SMART Busing Cuts Start Monday, Dec. 12

Ten routes that run through Dearborn will see partial cuts, including several routes that run to UM-Dearborn, HFCC and Fairlane Town Center.

After holding three public hearings earlier this month, the SMART Board of Directors voted Monday afternoon to eliminate 20 routes either partially or completely starting Dec. 12, including 10 routes that run through Dearborn.

Several of Dearborn's eliminated routes are community routes that run through the city, such as the Carlysle and Cherry Hill Routes. Many of the routes have stops at , as well as on Evergreen Road near and the .

Routes that affect Dearborn are as follows:

Eliminated on Weekdays

  • Route 145 Carlysle
  • Route 190 Taylor Flyer
  • Route 203 Edsel Ford High School
  • Route 245 Cherry Hill
  • Route 265 Warren Road

Eliminated on Saturdays

  • Route 145 Carlysle
  • Route 245 Cherry Hill
  • Route 250 Ford Road
  • Route 265 Warren Avenue
  • Rouge 140 Southshore

Eliminated on Sundays

  • Route 250 Ford Road
  • Route 140 Southshore

Also, the 200 Michigan Avenue Route will now transfer to the Detroit Department of Transportation at Fairlane Town Center during off-peak hours. Peak hours are 6-9 a.m. and 3-6 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Cuts Made Due to Budget Deficit

The decision was made to address a $6.5 million shortfall in this year's budget, SMART spokeswoman Beth Gibbons said. Over the past three years, she said, the bus system has lost $12 million.

The deficits are due to increased fuel prices, a decrease in millage revenue due to faltering property values, cuts in state and federal funding, and an inability to settle a contract dispute with employees, Gibbons said.

“We’re in a budget deficit and needed to find a way to address it,” she said.

The routes that were cut were those deemed to be the lowest in productivity, had the fewest number of riders and existed in places where alternative transportation options existed, Gibbons said.

This is the first time SMART has ever cut services since it began operating under the SMART name in 1989, Gibbons said.

Those who are interested in submitting feedback on the cuts to SMART may do so by emailing publichearing@smartbus.org.

Gibbons said customer feedback is always important, but she doesn’t foresee any changes being made.

“Unless there are some other funds that become available, I don’t believe there is any availability for SMART to add service back in,” she said. “No matter what, we are at a point where we have a balanced budget at this point in time and we have to operate at a balanced budget.”


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