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Could the RTA leave out rural areas in its next vote?

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Michelle & Chris Gerard

Since the Regional Transit Authority narrowly lost the vote for bus rapid transit and some rail in November, many have wondered if we’ll see it again on the ballot in the coming years and how that could look different. The Detroit Free Press reports that one idea could be to leave out rural voters, which services wouldn’t reach.

This would mean slightly higher taxes for the rest of the region.

The plan in November called for a rail between Ann Arbor and Detroit, more bus service between the airport and downtown, and bus rapid transit down Michigan, Woodward, and Gratiot. The QLINE would also eventually be included in the plan.

The Free Press states,

“According to the RTA, 28% of last year's 'no' vote "came from outer-edge rural communities where it is difficult to plan for and deliver conventional fixed-route transit solutions. There are, however, areas in the region with more of a demand for regional transit where there may still be an opportunity to move forward. One strategy for accomplishing this goal is to limit the size of the taxing jurisdiction in the RTA region to communities that are easier to serve with fixed-route service."

What do you think the RTA should do to revamp its plan, Curbed readers? There’s no doubt that Southeast Michigan needs a more robust, reliable public transit system. We also need better options to and from the airport. Could leaving out certain populations work? What would you suggest to them? Let us know in the comments.