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Poll: Should southeast Michigan vote yes for the RTA?

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Will metro Detroit finally get safe, reliable, cohesive transit?

Michelle & Chris Gerard

Welcome to Friday Open Threads, wherein we'll pass the mic to readers to speak up about topics of interest, distress, horror, etc. Have something you want discussed? Let us know. This week’s topic: voting for the RTA.

It’s election season, which means newspapers are endorsing candidates and proposals on the ballot. We’re leaving it to you, our vocal, opinionated readers, on one of the most important issues in southeast Michigan: The Rapid Transit Authority’s master plan for rapid, reliable, regional transit in Oakland, Macomb, Wayne, and Washtenaw Counties.

What will the plan entail?

The main parts of the system include:

Bus Rapid Transit (dedicated lanes, efficient service) along:

  • Gratiot from downtown Detroit to M-59
  • Michigan Ave. from downtown to DTW
  • Washtenaw Ave. from Ypsilanti to Ann Arbor
  • Woodward Ave between downtown Detroit and Pontiac.

A regional rail from Ann Arbor to Detroit.

Plus cross-county connectors, operated by DDOT and SMART.

How much will it cost?

On average, according to the RTA, it will require a a 1.2 mill property tax increase – equal to about $8 a month for the average home in the region.

How does this look in action?

The RTA has a few examples in their master plan to show how travel time between destinations will decrease.

From the RTA Master Plan

Is it a perfect plan? No. Two of the most common complaints that we hear is that it doesn’t include downriver areas and there’s not enough rail. But is it a good start? With metro Detroit lacking in cohesive public transportation, it could be. What do you think, readers?