Residents in Oakland, Wayne and Macomb counties voted to approve a new millage and opt into an agreement with the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation as a whole instead of on a community-by-community basis.
Oakland County residents voted Tuesday for a transit millage that will expand bus service there significantly.
According to unofficial results, the millage passed with more than 57% of the vote. Among other things, it will prevent cities and townships from opting out of SMART, Metro Detroit’s regional bus service.
Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter said the millage will also help the county expand several other smaller, more localized transit providers.
Oakland County voters approved a transit millage that is expected to raise an estimated $66 million when it goes into effect next year.
County Executive Dave Coulter expressed gratitude to those who voted in favor of the millage..
“The task before us now is to work with residents, businesses, organizations, local leaders and transit providers to ensure a seamless system of transportation that meets the needs of all Oakland County residents,” he said.
Dave Woodward, Oakland County Commission chairman, said that county and transit officials can focus on making transit accessible to everyone in the county and improving the existing infrastructure.
Oakland Counter voters approved a transportation millage that would expand and maintain transportation services throughout the county.
The millage, which will be .95 mills per $1,000, expands services from the SMART Bus system, Western Oakland Transportation Authority, North Oakland Transportation Authority and Older Persons Commission in the Rochester area. It passed with 57.11% of people supporting it compared to 42.89% against it.
The countywide transit millage proposal won big on Tuesday night. Early results showed the winning trend. By 9:30 p.m., 150,808 (46%) yes votes had been counted, compared to 114,417 (43%) votes against the millage. The figures represented 79 of 511 precincts reporting.
By late morning Wednesday, with nearly 97.5% of the precincts reporting, the yes votes were at 332,410 while votes against were at 248,240. The votes were at 57.25% to 42.75% in favor of the transit proposal.
Voters approved a trio of public transportation services millages in Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties in Tuesday voting. In Oakland County, a roll of the dice on whether voters writ-large would support funding public transit countywide paid off. With about 94 percentof precincts reporting unofficial results, voters approved the first such countywide millage. As of 2:14 a.m. Wednesday, the measure had 57 percent yes votes to 43 percent opposed.
Oakland County voters approved a proposal aimed at connecting the county’s SMART transportation system and ending the ability of local communities to opt out of it. The 0.95-mill, 10-year property tax proposal won a 57.2% yes vote with just under 97% of precincts reporting.
Supporters of the millage proposal described the effort to unite the county’s Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation system as essential to provide residents with access to jobs, health care and education.
Regional transit efforts got a big boost Tuesday as voters in Oakland County OK’d a countywide transit millage for the first time and votes in support of millages for transit service passed in Wayne County and led comfortably in Macomb County as counting continued Wednesday.
Residents in Oakland, Wayne and Macomb counties will decide on transit items when they head to the polls on Tuesday.
Macomb and Wayne County already participate in county-wide transit programs, which millage “yes” votes would continue. But for Oakland County, which does not currently have full access to SMART, it’s a chance for residents to opt in.
Public transportation connects people with jobs, boosts economy
DETROIT (Friday, Nov. 4, 2022) – The Detroit Regional Chamber, the voice for business across Southeast Michigan, today announced its support for public transportation millages in both Oakland and Macomb counties on the Nov. 8 ballot.
“It’s never been more important to connect people with jobs, and public transit plays a critical role in helping businesses succeed and our residents prosper,” said Brad Williams, the chamber’s vice president of Government Relations. “Public transportation also attracts new businesses and the brightest and best employees to our region. As the leading voice for business across Southeast Michigan, the Detroit Regional Chamber is proud to support these proposals because they will help make our region more competitive and boost the local and statewide economy.”
Research shows public transportation is a vital component of thriving communities and helps boost the local economy — every $1 invested in public transportation creates $4 in economic output by attracting new businesses and expanding the talent pool for local employers.
The Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART) provides an estimated 10 million rides annually. Voting “Yes” on the Oakland County Public Transportation Millage will expand and maintain existing public transit services, including transportation provided by SMART, Western Oakland Transportation Authority, North Oakland Transportation Authority, and Older Persons Commission. Macomb County’s Public Transportation Millage is a renewal of existing services for SMART.
“These proposals also help our most vulnerable residents get where they need to go, whether it’s to work, school, doctors’ appointments, or a trip to Meijer or Walgreens,” Williams said. “They help all residents in Oakland and Macomb counties compete for jobs and participate in the economy by providing affordable, efficient public transportation. This includes tens of thousands of essential workers, seniors, veterans, low-income residents, working parents, and people with disabilities across the region. For these reasons, the Detroit Regional Chamber urges residents to vote ‘Yes’ on the Oakland and Macomb County Public Transportation Millages.”
Funding from both millages will be tracked publicly online to ensure taxpayer dollars are spent wisely and transparently, with 100% of funds generated staying in their respective counties and subject to annual independent audits to promote fiscal responsibility.
About the Detroit Regional Chamber
Serving the business community for more than 100 years, the Detroit Regional Chamber is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected chambers of commerce in the country. As the voice for business in the 11-county Southeast Michigan region, the Chamber’s mission is carried out by creating a business-friendly climate and providing value for members. The Chamber leads the most comprehensive education and talent strategy in the state. The Chamber also executes the statewide automotive, mobility, and technology cluster association, MICHauto, and hosts the nationally recognized Mackinac Policy Conference.
For more information, please visit detroitchamber.com.