Oakland

The Oakland County Public Transportation millage is on the ballot for all voters throughout all of Oakland County.

If passed, the transit proposal will both maintain and expand public transit services, including both SMART and other local transit agencies.

Why a Countywide Proposal?

While Macomb County has long voted for and funded transit as a whole county, Oakland County has until now allowed each city and township board to decide whether to allow their residents to vote on transit. That means some communities have NO transit options; others are very limited in hours and geographic reach. Yet every community has seniors, people with disabilities, and others who need mobility support.

Can you believe major destinations like Twelve Oaks Mall, Suburban Showplace conference center, downtown Rochester, and Cranbrook are inaccessible to anyone who can’t drive?! It’s time to change that!

This year’s countywide proposal will:

  • Renew SMART transit that has served southeast Oakland for decades;
  • Invest in local transit providers that effectively serve rural communities;
  • Expand paratransit for seniors and people with disabilities throughout the entire county for the first time; and
  • Extend bus routes to new destinations like Novi and Rochester Hills!

Here’s what potential new fixed routes might look like. The exact layout of routes will be determined after a public input process.

Investing in Different Transit Solutions for Different Communities

While every community has transit and mobility needs, those needs differ in each community. That’s why the Oakland County Public Transportation millage will invest in a variety of types of transit:

In addition to traditional bus routes, the proposal will invest in:

  • Paratransit (dial-a-ride) services, taking seniors, veterans, and people with disabilities to doctors, shops, and more;
  • Traditional fixed-route buses and FAST express buses moving dozens of people at a time to different set stops along major corridors;
  • Community connector vans, used by local communities for group travel, local riders, and other needs; and
  • Flex, SMART’s answer to Uber – an affordable on-demand service for just $2 per ride.

Investing in Local Transit Solutions that Work

In addition to SMART, the proposal will invest in local transit agencies including:

  • North Oakland Transportation Authority (NOTA),
  • Western Oakland Transportation Authority (WOTA), and
  • Rochester-area Older Persons Commission bus service.

Details of exactly which agencies will provide what services in each community will be developed by Oakland County in partnership with transit agencies and local municipalities.

All investments will be overseen and audited by the Oakland County Commission.

A Worthwhile Investment for Our County

This 0.95 mil property tax costs the average family less than $10 a month and is a renewal in the southeast Oakland County communities that have long invested in SMART.

Just as we all invest in parks even if we don’t visit them and invest in the fire department even if our house is not on fire, public transit is an essential service that every community needs.