Innovate Memphis will partner with New Memphis Institute to host transit academies. Academy participants will learn from local experts and leaders, meet other interested citizens and put what they learned into action. The purpose is to educate and motivate community stakeholders by encouraging their involvement to advance transit, active transportation, and increased freedom of mobility in their communities. The goal is to have community leaders and advocates to understand the relationships between infrastructure investments that are made today and jobs access, community development, wealth, and health of tomorrow. The academy will serve as a pipeline to building a coalition where participants will work in their communities to create change based on what was learned in academy. There will be several public engagement opportunities such as Transit Talks hosted by The University of Memphis and workshops hosted by New Memphis Institute.
Transit Academies will engage and activate Memphis civic leaders to improve transit that connects people with jobs and supports vibrant land uses. Today, transit service is inadequate in Memphis to meet community goals due to a lack of funding. The academies will educate and involve civic leaders in support of transit and transportation choices, which will result in developing transit champions. These champions will understand and share with the public the value of public transportation and ensure that the goal of social equity is kept at the forefront of advocating for improved transit and additional funding, which will help with creating a better quality of life for Memphians.