Rob Thomas said he looked at employment opportunities in Ann Arbor, Boston and San Francisco when he graduated from college, and he was committed to living in a city where he would not need a car. "Ann Arbor fits the bill. It's fantastic," he said, citing the area's high quality of life partly thanks to good public transit.
He's now going out and making disciples.
"In the last month in my office, I asked my co-workers to commit to getting downtown without using a car, without parking it in one of the parking structures," said the Google employee. "I expected maybe 10 people to sign up. Thirty-five of my co-workers committed to getting downtown without parking downtown in the month of January, and I hope to double that number when the summer comes."
Thomas spoke before the Ann Arbor City Council on Monday and lobbied for support of expanding AATA transit services. Even for a common muggle, many agreed he was quite captivating as he offered a vision of what it'd be like if there were more frequent bus services, more trips on nights and weekends, and connections to new areas.
"It's like the town I loved suddenly grew to be four times its size, like that part in Harry Potter where they touch the brick and you see Diagon Alley open up," he told council members. "It's like new pockets of the community I've never seen before suddenly open to me by expanded transit."