$7 Million In Federal Bus Financing Rolls From Detroit To Suburbs

A regional agency's bus funding vote this week will confirm bad news for Detroit, Matt Helms reports in the Free Press.

SMART stands to gain $7 million from a policy change. [Photo from SMART]

The Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, which Gov. Rick Snyder designated as the temporary guardian of federal funding for the city and suburban bus systems after the Legislature created the Regional Transit Authority last year, has scheduled a vote for Friday on a change to the 65%-35% funding formula that has favored Detroit since the 1970s. . . .

Detroit stands to lose $7 million in federal transit funding to the suburbs this coming fiscal year, thinning out an already shoestring budget for the city’s transportation department. . . .

SEMCOG Executive Director Paul Tait said the old system of meting out funds was outdated and inconsistent with federal law. . . . Their solution, which Detroit protested in a letter Mayor Dave Bing sent to SEMCOG, leaves $7 million less for the city’s capital projects and $7 million more for SMART for one year.

Bing tells Helms:

“This is the worst thing I think they could do to us. If the state wants to be a true partner for the city, they ought not support this.”

Read more:  Detroit Free Press

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