(Editor's Note: This question was answered prior to Monday's city council vote.)
Communities across Washtenaw County are considering whether or not to back a county transportation plan that would improve public transportation options in Saline, but also come with a .584-mill tax levy.
Today we ask Saline's mayoral candidates Brian Marl and Glenn Law about the Washtenaw Transporation Authority plan.
Readers can see the candidates side-to-side at 7 p.m., Oct. 22 at Liberty School, where the Saline Coalition for a Quality Community will host an election forum.
Here is today's question:
Do you support the proposed tax that would bring more public transportation services to Saline? Why or why not?
From what I understand a decision by the city council whether to opt into this transit plan will be decided before the November election. A vote would then take place in May of next year.I think the question has to be asked whether people in Saline would use more public transportation. The track record of more public transit in the city is mixed at best. A free trial run using AATA buses in Saline almost 10 years ago failed to generate much interest. The use of People's Express buses has proven to be a little more successful, but I believe ridership the last year has slipped perhaps more because of poorer promotion on the part of the company. I believe many residents in our community would benefit from more transit if it is provided for them in a convenient manner. If convenience is the focus then I could support it, however I would not hesitate to opt out if its proven the service is under utilized.
Without more information, particularly financial details about how families would be affected, I don’t believe a formal commitment is appropriate. However, I think city leadership should work to ensure that transportation services are expanded. Particularly for seniors in our community, affordable and reliable transportation is vital – and sometimes life-saving.
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