RTA to collect feedback on transit plan

Shawn D. Lewis
The Detroit News

Detroit — The region’s transit authority is seeking public input for their effort to promote a new regional mass transit plan.

Six community meetings and an online survey will help collect feedback, members of the Regional Transit Authority said during a monthly board meeting Thursday.

RTA board Chairman Paul Hillegonds said they are looking for comments on the proposed Connect Southeast Michigan Plan, a project floated by Wayne County Executive Warren Evans last month. It’s designed to replace a smaller regional mass transit master plan that voters narrowly rejected on the 2016 ballot.

“We have a responsibility to adopt a four-county plan that and to adopt an improved plan from 2016,” Hillegonds said.

The counties involved are Wayne, Oakland, Macomb and Washtenaw.

“We will make adjustments before asking the board to approve it. And instead of asking people to come to our meetings, we’re going to them.”

Hillegonds said the plan by Evans will play a large role in a regional transit plan.

At last month’s RTA board meeting, Evans unveiled a master plan for regional mass transit. Evans presented a 20-year proposal that needs voters to approve a $5.4 billion tax. Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson and Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel do not support the plan.

Evan’s plan calls for a 1.5-mill tax to provide $170 million a year in operating funding while investing $696 million for infrastructure. The tax would cost owners of the average house worth $157,504 in the region $118 a year.

The plan replaces the $4.6 billion millage that failed 50.5 percent to 49.5 percent in 2016. Washtenaw and Wayne counties favored the millage, Oakland County voters were split and Macomb County strongly rejected it. The plan included a smaller 1.2-mill property tax that would have cost the owner of a $200,000 home about $120 annually.

A new RTA chief operating officer was introduced at Thursday’s meeting. Matt Webb, 44 of Williamston is a former QLine streetcar program manager. He has more than 20 years of experience in large-scale transportation planning and program management services in the areas of highway, rail and transit.

“A tremendous amount of work has gone into this plan, and I am a strong believer that this version is much improved,” he said of the Connect Southeast Michigan Plan.

He added, “What we hear over the next month will confirm or show us we must do more work after we receive the feedback.”


(313) 222-2296

The list of upcoming community meetings includes:

· Wednesday, April 25 – South Oakland County

5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Baldwin Public Library

Rotary Room

300 W. Merrill St

Birmingham, MI 48009

· Thursday, April 26 – Detroit

5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Detroit Historical Museum

Wrigley Hall and Booth Auditorium.

5401 Woodward Avenue

Detroit, MI 48202

· Monday, April 30 – Wayne County

5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Schoolcraft College VisTa Tech Center

Rennolds Room VT425

18600 Haggerty Road

Livonia, MI 48152

· Wednesday, May 2 - Washtenaw County

5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Ann Arbor District Library Downtown

Multi-purpose Room

343 S. 5th Avenue

Ann Arbor, MI 48104

· Wednesday, May 2 – North Oakland County

5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Rochester Community House

Lewis Room

816 Ludlow Avenue

Rochester, MI 48307

· Thursday, May 3 – Macomb County

5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Mount Clemens Public Library


150 Cass Avenue

Mt. Clemens, MI 48043


For information about the proposed plan and to take the online survey, visit www.RTAmichigan.org.