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Guest on The Infra Blog: Megan Owens, Executive Director, Transportation Riders United

Posted by Steve Anderson on Thursday, February 13th, 2014

Megan Owens, Executive Director, Transportation Riders UnitedMegan Owens is the Executive Director of Transportation Riders United (TRU). TRU is Detroit’s non-profit transit advocate, dedicated to improving and promoting public transit throughout greater Detroit. She serves on Oakland County Public Transit Authority, which oversees SMART bus service in Oakland County, and co-manages the Transportation for Michigan (Trans4M) advocacy coalition.  She was recently voted Woman of the Year by the WTS Michigan Chapter.

A lifelong Michigan resident, Ms. Owens has experience with the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and the Environment, PIRGIM (the Public Interest Research Group in Michigan), the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Leadership Detroit (class 31), the Michigan Nonprofit Association’s Executive Leadership Fellowship and the Center for Progressive Leadership.  

Lack of Transit is Hurting Detroit
When fully a third of the people within the households of Detroit don’t have access to a car, it makes it incredibly difficult for people who want to get job training, want to get jobs, want to work hard and support their families. If they physically can’t get to the job opportunities, it does really create a drag on our entire economy…

Hard Work is Already Paying Off
We’ve been able, over the last decade or so, to help change public perception, even here in the Motor City…to an understanding that we do need more and better transit. It is a benefit for our economy and our community and our environment. Now the question is less whether we need to improve transit, but how we need to improve transit.

Making the Transit Dialogue Relatable
When you can really relate the transportation system to people’s everyday lives, then you can really get it back out in the dialogue. It does take a little bit more explanation or thinking or communication, but when people do pause to think about it…it is something that people care about and are willing to speak out for.

Transportation Riders United: Working to Improve Public Transit in Detroit
Transportation Riders United is a nonprofit group based in downtown Detroit that is focused on improving public transit in the greater Detroit area. We really see transportation investments as being essential for building our future…to improve quality of life and to restore urban vitality in the Detroit area.

Download full transcript (PDF): Megan Owens on The Infra Blog

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