Detroit Metro voters reject RTA tax to increase bus routes

- Voters in Oakland, Wayne, Macomb, and Washtenaw Counties have rejected a tax increase to expand public transportation in the Detroit Metro Area.

With 99% of precincts reporting, the vote passed in Wayne and Washtenaw counties but failed in Macomb and Oakland counties. Overall, it appears the millage failed by about 18,000 votes. Here's how the votes break down: 

  • OAKLAND: With a very close vote, the proposal failed in Oakland County -- with 50.09 percent voting 'No'.
  • MACOMB: Macomb County had the highest 'No' votes - 60 percent.
  • WAYNE: In Wayne County, the millage is passing with 52 percent of the vote.
  • WASHTENAW: The proposal passed in Washtenaw County with 56 percent of the vote.

"We are grateful to all of our supporters and volunteers who worked so hard to show the tremendous benefits voting YES would have provided, including: connecting our communities across Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne counties, increasing independence for seniors and people with disabilities and connecting people to jobs and opportunities throughout Southeast Michigan. This election was unprecedented and unusual in many, many ways and there's no doubt that was reflected in this initiative's razor thin margin and unfortunate outcome," the Vote YES for Regional Transit said in a statement. 

The project would have included commuter bus routes across county lines, a universal fare card, new local services connecting communities, and improved services for people who are disabled and seniors.

Voters across the four counties rejected the plan that would have added about $8 per month in additional taxes over the next 20 years.

There was some opposition over the tax hike from some County leaders who expressed concerns about getting their fair share of the revenue of the millage if approved by voters.

Right now there are two transit systems, SMART in the suburbs and DDOT in Detroit. Supporters say unifying the two will create job and education opportunities for thousands.

According to the RTA, a staggering 92 percent of jobs in Southeast Michigan require more than a 60-minute commute.

They say that has resulted in jobs not filled because many people don't reliable transportation, and a massive transit system could solve that problem.

This is a developing story. Stay with FOX 2 for your election results 

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