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.

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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.”

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“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.

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