The Michigan Municipal League in collaboration with its affiliate organization, Let’s Save Michigan, is hosting a unique public forum on Twitter. The event, known as “Twitterverse,” will serve as a virtual platform for a unique statewide conversation on the need for a new transportation system in the state. It’s a great example of online engagement, one of the eight principles of marketing and communications for public transportation, which EMBARQ, the producer of this blog, included in its recently published guidebook, “From Here to There: A Creative Guide to Making Public Transport the Way to Go.”

“[Twitterverse] is a new way to talk about a vital part of Michigan’s future, at a time when new ideas and new approaches are needed more than ever,” said Dan Gilmartin, executive director of the Michigan Municipal League and a panelist at the event. “The way we fund—the way we even think about—transportation in this state remains essentially unchanged from the way we did in the 1950s. It’s obvious that a 1950s system isn’t sufficient for a 21st century economy. A new vision is essential for Michigan’s economic recovery,” Gilmartin added.

According to the Michigan Municipal League, the event is intended to create a consensus of ideas and suggested solutions for Michigan’s Governor Snyder, who is planning to unveil a new transportation and infrastructure plan in October 2011.

Twitterverse will include the opinion and feedback of experts like Robert Puentes, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution; Chris Kolb, executive director of the Michigan Environmental Council; Rory Neuner, project coordinator of Transportation for Michigan (Trans4M); and Rich Studley, president and CEO of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce.

Twitterverse will begin today, September 13, 2011 at 12:00 p.m. Use the hashtag #mitransvision or follow @letssavemich or @mmleague to read the discussion and up-to-the-minute reports on presentations.

Michigan is holding a public forum on Twitter to help ignite the conversation on the state's transportation system. Photo by Justin Rumao.