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RTA board can’t get enough votes for plan; Transit not on the ballot for public vote

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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.