Well, that was a let down.
After a drama-filled afternoon and pleas from the community to put the Regional Transit Authority’s Master Plan to a public vote, we still don’t have a public transit initiative on the ballot for November.
Macomb and Oakland County reps objected to the $4.6 billion, 20-year plan.They don't see the plan as regional enough, and they think the tax dollars raised in their counties won't be spent in their counties.
The state has an August 16 deadline for ballot initiatives. According to the Free Press,
"Sending the proposal to voters required approval from seven of nine members of the RTA board, with at least one representative from each of Wayne, Oakland, Macomb and Washtenaw counties on board with it. But the representatives from Oakland and Macomb counties voted no, leaving at most two weeks for the leaders of the counties to try to salvage the ambitious 20-year proposal to expand transit in a region that has underfunded public transportation for decades."
The vote was supposed to happen last week, but reps from Oakland and Macomb Counties objected to parts of the plan before the vote. Even a last-minute letter from business and community leaders in Detroit couldn’t persuade them to change their minds.
We rounded up some tweets from the meeting so you can relive the action any time.
Board meeting is under way with public comment happening now. #RapidReliableRegional pic.twitter.com/LuFcI3Aef0— RTA of Southeast MI (@RTAmichigan) July 28, 2016
"Let the people vote and be the voice for the decision we make today" #RapidReliableRegional pic.twitter.com/zvWZo2CjhG— RTA of Southeast MI (@RTAmichigan) July 28, 2016
"Transportation is vital for the seniors and those with disabilities in our region" #RapidReliableRegional pic.twitter.com/4TIrJgpzBU— RTA of Southeast MI (@RTAmichigan) July 28, 2016
Roberta, Area Agency on Aging 1b reminds @RTAmichigan board "We'll all outlive our ability to drive by 7-10 years!" pic.twitter.com/cqWhwXBNbd— Transit Riders (TRU) (@DetroitTransit) July 28, 2016
So far, the vast majority of commenters are for the plan, or at least for giving people the chance to vote on the #RTA #RTADecision— Daily Detroit (@TheDailyDetroit) July 28, 2016
"We are at the 9th hour here. We don't have time for an individual to stop the people from voting. We need to allow the people to decide."— RTA of Southeast MI (@RTAmichigan) July 28, 2016
"Let's break down the barriers of our region and build the metropolitan community we know is possible" - Motor City Freedom Riders— RTA of Southeast MI (@RTAmichigan) July 28, 2016
Former @RTAmichigan board member Lisa Franklin urges former collagues to let the ppl vote. pic.twitter.com/8QnTwvz6Fs— Transit Riders (TRU) (@DetroitTransit) July 28, 2016
"It's frustrating we can't get past these regional politics.. I urge you to think as a region" - Williams from @DetroitChamber #RTADecision— Daily Detroit (@TheDailyDetroit) July 28, 2016
Brad of @DetroitChamber reminds @RTAmichigan board of enormous regional economic benefits from reg transit. pic.twitter.com/3eHCWKoGg7— Transit Riders (TRU) (@DetroitTransit) July 28, 2016
Hendrix says city has concerns, but nothing is so important we would stop issue from going forward, prepared to vote yes #RTADecision— Daily Detroit (@TheDailyDetroit) July 28, 2016
Board of @RTAmichigan has officially voted to adopt the #TransitPlan by 7/9 vote. Oakland voted NO. Next up, placement on the Nov ballot.— Transit Riders (TRU) (@DetroitTransit) July 28, 2016
The @RTAmichigan board just voted NO and will NOT let the ppl vote on reg transit. 5 yes, 4 no: Macomb, Oakland. pic.twitter.com/AF0U6MIwP7— Transit Riders (TRU) (@DetroitTransit) July 28, 2016
- RTA Board Delays Vote on Master Plan; Oakland and Macomb Counties Voice Concern [Curbed Detroit]
- RTA Master Plan [Regional Transit Authority of Southeastern Michigan]
- Regional execs urge Oakland, Macomb to back $4.6 billion regional transit plan [Crain’s Detroit]
- RTA board can't muster votes to OK $4.6B transit plan [Detroit Free Press]