The newly formed Checkered Flag Challenge, the philanthropic arm of M1 Concourse in Pontiac, and the Pontiac Community Foundation, have announced M1 Mobility, an initiative to provide multi-tier transportation solutions to ensure Pontiac residents have access to community programs and services.
“Lack of access to public transportation is a critical issue throughout Oakland County, and particularly in Pontiac, and I look forward to supporting these two organizations as they combine their resources and expertise to tackle the inequities residents face in navigating the everyday challenges of getting to work, school and appointments,” says Dave Coulter, Oakland County executive. “Additionally, I will ensure that Oakland County’s representatives at SMART request that SMART participate and provide resources where applicable.”
More than 19 percent of Pontiac’s households have no access to a vehicle compared to 5.2 percent for Oakland County, and 7.7 percent across the state. Factors like prohibitive auto insurance costs make it difficult for residents to own and maintain vehicles. Although the city offers a number of services and programs, reliable and safe public transportation lagged behind.“Our work is deeply rooted in strengthening the City of Pontiac by targeting strategic community issues,” says Dustin McClellan, founder and CEO of the Pontiac Community Foundation.
“M1 Mobility will immediately begin tackling the issue of access to transportation this fall. In our first phase, we will service the community by transporting youth to after school and recreational programming through a shuttle service. The program will then expand to serve other individuals in need beginning in January.”
As a means of funding the initiative, the Checkered Flag Challenge will host the Checkered Flag Ball on Saturday, Oct. 2 at the brand new M1 Event Center. Guests at this event will be among the first to experience the new space, and will enjoy food, drinks, and dancing to the tunes of Ben Sharkey at an after party overlooking the track.
The ball is a focal point of M1 Concourse’s American Speed Festival and will honor Jim Hall, who changed racing history with his Chaparral race cars that pioneered modern race technology. The evening’s emcee is racing hall of famer David Hobbs, and guests will be the first to hear announcements regarding the plans for M1 Mobility.
For more information and to purchase tickets to the Checkered Flag Ball, visit here.