With lots of news and uncertainty about the future of regional transit, TRU asked our members and allies what they thought our strategy should be. Dozens of people replied and a clear consensus developed:
What Could/Should Be Next for Regional Transit
The best solution is a full four-county regional transit investment to improve access to jobs, increase rapid transit, provide convenient connections to the airport, and more throughout Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw, and Wayne Counties, including Detroit. (details and call-to-action below)
However, if that’s not possible, it would be far better for two counties to make major transit progress than none at all. That’s why we support transit investment in Wayne and Washtenaw Counties as an alternative for the November ballot. (details and action below) We hope and expect that Oakland and Macomb Counties would want to get on board in another 2, 4, or maybe 6 years.
We need your help to make sure one of these happens this year!!
The next month may well decide whether region-wide transit is possible, so all transit supporters need to speak out! We’ve developed a three-part strategy to make sure transit supporters are doing all they can to fight for transit progress.
Plan A: Achieve 4-County Transit by Mobilizing Suburban Transit Supporters
While Detroit, Wayne, and Washtenaw County leaders are strongly supportive, unfortunately Oakland County Executive Brooks Patterson and Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel don’t believe their communities want to invest in more and better transit. We need to mobilize transit supporters in outer suburban communities, especially local elected officials, to be vocal in showing that these two men don’t speak for everyone!
If you live, work, shop, or dine in the outer suburbs:
Speak out at your City’s Council Meeting:
- Troy City Council Meeting
- Monday, March 19 at Council Chambers, 500 W. Big Beaver Rd
- All residents of Troy should say they want the RTA Millage on the 2018 ballot
- Novi City Council Meeting
- Monday, March 26 at 45175 W 10 Mile Rd
- All residents of Novi should say they want the RTA Millage on the 2018 ballot
- Rochester Hills City Council Meeting
- Monday, March 26th at 1000 Rochester Hills Drive
- All residents of Rochester Hills should say they want RTA on the 2018 ballot
- Rochester City Council Meeting
- Tuesday, March 27th at City Hall Room 302A, 30 Church Street, Rochester Hills
- All residents of Rochester should say they want the RTA Millage on the 2018 ballot
- Bloomfield Hills City Council Meeting
- Tuesday, April 10th at City Hall, 45 E Long Lake Rd
- All residents of Bloomfield Hills should say they want RTA on the 2018 ballot
And/or speak out at the Oakland County Commission meeting:
- Wednesday, March 21st at 7pm Commissioners’ auditorium, 1200 North Telegraph Rd, Building #12E, Pontiac
- All residents of Oakland County should say they want RTA on the 2018 ballot
Can’t attend? Please call your mayor, tell them why you support region-wide transit, and urge them to be vocal transit supporters too! Remind them not to just give up on transit, but to suggest ways to make the regional transit plan better. Then encourage any friends and family in those areas to make those calls too!
Oakland County Opt-Out Communities with significant voter support for RTA:
- Bloomfield Hills (49.5% supported RTA) Mayor Sarah McClure: (248) 644-1520 (office); Smcclure77@aol.com
- Clarkston (48% supported RTA) Mayor Steve Percival: (248) 625-1559 (office); email@example.com
- Keego Harbor (51% supported RTA) Mayor Joel Yoder: (248) 760-2308 (cell); firstname.lastname@example.org
- Northville (52% supported RTA) Mayor Ken Roth: (248) 349-1300 (office); Kroth43860@aol.com
- Novi (48% supported RTA) Mayor Bob Gatt: (248) 347-0456 (office); email@example.com
- Rochester Hills (47% supported RTA) Mayor Brian Barnett: (248) 656-4664 (office); firstname.lastname@example.org
- Rochester (47% supported RTA) Mayor Bob Ray: (248) 651-9061 (office); email@example.com
- Wixom (46% supported RTA) Mayor Richard Ziegler: (248) 624-4557 (office); firstname.lastname@example.org
Macomb County communities with significant voter support for RTA:
- Centerline (49% supported RTA) Mayor Bob Binson: (586) 757-6800 (office); email@example.com
- Eastpointe (49.5% supported RTA) Mayor Suzanne Pixley: (586) 445-3661 (office); firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mt Clemens (52% supported RTA) Mayor Barb Dempsey: (586) 469-6818 ext. 7 (office); email@example.com
- Roseville (46% supported RTA) Mayor Robert Taylor: (586) 445-5440 (office); firstname.lastname@example.org
- Utica (46% supported RTA) Mayor Thom Dionne: (586) 739-1600 (office); email@example.com
Please email info@DetroitTransit.org to share any substantive replies you receive. Thanks!
Plan B: Two Counties Make Major Transit Progress
While a full four-county-wide regional transit plan would be best, the region can’t let two men hold up progress for the entire region. That’s why, following a recent Washtenaw County Commission vote, the Detroit, Wayne, and Washtenaw County leaders are now formally negotiating the transit plan and logistics of those two counties taking action together. While it would not be through the RTA, the two counties could certainly team up to advance transit.
A two-county transit plan could provide fast convenient connections between Detroit and Ann Arbor, could greatly improve airport transit, and could connect people to jobs in western Wayne County that are currently inaccessible by transit, among other improvements.
Please thank Detroit, Wayne, and Washtenaw leaders for their strong commitment to great regional transit. Urge them to continue to do everything they can to make sure we invest in great regional transit this year, in as much of the region as possible. Also:
- Live or work in Detroit? Call Mike Duggan at 313-224-3400
- Live or work in Wayne County? Call Warren Evans at 313-224-0286
- Live or work in Washtenaw County? Call County Commission Chair Andy LaBarre at 734-945-1298!
Also Critical: Let’s Talk Transit to Increase Voter Support
Whichever measure gets on the ballot, we also need to make sure the many voters who don’t use transit still know why transit matters to them and their community. We’re working to build that knowledge and support through our Let’s Talk Transit community engagement program.
We’re seeking community groups and neighborhood associations that 1) have regular meetings 2) with guest speakers and 3) have not previously been involved in transit. We’d love to come in to bust transit myths, discuss what’s possible, and seek their input.
Please let us know of groups we could engage with! Email info@DetroitTransit.org with the group name, contact info, and any help you can provide in arranging a presentation.
We’re also training volunteers who enjoy public speaking to become Let’s Talk Transit speakers. If interested, fill out this volunteer interest form and we’ll be in touch to schedule training opportunities.
All this work is only possible through generous contributions from transit supporters like you. Please make a special contribution to enable this urgent effort! Thanks!
This work sure isn’t easy. If it was easy, it’d already be done!
But our region has more transit supporters than ever before, from Ford and Beaumont who know it’s critical for the region’s growth to the 894,000 people who voted for it.
If we work together and mobilize that support to be organized and vocal, we can make the major transit progress our region needs to thrive. Thanks for helping make it happen!