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Failure to move on regional transit hurts businesses, workers say RTA proponents

A map outlining the proposed transit master plan for Metro Detroit.
Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan
An RTA millage will not be on the ballot for Detroit and its surrounding suburban counties this fall.


Regional transit will not make it onto the ballot in Detroit and surrounding counties this November. 

The Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan proposed a millage for Wayne, Washtenaw, Oakland, and Macomb counties, but leaders from Oakland and Macomb County have refused to support it. 

Andy Meisner is the Oakland County Treasurer and Brad Williams is the Detroit Regional Chamber's VP for Government Relations. Both joined Stateside’s Lester Graham to discuss where the region goes from here. 

Meisner began by explaining the opportunities that would have opened for Oakland County had the millage gone to the ballot. 

“What it offered Oakland County was a 106 percent return on investment, including money back and state and federal and fare revenue, and the opportunity to expediently grow our property values along the transit routes, as well as getting us in the game, the major national and international game on economic development for the Amazons of the world that just know how their people like to get around,” Meisner said. 

Williams said he takes the comments of those against the millage at face value.

“I think the county executive in Macomb, Mr. Hackel, has been very clear that he is focused on road funding and we are too. It's not an either or question, it's a ‘yes and’ question. There's no one who's driven in Michigan who doesn’t think we need to be doing more to fix our roads,” Williams said. 

Listen above for the full conversations with Andy Meisner and Brad Williams. 

This post was written by Stateside production assistant Sophie Sherry. 

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