The Regional Transit Authority has officially voted to place the regional transit funding measure on the Nov 8 ballot!
This is a truly momentous occasion: For the very first time, people throughout all 4 counties of southeast Michigan will have a chance to vote on investing in improved regional transit. When voters have been given a chance to invest in SMART or in Ann Arbor Transit, they’ve overwhelmingly supported those funding measures.
Now we have a chance to make the case to all southeast Michigan voters. If we do a good job of helping voters understand what’s in the Regional Transit Master Plan and how it will benefit everyone in our region, I’m confident we’ll celebrating a huge success on November 8.
It looked for a while that this day would not come. When the Oakland and Macomb board members refused to support placing it on the ballot on July 21 and again on July 28, we feared regional transit efforts would be delayed for years!
Getting this on the ballot did come at a price. The Executives of Oakland and Macomb demanded a change in how the RTA board operates, which the region’s other leaders accepted. Each County and the City of Detroit will all have to affirmatively approve all future changes in the transit plan and allocations of state and federal funding coming to southeast Michigan. This is a step backwards from the regional focus the RTA had been operating from, but appears to have been necessary to get their support to let the people vote.
While the sausage-making isn’t always pretty, we got the outcome we needed.
Time to get down to work persuading people throughout southeast Michigan to VOTE YES for RTA on November 8!