Governor Rick Snyder discussed all kinds of issues during an online townhall meeting today. People participated in the town hall online and remotely from Traverse City, Grand Rapids and Detroit.
“My question is what can be done about the horrible transportation situation in the City of Detroit?” Shelia Foreman asked Snyder from Wayne State University’s TechTown. “I have had relatives lose their jobs because they cannot get to them. Do you have a solution for that?”
City data shows Detroit’s busses miss stops or fail to service routes about a third of the time. City busses are poorly connected to other public transportation in the metro area, if at all.
Snyder acknowledged the importance of public transit in metro Detroit, but says it’s one of many vital city services that need to improve.
He says the state is hoping to pass legislation that would help set up a long term regional transit authority. But he says city leaders will have to come up with solutions in the short term.
A number of other issues came up; fracking for oil and natural gas, retirement for public teachers, the Michigan business tax, and higher education in the medical field.
The need for more and better jobs came up most often.
Snyder says it’s important the state do what it can to improve the business climate for those already invested in Michigan so they can grow here.
Snyder mentioned General Electric’s announcement this week that they’ll add three-hundred jobs to a technology center near Ypsilanti.
“I got a chance to talk to them and they are fired up about the talent they’re finding in Michigan. That’s the kind of word of mouth we want, is that it’s great results. In a company like that I view that at the kind of path to success we just need to keep reinforcing,” Snyder said.
Snyder says the unemployment rate has improved in part because of reforms he’s put in place at the state level. Last month Michigan’s unemployment rate went down to 8.8-percent.