Royal Oak to present new bus transportation plan to city commissioners

Posted at 4:36 PM, Jun 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-19 18:50:25-04

The Royal Oak Transit Task Force plans to present a plan for extended bus transportation to the city commissioners at the end of the month.

The plan, using state and federal funds, focuses on extending bus routes specifically inside the city limits of Royal Oak. 

“We’re going to make these buses look really sexy,” said task member Marie Donegan. “They’re going to have Royal Oak all over them and people will want to use them. They’ll be clean. They’ll be brand new buses”

For the last six months the task force has been studying the bus system and sending out surveys to residents to find out what the main needs are. 

“I realized we weren’t really talking about public transportation as an actual mobility option and most people didn’t even know what kind of mobile transportation system we already have,” Donegan said. 

The results of the survey showed residents wanted more bus options to popular spots like the zoo, farmers market and downtown Royal Oak. 

“See if it’s serving us and see if there is recommendations we can make as a task force to improve public transportation so people can get in and around Royal Oak,” Donegan said. 

The survey also showed one demographic that a increased bus system would affect. 

“So, we just got a report back from our staff and found out there are a lot of unmet needs for our senior population,” Donegan said. 

A sentiment Gale Reber, president of the Royal Oak Manor Co-op, agrees with. 

“I think sometimes they have to wait longer than they need to and I think they’re not picked up as often as they should be,” Reber said. 

There are approximately ten thousand seniors in Royal Oak. Reber said that’s a large group that wants to invest in the community but can’t. 

“Just getting around. You used to be able to get around every place and now you have to depend on yourself and that’s very difficult for them,” Reber said. 

 “There is a whole lot of senior citizens and people who are over the age of 60 maybe who really want to participate in what Royal Oak has to offer,” Donegan said. 

The task force will finalize their plan on Tuesday evening then present it to the city commissioners on June 25.