It will be much easier to get around Macomb Township via bus in the near future.
The SMART (Suburban Mobile Authority for Regional Transportation) program continues to expand in the township, with the most recent change happening Sept. 26 at the Board of Trustees meeting. That’s when trustees approved transferring the SMART program operations from the supervisor’s office to the Parks and Recreation Department. The change is due to the number of additions needed to expand the program.
Although the transfer was approved, a number of issues need to be addressed prior to Parks and Recreation taking full control of the program's operations. The SMART committee will meet with Parks and Recreation personnel and present a final report during the next trustees meeting, Oct. 11.
Some recommendations the SMART committee has includes:
- Moving the SMART program to the Marvin Blank Senior Center. SMART operations, the call center and the buses would be housed at the new location.
- Hiring a part-time scheduler, two part-time dispatchers, and eight part-time drivers.
- Expanding hours from 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Hiring a coordinator, who will report to SMART and the township’s finance department.
The committee, made up of SMART officials, along with a handful of board members, met Sept. 14 to discuss expanding service to accommodate the approximately 16 Macomb Township residents who attend the Macomb Academy, a school for adults ages 18-26 with disabilities located within Clinton Township.
The township wants to expand service for Macomb Academy without affecting the current Dial-A-Ride program, meaning longer hours for service outside the typical 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. day.
The money to expand the program is through a community partnership with SMART and will not come out of the township’s general fund. The talks are in light of the Aug. 22 to house the township’s three Dial-A-Ride buses. SMART and the federal government would have funded the pole barn project at a cost of about $750,000.