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RTA reaches deal on transit plan, will vote on Thursday


The Regional Transit Authority of Southeastern Michigan is holding a special meeting Thursday, August 4 at 9 a.m. to consider a ballot proposal to fund and implement a Regional Master Transit Plan for southeast Michigan. Board approval would place the RTA Master Plan on the November 2016 ballot for voters in Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne counties.

The Detroit Free Press is reporting that the RTA finally reached a deal in order to get it on the ballot before the August 16 deadline.

The vote was supposed to happen two weeks ago, but representatives from Oakland and Macomb Counties, L. Brooks Patterson and Mark Hackel, stopped the plan from going on the ballot due to concerns on how much their counties would contribute and how the plan wouldn’t reach many areas of their counties.

According to the Free Press, the Oakland County rep said,

"I am satisfied that the accord we reached today not only offers something for our 40 communities and over half a million residents previously left out of the transit plan, but also incorporates the necessary protections we were seeking for Oakland County taxpayers," Patterson said in a news release. "I’m grateful to my regional counterparts who joined me in moving forward."

Patterson said the deal also resolves "the omission of an auditing mechanism to demonstrate compliance with the 85% requirement in the RTA law which mandates that 85% of the taxes collected from a county are spent in that county on transit."

Hopefully this means that it will now be up to convincing the voters of Oakland, Macomb, Wayne, and Washtenaw Counties that it’s time for this region to catch up to other regions, help out our residents, and start building a safe, reliable rapid transit plan.