I can't decide if I'm more heartbroken or outraged, Supporter.
Despite overwhelming need for regional transit improvement, and despite pleas from the region's community and business leaders, Oakland and Macomb leaders today blocked regional transit.
They blocked your chance to vote on whether you want to invest in improved transit.
They blocked a transit connection linking Washtenaw County to the rest of the region.
They blocked transit exansions that would have made thousands more jobs available to workers.
They blocked mobility for tens of thousands of seniors and people with disabilities, leaving them trapped.
The RTA did successfully approve an updated Regional Transit Master Plan, despite the objections of the Oakland board members. But that plan means nothing without funding.
When the RTA board voted to place transit funding on the November ballot, 5 members voted for it - all the board members from Wayne, Washtenaw and Detroit. But all 4 from Oakland and Macomb voted against it. Since the law that created the RTA required an affirmative vote from each county, that vote failed.
Not all hope is lost, however. If the County Executives can work out a deal in the next two weeks, the RTA could bring it back up for another vote, but they must do so before August 16 to get it on the ballot.
Otherwise, we're likely stuck for another 4 years before we have another chance to vote on true regional transit.
We need your help to keep up the pressure!
If you live, work, or shop in Oakland or Macomb County, please call the County Executives. Please urge them to let the voters decide on regional transit!
Office of Oakland County Executive Brooks Patterson: (248) 858-0480
Office of Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel: (586) 469-7001
We've also set up a quick online way for you to send emails to the County Executives and the RTA Board members who opposed the RTA vote.
Then urge all your family and friends in the area to do the same!
And if you appreciate TRU's work fighting for more and better transit, please donate to TRU today. We can't do this work without the financial support of people like you. Thanks.
We're down to the wire, but this fight is not over.
While I'm heartbroken that our regional has gotten this close, only to shoot ourselves in the foot yet again, I think I'll focus on my outrage instead. Outrage is easier to turn into action and action is what we need to grasp victory from these jaws of defeat.
Thanks for being part of this important fight for regional transit!
PS - TRU is Detroit's nonprofit transit advocate, working since 1999 to improve bus service, remove barriers to rapid transit, and advocate for smart transportation investments.
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