith in Motion. “Improving the system will make Kent County a better place to live — economically, environmentally and with regard to justice. No other improvements to our community’s infrastructure will have such a deep and wide-reaching impact. The Rapid board has heard no public opposition to our position of an increase in the transit millage to 1.0 (mills) and should act as soon as possible to put it on the ballot this November.”

The current rate of 0.75 mills has helped improve services and add routes. ITP recently upped most of its fares to cover increased costs.           

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