Regional Transit System vote fails to make November ballot

Posted at 4:57 PM, Jul 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-19 17:37:35-04

It was a long afternoon of meetings, and at times, things got heated as officials weighed in on adding a regional transit system in southeast Michigan. 

The Connect Southeast Michigan Regional Transit plan will have more bus routes, express routes and a commuter rail to Ann Arbor. It was going to cost $1.5 million annually for the next 20 years, generating $5.42 billion in tax revenue. This is an improved plan to the 2016 transit plan that was narrowly not voted in the 2016 ballot. 

There will be two other transit issues that will be on the November ballot – the SMART millage and the AAA millage.

Macomb representative Don Morandini, who was not in favor of the Connecting Southeast Michigan Plan, says it would be too many transit issues on one ballot. 

"I think by putting another transit ballot issue, it confuses the electorate," Morandini said. " When the electorate become confused, they just vote 'no',"

Dan Lijana, spokesman for the Connecting Southeast Michigan, says this isn't what they wanted, but this isn't stopping them. 

"Well, it's certainly a set back if as expected, the Oakland County and Macomb County delegations on the board don't support it," Lijana said. "It will definitely be a set back for us but when you see the kind of momentum in the public and business community for moving transit forward, we are not deterred. We know it is just a matter of time before this happens. It's a when, not an if."