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Oakland County passes transit millage by a wide margin

A SMART bus.

Oakland County residents voted Tuesday for a transit millage that will expand bus service there significantly.

According to unofficial results, the millage passed with more than 57% of the vote. Among other things, it will prevent cities and townships from opting out of SMART, Metro Detroit’s regional bus service.

Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter said the millage will also help the county expand several other smaller, more localized transit providers.

“The Non-SMART services are currently being paid for by the local communities, so they won't have to do that anymore,” he said. “This millage will now take care of all those providers, and will raise additional funds.”

Coulter called the millage approval a victory for “seamless” transit in the county. He said it will particularly help the county’s low-income residents, people who use transit to get to work, and people with disabilities.

“I think it's good for our economy. It's good for our most vulnerable residents,” Coulter said. “And it finally provides a comprehensive plan for the entire county.”

Coulter said Oakland County residents will start seeing the millage appear on their tax bills in December. He said the county will now start working directly with communities to see what additional transit services will best meet their needs.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Radio in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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