Proposed Regional Mass Transit Plan Draws 62% Approval Rating in New Poll


The Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan today released the results of a survey of southeast Michigan residents that shows strong support for the proposed Connect Southeast Michigan transit plan across Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw, and Wayne counties.

More than 62 percent of 2,200-plus respondents said they support the Connect Southeast Michigan plan, while 17 percent opposed the plan, and just over 20 percent are undecided.

“It’s clear that Southeast Michigan residents want more mobility options than we have today, and that the Connect Southeast Michigan plan has broad support across the region,” says Matt Webb, COO of the RTA. “Every public meeting and every opportunity we get to explain what’s in the 2018 transit plan results in greater support.”

Among the survey findings:

  • More than 67 percent of Macomb County transit riders, 71 percent of Oakland and Wayne county transit riders, and 80 percent of Washtenaw County transit riders said they see enough value in the Connect Southeast Michigan plan to support it.


  • Overall, more non-transit riders support the Connect Southeast Michigan plan than oppose it in every county. Over 40 percent of Macomb non-transit riders support the plan while 38 percent oppose it, and 22 percent are undecided. In Oakland County, 54 percent of the non-transit riders support the plan, 27 percent oppose it, and 19 percent are undecided. Nearly 60 percent of Washtenaw County non-transit riders support the plan, 20 percent oppose it, and 20 percent are undecided. In Wayne County, 54 percent support the plan, while 21 percent oppose it, and 26 percent are undecided.


  • The top three reasons respondents supported the Connect Southeast Michigan plan were the 15 new express regional routes added to the 2018 plan, added commuter rail service, and the 15 regional routes that would begin providing bus service every 15 minutes.

“Residents of southeast Michigan, businesses, and city leaders have spoken and they want to see regional transit on the ballot in 2018,” says Dan Lijana, a spokesman for Connect Southeast Michigan. “There’s a majority of support for the Connect Southeast Michigan plan and it will pass this year if voters are given a chance to have their voices heard.”

Last week, the city councils of two Oakland County communities, Novi and Troy, passed resolutions in support of placing transit on the ballot in November. The Oakland County Commission is expected to vote on a similar resolution at its this evening, the RTA reports.

In addition, more than 220 regional businesses, including major employers in all four counties signed onto a coalition called Employers for Transit at the recent Mackinac Policy Conference.

Each of the four counties has two voting members, while the city of Detroit has one member on the RTA board. Connect Southeast Michigan needs a seven-vote super-majority, with at least one “yes” vote from each county to be placed on the ballot. The final date to submit ballot language is August 14.

The RTA says more than 75 outreach sessions have been held since February, where officials collected feedback on the Connect Southeast Michigan plan.

The survey was undertaken by the RTA from April 19 to June 3 to measure attitudes toward the Connect Southeast Michigan plan from transit and non-transit riders in all four counties. RTA board meetings are open to the public and the schedule is available on the RTA website.

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