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Posted on Wed, Jan 9, 2013 : 4:15 p.m.

Ypsilanti considers supporting Ann Arbor in opposition of Southeast Michigan Regional Transit Authority

By Katrease Stafford

The Ypsilanti City Council will consider supporting Ann Arbor's objections to Washtenaw County's inclusion in the newly established Southeast Michigan Regional Transit Authority.

Thumbnail image for Pete_Murdock_2010.jpg

Council Member Pete Murdock

Council Member Pete Murdock announced plans Tuesday evening to draft a resolution to bring before council at its next meeting on Jan. 22.

The RTA legislation passed through the state House Dec. 6, with a 57-50 vote.

Gov. Rick Snyder signed Public Act 387 of 2012 in December, creating an RTA for the city of Detroit and Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne counties.

Murdock said he decided to do so after Ann Arbor Mayor John Hieftje sent an email to him and Ypsilanti Mayor Paul Schreiber asking them to consider voicing their opposition.

"Mayor Hieftje sent the mayor and I a full rationale that they have in their resolution that they passed," Murdock said. "They were in Lansing Tuesday meeting with the governor on it. I think it would be helpful if we supported that position."

Hieftje previously said the RTA was a"bad piece of legislation." Hieftje wasn't alone in his remarks though. State Rep. Jeff Irwin, D-Ann Arbor, also openly opposed the legislation.

The Ann Arbor City Council unanimously passed a resolution objecting the RTA Dec. 10 during a special meeting.

Murdock said if council passes the resolution, he will send it to Washtenaw County commissioners, State Rep. David Rutledge, D-Superior Township, and others.

"I just think at this point and time that having a part of the four-county thing is going to confuse the issue and they make it more complicated for our own efforts to move forward with regionalizing our area," Murdock said. "We need to get that done before they get in the picture. ... We'll be in competition for the same dollars."

City Manager Ralph Lange said he agreed with Murdock's plans to oppose the RTA.

"I would support Mr. Murdock completely," Lange said. "We're better off out."

Katrease Stafford covers Ypsilanti for her at or 734-623-2548 and follow her on twitter.


Steven Taylor

Thu, Jan 10, 2013 : 7:35 p.m.

I could have SWORE folks like Murdock and Heijfje (however you spell it) would be all for this, particularly since SEMCOG is so gungho for this Rail Transit Boondoggle. Perhaps Mr. Murdock could release a statement to clarify whether he's flip-flopped?

Martin Church

Thu, Jan 10, 2013 : 5:58 p.m.

If we are to have a regional transportation authority then Washtenaw needs to be included. Currently the southeast Michigan area is serviced by several dsyfuntional transportation systems that don't even work together but are paid for by tax payer dollars. it's time to get this dysfunctional system out of the control of the local government and into one regional system. It will save tax payers and riders dollars and show the true cost of transportation in south east Michigan.

Vivienne Armentrout

Thu, Jan 10, 2013 : 4:32 p.m.

Ypsilanti is trying to survive as a community in spite of its fiscal problems. (See AAcom's related story One of its challenges has been how to pay for the transit that its residents need. The proposed countywide transit plan would have subsidized Ypsilanti's transit, but that has fallen apart. The RTA poses an entirely different problem in that it brings no new funds, but may possibly be a drain on our local transit system. It makes sense for Ypsilanti to support Ann Arbor's effort to be removed. I've been doing a series on AATA's problems. The latest one is I hope to do one on the effects of the RTA in the very near future.


Thu, Jan 10, 2013 : 6:26 p.m.

Been advocating for a bus to Whittaker Road out there and no one is still listening. Good luck with this one.


Thu, Jan 10, 2013 : 3:17 p.m.

Here we go again. More riff raff and no one doing anything about it except to complain. I really hope this is just dumped into the trash like the last folly was.


Wed, Jan 9, 2013 : 10:33 p.m.

Hieftje previously said the RTA was a"bad piece of legislation." Was he referring to his AATA RTA, SE MI RTA, or both? Well, al least we know for sure that he refers to the AATA RTA, as the city unanimously voted it to death.

Macabre Sunset

Wed, Jan 9, 2013 : 10:10 p.m.

When inefficient, tax-revenue-addled public bodies fight over the scraps of government grants, hilarity always ensues. There's nothing that screams government waste more than these transportation authorities. Just plow the darned roads, fix the potholes and stop wishing that we were living in World War II-era Germany and can give away our cars and reside in government-built apartment blocks.


Wed, Jan 9, 2013 : 11:53 p.m.

We know government can never do anything as good as the private sector. Just look at what the large banks did in 2008. The government could never have done as well.