The Detroit Regional Chamber today debuted two new television spots designed to draw attention to metro Detroit's lack of connected and reliable regional transportation, and how it is a barrier to economic growth.
The spots feature Lizabeth "Beth" Ardisana, co-founder and CEO of Dearborn-based ASG Renaissance, a marketing communications firm, and Dennis Archer Jr., CEO of Detroit-based Ignition Media Group and president of Archer Corporate Services.
"Within the last year, I've hired 1,000 people and I could hire another 500 today," Ardisana says. "Every application we have has a box that says 'Do I have reliable transportation?' If you can't say that, we can't hire you … I think the most important thing we have to recognize about regional transportation is that it's critical to the success of everybody."
The American Public Transportation Association found that for every $1 invested in regional public transit, the region can expect $4 in economic returns.
"It's imperative that we change the fact that we're one of the largest regions in the country that doesn't have a reliable, connected regional transportation network," Archer says. "It has a huge effect on the ability of people to look for and get jobs. A solid regional solution that connects cities and suburbs and allows people to get to where the jobs and business opportunities are would make a world of difference."
Nearly 80 percent of jobs in southeast Michigan can't be reached within 90 minutes via regional public transit, according to the Brookings Institution.
The new ads are part of an ongoing series highlighting the need for reliable regional public transit. The spots are funded by the Detroit Regional Chamber Foundation with support from The Kresge Foundation.
To view the ads, click here.