Thank You

"I want to thank the MPTA Staff and Volunteers of Cindy Sordyl Zolkowski, Joe DeKoning, Linda Harder, Kate DeKoning, and Samantha LeFebre, MDOT employees who helped with planning and all the members who pitched in to make this year's MPTA Annual Meeting a great success. The ratings were great and I have been told by several members that this was the best conference they have attended! Thanks to our wonderful vendors, headed up by Randy Veenhoven, for all their support. And a special thanks to John Martin, CEO of SIR in Virginia, for what many called our best keynote address ever!"
-Clark Harder, Executive Director

MDOT 2017-2020 state transportation improvement plan ready for public comment

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is seeking public comment on its draft 2017-2020 State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP). Required under the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, the STIP lists transportation projects MDOT intends to fund with federal aid provided under the federal transportation program.

Prepared by MDOT in partnership with local transportation agencies, the STIP is a compilation of trunkline and local projects that meet the transportation goals and strategies for a four-year period. These transportation improvement projects reported in the STIP were developed in coordination with metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) representing urbanized areas, and with rural task forces and small urban areas. The planning process relies on the participation of state and local government officials, public and private transit providers, organizations representing the customers and providers of transportation in Michigan, and the general public.

The STIP is not a single report; it is comprised of 14 separate documents: 13 individual MPO Transportation Improvement Programs (TIPs) and one statewide non-MPO STIP document.

MDOT will be accepting public comment on the STIP through Aug. 15, 2016. The document is posted on the MDOT web site at

For questions about the STIP, contact Mark Kloha at 517-241-3675.

TheRide and Women’s Caucus for Art Michigan Partner to Feature Michigan Women Artwork on Buses

The Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority (TheRide) has partnered with the Women’s Caucus for Art Michigan (WCAMI) to feature artwork inside its buses this summer. The WCAMI held a competition for poster designs which resulted in eight finalists. Their artwork will be featured inside buses throughout TheRide’s expanded and improved service area.

The “Women, Yes!” campaign provides exciting and thought-provoking visual artworks that represent the stories of women’s lives and how those stories change as women take charge of their own destiny. “When a woman is empowered, it transforms not only her own life but also the lives of her family, her children, and her community,” said Margaret Parker, President of WCAMI. “This is a story that the Women’s Caucus for Art of Michigan is proud to share with the widest possible audience by exhibiting this work in conjunction with TheRide’s public transportation system.”

“Women, Yes!” aims to enliven the city buses with visual art, open opportunities for women artists in Michigan, and serve as a forum to initiate positive change through art. The Michigan Chapter of the Women’s Caucus for Art provides leadership opportunities for women in the visual arts, professional development at every level of an artist’s career, and membership in a network of local, regional and national support. It is one of 24 chapters around the country that are part of the National Women’s Caucus for Art.

Winning Artist Bios and Statements:

Eloise Hirlemann: “Dancers on Blue”
Eloise Hirlemann, a Sister of Mercy, lives and works in Farmington Hills. Her work has been exhibited in and around Detroit.

“Dancers on Blue” speaks about women enjoying lives of affectionate respect, equality, compassion and union with others.

Barbara Melnik Carson: “We are all Sisters 3”
Barbara Melnik Carson is a Detroit-born sculptor living in Ann Arbor. Her work has been exhibited in New York and around the Midwest and is held in private collections from Detroit to Ukraine.

“We are all Sisters 3” represents my teachers in a diverse Detroit neighborhood, sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, who taught us that educated women could be strong leaders in faith while teaching empathy and social justice.

Jane Reiter: “Think About It”
Jane Reiter is a librarian, artist and Zentangle teacher who lives in Lansing. She creates art with mixed media collage, fiber and Zentangle, a meditative drawing process.

“Think About It” presents a woman with an intense, piercing, and strong gaze into the viewer's eyes.

Carol Morris: “Lady in Green and Red Dress,” “Mona Lisa in a Business Suit”

Carol Morris is a published poet and multi-media artist who has exhibited nationally. She is a retired Senior Policy Analyst for the State of Michigan who lives in Ann Arbor.

“Lady in Green and Red Dress” is a watercolor collage on Yupo paper that includes an original cover illustration of a woman from Redbook Magazine, 1936.

“Mona Lisa in a Business Suit” is a watercolor collage on vintage wallpaper.

Margaret Parker: “Day in the Life”

Margaret Parker is an artist whose paintings, sculpture and installations have been shown nationally and in Canada and Mexico. Her work is in the collection of the United States Capitol, the State Department Art Bank, the University of Michigan Rackham Graduate School, and many private collections.

“Day in the Life” is a painting in gouache that follows a woman down all the exuberant paths of her daily life.

Cat Jackson: “Flying,” “Fab”

Cat Jackson is an artist and printmaker who lives in Norton Shores and shows her work throughout the state and on etsy under catjacksonstudio.

“Flying” is linoleum cut block print that encourages us all to be fearless and follow our path, no matter how challenging it may be.

“Fab” is linoleum cut block print that encourages fierce, beautiful and strong femininity.

More information on the WCAMI can be found at, and the latest information on TheRide’s routes and schedules is available on or by calling (734) 996-0400.

TheRide Awarded Gold Medal for Sustainability Efforts

The Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority (TheRide) is proud to announce that it has received Gold Level recognition through the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Sustainability Commitment. Earlier this year, TheRide formalized its Sustainability Policy and Plan, setting goals to enhance the sustainability of transit services and to the greater community. TheRide is one of just 13 transit agencies in North America to receive APTA’s Gold Level recognition.

“We’re proud to receive APTA’s prestigious Gold Level recognition for these efforts, and thank the riders who, by riding with us, are doing their part to promote a more sustainable community. TheRide is committed to operating in a way that serves the growing needs of the community, and doing so in a way that helps reduce energy, water, and waste,” said TheRide CEO Matt Carpenter.

During the last five years, TheRide’s focused efforts have reduced its main facility’s water usage by 43 percent and electricity usage by 18 percent. On May 1, 2016, TheRide rolled out the largest portion of a 40 percent increase in service approved by voters in May, 2014. To date, TheRide has invested in a fleet that includes nearly 60 percent clean diesel hybrid-electric buses, eco-conscious facilities, and extensive recycling.

“Congratulations to TheRide for its significant work over the past five years in making the organization more sustainable,” said American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Acting President and CEO Richard A. White. “In recognition of its many accomplishments, APTA is awarding TheRide Gold Level status in our Sustainability Commitment Program. Achieving Gold Level is a high honor and TheRide is one of only 13 organizations in North America to have reached this level of recognition.”

The APTA Sustainability Commitment Program was started in 2009 as a way for public transit agencies to voluntarily commit to continuous improvements in environmental, social, and economic sustainability. More than 130 public transit agencies and businesses have signed on as signatories. TheRide’s Sustainability Plan and Policy, and more information of about TheRide’s sustainability initiative, are available online at:

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