Public hearings set for SMART fare changes
The Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation is hosting several public hearings across Metro Detroit this week on proposed fare changes.
Officials with SMART, southeast Michigan's only regional public transportation system, and the Detroit Department of Transportation last year announced the updates that would affect both systems and aims to simplify travel for riders.
The moves would eliminate the 25-cent transfer and the 50-cent up-charge for DDOT to SMART base fare transfers as well as reduce the youth fare (passengers 6 to 18 years old) from $1 to 50 cents.
The 31-day regional pass valid on SMART and DDOT would be replaced with several options to serve different commuter groups, including four-hour and seven-day passes, officials said.
The public hearings are scheduled for the following:
•Noon Wednesday at SMART's downtown Detroit offices, 535 Griswold, Suite 600
•5:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Dearborn Transit Center, 21201 Michigan Ave.
•5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Royal Oak Transit Center, 202 Sherman Drive
The public also can offer feedback through Saturday by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or writing to SMART at 535 Griswold Street, Suite 600, Detroit MI 48226.
The hearings come as SMART marks the first anniversary of its Frequent Affordable Safe Transit, or FAST, buses that travel along Gratiot, Michigan and Woodward avenues, connecting downtown Detroit and the suburbs with limited stops.
Ridership on the three corridors FAST serves are up nearly 40 percent on weekdays and about 80 percent on weekends, SMART said.
Last year, voters in Macomb County and participating communities in Oakland and Wayne counties approved a millage to continue funding SMART through 2021.
The system was created in 1967 and provides nearly 11 million rides annually, according to the website.