Auburn Hills, MI – Despite massive public opposition, on February 21, 2022, Auburn Hills, Michigan City Council members gave the green light for a plan to opt out Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART), making it the first Detroit suburb in over 15 years to do so.
Virtual Transit Center reported Friday that the city had planned to opt out of SMART and replace it with a limited-customer paratransit service. As of writing, it is unknown when Auburn Hills will end its relationship with SMART, but know that you may not see SMART buses in Auburn Hills for long.
76 Detroit-area communities, including Auburn Hills, currently participate in SMART. The most recent withdrawal from the system was in 2005, when Livonia residents approved a ballot proposal to back out. Prior to that, 54 communities gave up on SMART in 1995 when the system first levied a millage tax for its service.
Since then, only four of those communities reconsidered and rejoined SMART (Bloomfield Township and West Bloomfield Township in 1996, Walled Lake in 2006, and Lathrup Village in 2014). Departure attempts by Farmington and Farmington Hills were considered in 2012, with Farmington even briefly approving an opt-out for a short time, though both communities eventually changed their minds and remained in SMART.
The Flint Mass Transportation Authority (MTA) has no plans to modify its Great Lakes Crossing route to preserve a connection with SMART.