Dreamstime

$5.4M Public Transit Plan Will Not Be On 2018 Ballot

It's the last stop for this ballot proposal

July 19, 2018 - 9:19 pm

DETROIT (WWJ) - A $5.4 million plan for public transit will not be on the November ballot.

Thursday, in its last meeting before the August deadline, the Regional Transit Authority (RTA) failed to take up the issue. 

Is there another possibility to get this on the addressed?

"We could always call another meeting earlier but we will not because it is clear the votes are not available on our board," said Chairman Paul Hillegonds.

The RTA budget is $1.2 million.   

"I think we've done more in the past year to advance support for regional transit and ultimately the public will prevail."

The issue never made it out of committee. The same committee that other counties want to see dissolved. Macomb and Oakland counties felt that the committee took away the minority status they claim they have on the full board.

While, Washenaw and Wayne counties said that committee was illegal.

"Why do we make it so hard to do the right thing?" asked Wayne County Representative June Lee.

"We need to stop the rhetoric and change our thinking and we need to move in the direction of do we believe in our Democracy and do we believe in regionalism. If yes, we've got to stop putting up roadblocks. We've got to stop making excuses as to why we can't and come up with solutions as to why we can."

Don Morendini, a representative from Macomb County, feared if they plan was put on the ballot it would affect the vote of the SMART millage:

"If SMART fails," says Morendini. "All those people who need to get to work - that need to get to their doctor appointments - that need to move around because, as one person said (and I don't know if this is true) One out of 10 people in Macomb County are living below the poverty line. How do those people get around if SMART is gone?"

Though there will be no vote this year, the RTA chair still hopes to have something done by 2019 or 2020. 

The RTA was created by Public Act in 2012. Its 10-member board is appointed for three-year terms by the county executives of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties, the chair of the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners, the Mayor of Detroit, and the Governor of Michigan. The Governor’s appointee serves as chair and without a vote.