On the future of Metro Detroit’s suburban transit (ft. Tiffany Gunter, SMART)

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Although a lot of attention is paid to buses and transit in the city of Detroit, the reality is the vast majority of people in Metro Detroit do not live within the city limits. Although some do, many of their trips to get around don’t involve the city at all. 

They’re served by SMART – The Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation – and any conversation about transit and linking southeast Michigan together involves their work. 

In this conversation with Tiffany Gunter, Deputy GM at SMART, we talk about the plans ahead. From more bus drivers, how things are going since the last successful millage, the on-demand FLEX driver service, fixed guideways and more.

Podcast rundown:

01:08 – Where does SMART go in the region? And bringing more marketing for public transit.

02:39 – Update on how things are going for SMART after the last millage, including the first new bus lines in awhile. 

04:34 – There’s a national crisis on hiring more bus drivers and how that effects on time performance. And what they are doing to fix the problem. 

06:59 – Some of the vision for the future of SMART 

10:05 – Updating on how the Flex ride hailing and door-to-door service is going now that it has started.

12:21 On working with other agency partners like RTA, the State of Michigan, and DDOT

14:29 What is a fixed guideway? Future SMART app for riders, and when can you expect that to come online?

17:50 Generational shifts around public transit, and how SMART is adapting.

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