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Public Feedback Shows Clear Support for Connect Southeast Michigan Transit Plan

View the survey results here.

The Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan released the results of a survey of Southeast Michigan residents that shows strong support for the Connect Southeast Michigan transit plan across Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne counties.

Over 62 percent of the more than 2,200 respondents said they support the Connect Southeast Michigan plan, only 17 percent opposed the plan and just over 20% are undecided.

“It’s clear that Southeast Michigan residents want more mobility options than we have today and that the Connect Southeast Michigan plan has broad support across the region,” said RTA COO Matt Webb. “Every public meeting and every opportunity we get to explain what’s in the 2018 transit plan results in greater support.”

The primary findings of the survey include:

  • Transit riders in every county who experience Southeast Michigan’s inefficient patchwork transit system overwhelmingly support the Connect SE Michigan plan. Over 67 percent of Macomb County transit riders, 71 percent of Oakland County and Wayne County transit riders, and 80 percent of Washtenaw County transit riders said they see enough value in the Connect Southeast Michigan plan to support it.
  • More non-transit riders support the Connect Southeast Michigan plan than oppose it in every county.  Over 40 percent of Macomb non-transit riders support the plan while 38 percent oppose it, and 22 percent are undecided. In Oakland County, 54 percent of the non-transit riders support the plan, 27 percent oppose it and 19 percent are undecided. Nearly 60 percent of Washtenaw County non-transit riders support the plan, 20 percent oppose it and 20 percent are undecided. In Wayne County, 54 percent support the plan, while 21 percent oppose it and 26 percent are undecided.
  • The top three reasons respondents supported the Connect Southeast Michigan plan were the 15 new express regional routes added to the 2018 plan, the commuter rail service, and the 15 regional routes that would begin providing bus service every 15 minutes.

“Residents of Southeast Michigan, businesses and city leaders have spoken and they want to see regional transit on the ballot in 2018,” said Dan Lijana, a spokesman for Connect Southeast Michigan. “There’s a majority of support for the Connect Southeast Michigan plan and it will pass this year if voters are given a chance to have their voices heard.”

Last week the city councils of two Oakland County communities, Novi and Troy, passed resolutions in support of placing transit on the ballot in 2018. The Oakland County Commission is expected to vote on a similar resolution at its 7 p.m. meeting on Wednesday.

More than 220 regional businesses, including major employers in all four counties signed onto a coalition called Employers for Transit at the 2018 Mackinac Policy Conference.

Each of the four counties has two voting members and the City of Detroit has one member on the RTA board. Connect Southeast Michigan needs a seven-vote super-majority, with at least one “yes” vote from each county to be placed on the ballot. The final date to submit ballot language is August 14, 2018.

Over 75 outreach sessions have been held since February 2018, collecting feedback on the Connect Southeast Michigan plan. The survey was posted by the RTA from April 19-June 3 to measure attitudes toward the Connect Southeast Michigan plan from transit and non-transit riders in all four counties. Results of the survey are attached. RTA board meetings are open to the public and the schedule is available on the RTA website.