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Detroit Loses Bus Funding To The Suburbs

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DETROIT (WWJ) - Detroit’s loss is the suburbs’ gain when it comes to the bus systems.

That’s as Detroit Mayor Dave Bing lost his bid on Friday to keep more than $7 million in federal funds for the Detroit Department of Transportation. But a local government committee did approve shifting the money to the suburban SMART Bus system.

SEMCOG Director, Paul Tait says the added money will allow upgrades to SMART’s older fleet.

“We’ve been limping along for years and years – and as we now start to build some positive momentum in the city I think that the worst thing that could happen – the timing of this – I think starts to separate us and I don’t want to see that happen,” said Mayor Bing.

“Well, I’ll have to go back and make some adjustments in the budget. Which is going to be a negative in the first place because it’s not like we’ve got a revenue stream that allows us to move money around.”

“I’m going to have to take it from somebody – and that’s going to be hurtful,” he said.

“I have never known SEMCOG to come out with a proposal like this that wasn’t fair,” said Clinton Township resident Bob Cannon.

“The timing of this is horrendous , for so many years, we never as a region were able to come together on transportation – regional transportation,” lamented Bing.

The committee voted to approve a change in the formula despite Bing’s request not to make any changes. One committee member said SMART’s bus fleet is older and needs the upgrades more.

WWJ Newsradio 950’s Stephanie Davis is at the SEMCOG meeting. Stay with WWJ and CBSDetroit.com for more.

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