Coulter: Oakland County Moving Forward on Transit
Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter released the following statement about Oakland County voters approving the Oakland County transportation millage:
“I’m so grateful to the voters of Oakland County who recognized that reliable and accessible public transportation is a critical necessity in all parts of the county,” Coulter said. “The task before us now is to work with residents, businesses, organizations, local leaders and transit providers to ensure a seamless system of transportation that meets the needs of all Oakland County residents.”
Since the approval of the transit millage, Oakland County is moving forward to create the foundation for improving and expanding transit options in the entire county. The Board of Commissioners approved a resolution from the County Executive to create a Transit Division within the Economic Development Department. The division will be staffed with a manager and two transit planners.
The Executive office is also working with the four current transit providers - SMART, North Oakland Transportation Authority (NOTA), Western Oakland Transportation Authority and the Older Persons' Commission – to maintain transit services in 2023. These providers are making recommendations on immediate improvements and expansions they can make to local services and identifying issues of common concern. For example, the providers want to work together to buy more vehicles and develop a common scheduling system across the county.
In 2023, the county will develop a plans for expanding transit services in all parts of the county and long-term capital improvements that contribute to economic growth. The timeline for expansions will vary depending on the availability of vehicles and drivers. In addition, the county will undertake public engagement to develop plans that meet the needs of residents, businesses and communities.
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Connecting Oakland County through Local transit Solutions
On Nov. 8, 2022, voters approved a 10-year, .95 mill measure to maintain and expand public transit services, connecting people and communities across Oakland County.
- The county is committed to making sure that the Oakland Transportation millage will be fully transparent and annually audited with public meetings and oversight by the Board of Commissioners and County Executive.
What is Oakland Transit?
- The Oakland Transit millage will expand and maintain existing public transit services, including transportation provided by the SMART bus system, Western Oakland Transportation Authority, North Oakland Transportation Authority and Older Persons Commission in the Rochester area.
- The millage funds new service to key areas, including major employment centers, health care campuses and local colleges and universities.
- The millage will expand reservation-based service – flexible transportation for seniors, people with disabilities, and veterans who need to make essential trips, such as doctor's appointments and grocery shopping.
- The millage will expand app-based service – on-demand transportation open to the general public, using small vehicles.
- Funds from the millage will support services that specifically benefit Oakland County residents and businesses.
- Local service details will be developed collaboratively with members of the public, community organizations, transit providers, local governments and county leadership.
The Oakland Transit millage will be a countywide levy and will serve as the replacement for the SMART millage that is levied now in 24 communities across Oakland County.
Serving Oakland County
The Oakland Transit millage will connect residents to jobs, medical care, schools, shopping, and other essential destinations.
Millage funds will be distributed to local transit providers in Oakland County to continue existing services and expand transportation options, including:
- North Oakland Transportation Authority (NOTA)
- Western Oakland Transportation Authority (WOTA)
- Older Persons Commission (OPC) in the Rochester area
Current Transit Options
The Oakland Transit millage would expand transportation to parts of Oakland County that are not currently served by any designated, multi-community transit provider. This map shows where SMART, North Oakland Transportation Authority, Western Oakland Transportation Authority and Older Persons Commission currently provide services, and the areas where there is limited local transportation: