Since the removal of Detroit’s streetcar system in the 1950s, Detroit’s mass transit system hasn’t been the same. This video by AECOM is a look into what the future could hold for transit in metro Detroit, if a millage is passed in November to fund expanded transit in the region.
The video highlights possible BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) routes that would finally connect downtown Detroit to Metro Airport, a route from Detroit to Ann Arbor, and then also up Woodward to Pontiac as well as up Gratiot to Mt. Clemens.
There are detailed renderings of what a stop would look like in Corktown, Eastern Market, Dearborn, Dingell Transit Center, Ann Arbor, Manchester, Ferndale, Pontiac, Macomb Mall (envisioning a way denser layout than currently exists on the Gratiot corridor) and downtown Mt. Clemens.
Streetcars or light rail, outside of the Q-Line (formerly called M1 Rail) already under construction, do not seem to be part of the overall conversation.
Data shows that one of the reason our region has bad transit is we don’t spend, on a per capita basis, very much on it. Here’s some data provided by A Coalition For Transit around peer regions and how much is spent per capita in Southeast Michigan vs. other like regions.
The Regional Transit Authority is believed from multiple sources to be seeking a millage of 1 to 1.1 mills; and before even voters get a chance to say anything the Michigan Senate has introduced a bill looking to set a cap of either 2 or 4 mills.
RTA officials have estimated that 1 mill would raise about $130 million to $135 million per year, and 2 mills would raise about $260 million per year.
It’s not guaranteed the millage will pass – there’s significant opposition in parts of Oakland County as well as some of Macomb County. Some of the opposition is around the idea that the money should go to fixing roads; others, that people won’t use it.