Connect Southeast Michigan grew out of the 2016 transit referendum’s narrow loss. Regional elected officials, business and philanthropic leaders have worked diligently with transit advocates, outside experts and the Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan (RTA) to improve upon the 2016 Master Plan and create a comprehensive plan for Macomb, Oakland, Wayne and Washtenaw County.
The Proposed Connect Southeast Michigan Transit Plan provides $170 million per year in operations funding (in 2019 dollars) – a total investment of $696 million over 20 years in transit supporting infrastructure – and addresses the feedback to provide a more robust, regional solution to transit and mobility for Southeast Michigan. A voter-approved tax of 1.5 mill in 2018 will raise $5.4 billion over 20 years and leverage an additional $1.3 billion in farebox, state and federal revenues.
The proposed plan leverages a holistic regional planning approach to increase efficiency and reduce redundancy. It increases the number of regional “one-seat” rides like that which SMART has successfully implemented with its new FAST service. These route upgrades, new regional services and innovative programs will deliver the transit system that our residents deserve, and that our region requires to be truly competitive on the national and global stages. With Connect Southeast Michigan, we will be poised to integrate new technologies and services to compete with — and lead — our peers.