Oakland County mayors say YES for regional transit

For Immediate Release: Friday, Oct. 21, 2016
Contact: Sara Wurfel, Truscott Rossman swurfel@truscottrossman.com
517-599-3470 (c), 517-487-9320 (o)

Oakland County mayors say YES for regional transit

Regional Master Transit Plan includes significant benefits for Oakland County with key taxpayer protections

Southfield, Mich – From Pontiac to Oak Park, numerous Oakland County mayors are endorsing the vote YES for regional transit ballot initiative this November. They join senior and disability advocates, hospitals and health care providers, the faith community, and businesses as those who believe the time is now to make regional transit a reality for Southeast Michigan.

As the mayors point out in an open letter, Oakland County is a wide and diverse collection of unique, bustling and exciting cities, small towns and rural communities. But unfortunately too many don’t get to experience all the county has to offer due to disconnected regional transit, which limits mobility options and holds the region and families back.

“Oakland County is one of the greatest regions in the country, it’s time for our transit to reflect that fact,” said the mayors’ letter signed by:

  • Berkley Mayor Phil O’Dwyer
  • Birmingham Mayor Rackeline Hoff
  • Clawson Mayor Penny Luebs
  • Ferndale Mayor Dave Coulter
  • Hazel Park Mayor Janice Parisi
  • Madison Heights Mayor Brian Hartwell
  • Oak Park Mayor Marian McLellan
  • Pleasant Ridge Mayor Kurt Metzger
  • Pontiac Mayor Diedre Waterman
  • Royal Oak Mayor Jim Ellison
  • Royal Oak Township Supervisor Donna Squalls

The mayors join a list of supporters that just keeps growing, according to Shaun Wilson, spokesman for Citizens for Connecting Our Communities, the official ballot committee working toward a YES vote.

“These municipal leaders know firsthand that we can and must do better to truly connect our communities, increase independence for seniors and people with disabilities, get workers and Michiganders to jobs and opportunities, and boost economic development,” Wilson said. “When 92 percent of jobs in the region can’t be reached within an hour of existing transit, it’s time to act. We thank them for their engagement and efforts.”

Specific benefits of the Regional Master Transit Plan for Oakland County include:

  • More than 19,000 new jobs supported over the next 20 years.
  • Gross regional product will grow by approximately $1.8 billion with real personal income growing by approximately another $1.8 billion.
  • Expanded paratransit (specialized door-to-door) services – a 150 percent increase for Oakland County – throughout the region to help increase independence for seniors and people with disabilities.
  • New BRT service along Woodward to Pontiac.
  • Numerous improved cross-county connector routes, along 8, 9 and 12 Mile roads, Greenfield Road, Grand River Ave., and 15 Mile Rd/Maple.
  • New service along Middlebelt South extending to Orchard Lake Rd., along Dequindre and across South Blvd to Orchard Lake Road, and along Highland to the Oakland Co. International Airport.
  • Commuter express along M-59 and I-75 as well as two airport express routes to Detroit Metropolitan Airport.

The plan also includes a Taxpayer Protection Clause that guarantees against an increase, renewal or redirect of any money dedicated to connecting Southeast Michigan’s four counties, unless pre-approved by the voters.

These other Oakland-County based businesses, organizations and elected officials have also joined the call to vote YES for regional transit in Southeast Michigan:

  • Area Agency on Aging 1-B
  • ASG Renaissance
  • Beaumont Health
  • Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan
  • Henry Ford Health System
  • Jewish Community Relations Council of Metropolitan Detroit
  • Jewish Family Services of Metropolitan Detroit
  • Jewish Senior Life of Metropolitan Detroit
  • Lear Corporation
  • Metro Matters
  • Plunkett Cooney President & CEO Dennis Cowan
  • Pontiac Downtown Business Authority
  • Presbyterian Villages of Michigan
  • John Providence
  • State Reps. Tim Greimel, Christine Grieg, Jeremy Moss, Jim Townsend and Robert Wittenberg
  • State Sen. Vincent Gregory

For more information about Citizens for Connecting our Communities, visit www.voteyesforregionaltransit.com, follow on Twitter @yesfortransit and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/voteyesforregionaltransit.

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C3 is a 501(C)(4) registered ballot committee committed to Voting YES for Regional Transit in 2016 to connect Southeast Michigan’s regional public transit with one truly regional system that meets the needs of the people who live, work and play here. Southeast Michigan has suffered through inadequate, disconnected regional transit for too long. Vote YES for Regional Transit to connect Southeast Michigan’s four counties — Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne — to increase independence for seniors and people with disabilities, get people to work and boost economic development.

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