It’s just two and a half months until the most important vote on transit we’ve seen in decades – but many bus riders still haven’t heard about the regional transit plan we’ll be voting on.
To make sure bus riders know about this vote, and build our membership in the process, we’re hiring on riders as Fall Fellows to help us spread the word on the buses in September and October. In exchange for spreading the word, Fellows will get a modest stipend of $200/month, plus transit expenses up to $50/month.
If you ride the bus and want to help make a difference improving public transit in metro Detroit, we encourage you to apply! Fellows will start September 1, so don’t delay. Read the full description below the break.
SMART’s 710-Nine Mile route is just one of many suburban transit routes that would receive vastly improved service under the RTA transit plan that Oakland County leaders decry.
Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson and Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel have unleashed a media assault against the Regional Transit Authority’s 20-year transit plan for metropolitan Detroit. They charge that the plan “fails on virtually every level,” threatens the suburban SMART bus system, disproportionately benefits the cities of Detroit and Ann Arbor, and represents “taxation without transportation” for suburbanites.
We have to wonder if they’re looking at the same plan that we are.
In fact, the RTA plan yields the greatest benefits to Oakland and Macomb County; greatly enhances SMART bus service; and focuses some of the most prominent new transit investments on “opt-out” suburbs that would be taxed at a lower level than their peers under the plan. In summary:
- Oakland County would receive the largest transit investment of any jurisdiction: $1.3 billion.
- SMART would receive the biggest additional funding boost, $35 million annually, of any existing transit provider.
- The RTA plan extends transit to major Oakland County job centers, including Rochester Hills, Novi, and Highland, that currently receive no transit service.
We’ve prepared this analysis with the assistance of transit planner Steve Wiltse. Read on for details.