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

Proposal will go before voters in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Washtenaw counties

DETROIT – Metro Detroit voters will get their say on a millage request for regional mass transit in November.

The Regional Transit Authority (RTA) board voted Thursday morning to allow the proposal on the ballot this November, allowing voters to decide whether to implement the $4.6 billion public transportation plan.

The exact language on the ballot will read:

A Proposal Authorizing the Reional transit Authority of Southeast Michigan (RTA) to Levy an Assessment

The proposal would authorize the Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan
(RTA) to levy within Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw, and Wayne counties a property tax

  • at a rate of 1.2 mills ($1.20 per $1,000 of taxable value);
  • for 20 years beginning in 2016 and ending in 2035;
  • that may not be increased, renewed, or used for other purposes without direct voter approval; and
  • to be used upon the affirmative vote of an RTA board member from each RTA member jurisdiction for the purpose of construction and operation of a public transportation system connecting Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw, and Wayne counties, including rapid transit bus routes across county lines, specialized service for senior citizens and people with disabilities, commuter rail, airport express service, and other public transportation purposes permitted by law, consistent with RTA bylaws and subject to the limitations of the Regional Transit Authority Act. If this new additional assessment is approved and levied, revenue will be disbursed to the RTA. It is estimated that $160,907,285 will be collected in the first year. 
    Should this assessment be approved?
    YES [ ]
    NO [ ]

Gov. Rick Snyder released the following statement regarding the agreement reached by the Regional Transit Authority:

The Regional Transit Authority is about getting people to jobs and making sure seniors and those with disabilities can live independently. It's also about growing our economy to benefit everyone. I had a chance to speak with regional leaders about the importance of the plan and I want to thank them for coming together and reaching an agreement for the good of Southeast Michigan. Regional transit is vital to this region and to our entire state. I look forward to future steps being taken to ensure Michiganders have solid access to transportation across the state."

More about the plan:

The RTA wants the system to work with existing regional transportation services including the Detroit Department of Transportation, the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation, the Ann Arbor Transit Authority and Downtown Detroit's People Mover. The M-1 Rail streetcar (Q-Line), which is planned to open in 2017, will be folded into the RTA in 2024. 

View: More details on RTA's plan

According to the RTA, the millage required to implement the $4.6 billion master plan is proposed as a 20-year millage (2017-2036) at 1.2 mills. This millage would be applied in addition to other possible state and federal funding sources, and would be about $7.92 per month for the average home in southeast Michigan. 

View: RTA transit plan: How much will it cost you?