Wayne County pitches new transit plan to the RTA

Source: Curbed Detroit

In recent months, many thought Wayne and Washtenaw Counties would move forward on their own with a partial regional transit plan. Not so fast! Wayne County Executive Warren Evans has a new plan that includes all four counties (Wayne, Washtenaw, Oakland, and Macomb) in hopes that the RTA will adopt it and residents will vote for it this November.

The plan is called Connect Southeast Michigan. Think less bus rapid transit and rail (like in the last plan) and more buses more frequently. Here are the details:

  • The plan will cost $5.4 billion over 20 years, adding a 1.5-mill tax. It’s expected to generate $170 million in funding per year.
  • The plan proposes 15 bus routes with at least 15-minute rush-hour frequency across the region.
  • Five premium routes—Woodward, Gratiot, Michigan, Grand River, and Mound/Van Dyke—would receive an additional $210 million in infrastructure funding. This would go toward improving traffic signals and adding dedicated traffic lanes for transit.
  • The Grand River and Mound/Van Dyke routes would go past the city limits into the counties for 24-hour service.
  • 15 regional express routes would be added, including express service from the four counties to the Detroit Metro Airport.
  • Ten upgraded cross-county routes running 20 hours a day, with stops every 15 minutes during rush hours. Three of these routes would run 24 hours a day.
  • Commuter rail between Ann Arbor and Detroit.
  • Money would be set aside to address mobility in outer regions of the counties that won’t be reached by buses.
  • Universal fare cards would be implemented!!!
  • DDOT, SMART, and the RTA would be consolidated.
  • Improvements to shelters and stations are also in the plan.

Transit was seen as a big factor in Amazon’s decision to leave Detroit out of its top selections for HQ2. Evans has pointed out this week that the region spends far less on transit than other large cities. The proposed plan would bring Metro Detroit spending up to $110 per capita.

While Detroit sank from the 5th to the 18th largest city, others invested heavily in transit, using it as a tool to attract business & talent. At today's RTA meeting, I will present a plan to change that & provide real opportunities for residents throughout SE Michigan. #RTA2018 pic.twitter.com/UKQicsoBqE

— Warren C. Evans (@CountyExecEvans) March 15, 2018

The full plan can be read here.

Original Article
Curbed Detroit

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