What Oakland County voters are saying about the transportation millage

Posted at 6:20 AM, Nov 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-03 07:00:29-04

(WXYZ) — Voters in Oakland County will be deciding what the future of transportation will look like when they head to the polls on Tuesday.

People will be voting on a .95 mills per $1,000 millage to expand and maintain transportation services for the next ten years.

According to the county, it would cost the average homeowner around $9 per month, and would generate a little more than $66 million in the first year alone.

Many people have gotten flyers in the mail asking them to vote yes, and it lists several communities where SMART currently operates, however, there are some communities missing, and voters in those communities are also impacted.

"We need more transportation for the seniors and the people who get to work," Kimberly Metzner, who lives in Wixom, said.

Over some coffee and eggs at Leo's Coney Island iN Wixom, people said they plan to vote yes on the measure to expand transportation. Currently, Wixom doesn't have services like SMART Bus operating in the area.

“I appreciate what the need is for those individuals who are unable to drive," Helen Gleichauf said.

But not everyone is on board. In August, Milford Township board members voted unanimously in opposition of the millage.

The township supervisor said over the phone that the township would be charged over $1 million for the system that currently doesn't operate there.

Currently, they spend $100,000 a year on services through People's Express.

"Well we all depend on people who depend on transit, even if you don’t personally ride there are a lot of people in our community who do," Megan Ownes, the executive director of Transportation Riders United, said.

“Do we know specifically where these expansions are going to take place?” I asked.

"Well there is an outline of the types of services that are likely to be provided, but Oakland county wants to work with local communities, with townships, with the transit providers, with residents, to figure out what really makes the most sense," Owens said.

Owens did say there are some ideas, including transportation to communities with major destinations, and there is a goal to provide a door-to-door type of service for seniors and people with disabilities.

As long as it is an increase that is, something that is benefit those that use it, I say it is worth it," Thomas Bookout, from Novi, said.

The millage would replace a current .97 mill in Southeast Oakland County for SMART, so some people could actually end up paying less in tax.