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Auburn Hills City Council expects to vote to opt out of Detroit's suburban bus system during Monday's meeting

A worker walks past a BYD electric bus at a public transportation hub in Shenzhen.
Qilai Shen
Bloomberg via Getty Images
A worker walks past a BYD electric bus at a public transportation hub in Shenzhen.

The Auburn Hills City Council is expected to vote on a resolution to opt out of SMART, Detroit’s suburban bus system, at its city council meeting on Monday (2/21).

Instead of using SMART, the city is planning to create its own weekday-only transportation system for seniors and people with disabilities.

Megan Owens is the executive director of Transportation Riders United. She says if Auburn Hills opts out of the SMART system it would have ripple effects in the region.

“So it's not only the people in Auburn Hills, but people who need to travel through somewhere like Great Lakes Crossing. That's the one spot where transit connects Southeast Michigan, up to the Flint service, and obviously to probably 1000s of entry level jobs.”

Auburn Hills residents currently pay just under 1 mill in taxes for SMART bus services. If City Council opts out then SMART service would end on January 1, 2023.

Laura Herberg is a reporter for 101.9 WDET, telling stories about people inhabiting the Detroit region and the issues that affect us here. She won a Regional Murrow Award for best Hard News story (Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio) in 2020 and she was named the Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter for radio broadcasting in 2020, 2018 and 2017. In 2012, she was awarded a SoundCloud Fellowship for her project, “Listen to Detroit.” She also is the creator of Complete Me, a podcast with only three episodes about how she has trouble completing tasks.