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SMART OBSERVES NATIONAL 'TRY TRANSIT WEEK' MAY 11-15

 SMART OBSERVES NATIONAL 'TRY TRANSIT WEEK' MAY 11-15
 DETROIT, May 6 /PRNewswire/ -- The following was released today by


Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART):
 As part of the nationwide observance of "Try Transit Week," May 11-15, the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART) and its supporters are asking commuters who drive to work to sample public transit this week.
 SMART, the Detroit Department of Transportation (DDOT) and other public transit providers will display information on their services on Monday, May 11, at the Renaissance Center "Atrium" from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
 Each day of "Try Transit Week" has its own theme as described below:
 Monday, May 11, Clean Air and the Environment, has been developed to call attention to the environmental benefits of transit use. According to the federal Environmental Protection Agency, six out of every 10 people in the U.S. live in areas that fail to meet air quality standards established to protect health. In addition, 96 cities currently fail to meet the standards for ozone, the principal component of smog.
 But there is something each of us in southeastern Michigan can do to help all of us breathe a little easier: use public transportation. The large seating capacity of buses makes them dramatically less polluting than cars occupied by just one person. By switching from driving alone to transit, you will spare the air 77 pounds of pollution each year.
 Tuesday, May 12, Energy Conservation. SMART encourages commuters to leave their cars at home, or at a Park and Ride lot and commute by bus. By using public transportation instead of driving to and from work, commuters can save a significant amount of petroleum energy. Each year, Americans spend more than 2 billion hours of work and family time snarled in traffic jams, reports the American Public Transit Association (APTA), an industry trade group. The result is $40 billion in lost productivity. The Federal Highway Administration says that congestion is expected to get much worse. Between 1990 and 2005, it says, congestion on the nation's freeways was expected to increase 400 percent.
 Wednesday, May 13, Employee and Customer Appreciation Day. SMART will honor the men and women who make public transportation possible: 860 SMART employees and 30,000 daily customers. SMART is honoring its employees on this day for the work they do, and for the contribution they make to our community. It is also offering a tip of the hat to SMART riders, whose patronage keeps the system rolling. They are a major factor in making the Southeast Michigan region a better place to live and work. How do they contribute to the quality of life in our city? Without them, the many benefits we all receive from our public transit service would not be possible. Without the patronage of our customers and the hard work of our dedicated employees, none of us would realize the benefits of public transit. The board of directors and management of SMART offer a well-deserved salute to all.
 Thursday, May 14, Improved Mobility. Worsening traffic congestion threatens to sap the strength of southeastern Michigan by wasting people's time and delaying the movements of goods. Greater use of SMART is the approach to breaking the jam. SMART helps move more of us in fewer vehicles. Bus transit, along with car pools and van pools, are helping to ease the growing mobility jam in southeastern Michigan. "Ease of movement is vital for every resident in our region," said Matthew Wirgau, chairman of the SMART board of directors. "In many ways, our ability to travel is a measure of our quality of life and the competitiveness of our economy."
 Friday, May 15, Job/Economic Development. Public transit does work for our region. Without SMART services, 72 percent of SMART passengers could not get to their jobs. Public transit is a key factor in the economic infrastructure. It improves the mobility not only for workers, but for senior citizens, students and people with disabilities. More frequent use of transit by auto owners translates into fewer of us on the road each workday. In turn, this means less traffic congestion, cleaner air and less oil being imported into the U.S.
 For SMART bus schedules and general information, call SMART customer information at 313-962-5515, weekdays from 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
 -0- 5/6/92
 /CONTACT: Melissa V. Hightower of SMART, 313-256-8501/ CO: Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation ST: Michigan IN: TRN SU:


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Date:May 6, 1992
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