RTA vote to allow proposal on November ballot

DETROIT – Voters may still have their say on a millage request for Regional Mass Transit.

UPDATE: RTA's transit plan for Metro Detroit will be on November ballot

The $4.6 billion public transportation plan came to a screeching halt last week as the board of the Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan couldn’t sway Macomb and Oakland counties to allow the proposal to be on the November ballot, but leaders reached an agreement Tuesday and a vote is scheduled for Thursday.

Supporters claim $4 in economic benefits for every $1 in transit investment.

Oakland County Executives L. Brooks Patterson and Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel are expected to put the proposal on the ballot but that’s where their support for the master plan and its millage request will end.

Patterson and Hackel say the plan must sink or swim on its own merits and neither will make an endorsement.

"If people ask me I'm going to tell them it's a legitimate proposal that can move the region forward," Hackel said.

Patterson says supporting any tax increase simply isn’t in his DNA.

"I've never commited to lead the parade," Patterson said.

Leaders of the RTA campaign said the millage election results statewide are an encouraging sign that voters are willing to invest in their communities and the services they provide.