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Most Detroiters are not able to afford to get to where they need and want to go.

Savings that Detroiters were supposed to see on auto insurance after the state legislature passed a reform package in 2019 have largely failed to materialize, and car insurance still costs more in Detroit than in any other city in the country. The cost of insurance would eat up 18% of Detroit’s median household income. Public transportation is more affordable, but Detroiters have told us limited service areas and longer travel times than driving can make buses an unrealistic option outside of some of the most traveled routes. 

Auto insurance reform in 2019 was supposed to bring down costs significantly for people across the state and especially Detroit. Costs came down by 18% in 2020 but crept back up last year, and the cost of insurance in Detroit is still out of step with other cities. 

Car and insurance costs are one of the most common transportation concerns raised by Detroiters. Here at Outlier, we’ll be spending the next year reporting on this and other needs for a thriving transportation system that lets all Detroiters get where they need to go. Read more here

The legislation did away with a requirement that all drivers carry unlimited personal injury protection and put some caps on the amount medical providers can charge while caring for people injured in crashes. It was also supposed to keep insurers from charging people more because they lived in certain ZIP codes or had poor credit scores, among other “non-driving” factors insurers had been using to set rates. The University of Michigan has found insurance rates are still closely correlated with race despite the new restrictions meant to keep discrimination at bay.

Outlier Media surveyed Detroiters earlier this year and asked them to think ahead to the next few months and name two challenges that might keep them or their families from  thriving. Transportation was the second-most common answer, after a lack of money or employment.

We want to know more about how the cost of transportation is affecting you, and what kind of solutions you want to see. Share your thoughts here

Sarah AlvarezFounder and Editor-in-Chief

Sarah (she/her) believes the best local reporting is a service, responds directly to community needs and reduces harm. Her favorite place in Detroit is her backyard on a summer evening.