Voters in Royal Oak will be asked whether the city should establish its own bus system called Royal Oak Go, or ROGO for short.
A proposal on the November 6th ballot will ask voters to approve a five-year, 1.25-mill proposal to fund the program. That would equate to about $125 a year for the owner of a home with a $200,000 market value.
Much about how ROGO would be run would fall to the city commission and the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation, better known as the SMART bus. SMART would operate ROGO and purchase 14 buses for the service. It would work with the city commission to determine routes, which would likely include daily trips to downtown, Beaumont Hospital, the Detroit Zoo, Somerset Collection and other locations.
A task force that has worked on the proposal also calls for 25 bus shelters, but stops with signs, onboard cameras and a mobile app that could be used to track bus arrival times. The goal is to have buses arrive every 15 to 30 minutes during peak times and be available during evenings and weekends. Funding would be expanded for curb-to-curb service for seniors and disabled people. Fares would likely be comparable to SMART bus fares.
Critics say it’s too expensive and note that the task force has no estimate for how many people would use the service.
An estimated 30 percent of the costs would be made up by state and federal funding.