Metro Detroit’s suburban bus system says it may end operations in several service areas if voters don’t approve a millage renewal on the Aug. 7 ballot.
A filing with the state’s Workforce Development Agency shows that five employment sites will be affected and up to 843 employees could be let go if the 1-mill Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART) tax isn’t renewed.
The sites include:
- SMART Oakland Terminal, 2021 Barrett St., Troy.
- Royal Oak Transit Center, 202 Sherman Drive, Royal Oak.
- SMART Administrative Office at Buhl Building, 535 Griswold St., Suite 600, Detroit.
- SMART Wayne Terminal, 30000 Industrial Drive, Inkster.
- SMART Macomb Terminal, 2900 East 15 Mile Road, Clinton Township.
Impacts involve: 318 employees at the Oakland Terminal, three at the Royal Oak Transit Center, 72 in the Detroit office, 182 at the Wayne Terminal and 268 at the Macomb Terminal, according to the notice.
The letter warns that as early as August 8, SMART could “cease operations in one or more of the three counties that it serves” if the renewal is rejected.
Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel has been pushing for the renewal, and not the 1.5 mill regional transit plan proposed by Wayne County Executive Warren Evans for the November ballot.
“People in Macomb County have always been supportive of SMART … they realize we got a great transportation system,” Hackel previously told MLive.
“Just because Detroit, Wayne County, and maybe even Oakland County to that extent, doesn’t have the full opt-in communities and is fully supported by SMART, they have a problem with their transit system.”
Evans’ proposal would join and improve transit systems in Oakland, Macomb, Wayne and Washtenaw Counties and add five bus rapid transit service routes along major corridors, plus 15 express routes and a commuter rail between Ann Arbor and Detroit. The tax would raise $5.4 billion over 20 years.