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Point of View: Improving Transportation and the Safety of Roads

What should the role of public transit be moving into a future with transforming mobility options?

Jim Lilly: Public transit systems are facing an ever-evolving landscape. The emergence of individual mobility options may fundamentally change the role that public transportation plays in our society. The typical bus routes may no longer have the same importance that they once did, but there is a new frontier of connectors that can and should be explored.

Joe Tate: Public transit will continue to be a critical piece of infrastructure for residents to get around Michigan for years to come. Mobility technologies are certainly needed to fill gaps in our existing systems. As these new mobility options come online, I am very much looking forward to seeing the improvements incorporated.

Hands-free driving legislation has recently passed in Georgia and Indiana by bipartisan majorities. Do you believe this is a bipartisan issue?

Jim Lilly: Hands-free driving can and should be a bipartisan issue. In December, the House voted to ensure that our Michigan drivers were safer by passing legislation that restricted the use of cell phones by drivers under the age of 18.

Joe Tate: Absolutely. Safety is paramount especially when behind the wheel of an automobile. My colleagues and I practice and communicate safety on a regular basis, which is why the hands-free driving legislation is a bipartisan issue.

As next-generation mobility becomes the new frontier for the automotive industry, can we still champion the technology when our roads are crumbling?

Jim Lilly: We can use the challenge presented by next-generation mobility as an opportunity to reevaluate the way we finance our roads. Lifting unnecessary burdens on locals to allow them to fix our most damaged roads while continuing to fund Michigan roads at record levels is the best way to address this challenge.

Joe Tate: For us to most effectively implement new mobility technologies into society, we need to ensure that we are maintaining our current critical infrastructure systems, which includes our roads. For the state to be a leader in this nascent industry, we need to have the right ecosystem to foster this progress – this includes fixing our roads. I am grateful for Gov. Whitmer’s focus and priority on road infrastructure funding.

Jim Lilly is a Republican representing Michigan’s 89th district.