The executive committee of the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, or SEMCOG, which oversees the region's transit plans, voted last week to switch to a new funding formula that will mean the loss of significant funding for Detroit.
The new funding formula will direct 51.5% of $41 million of federal dollars to the suburban SMART bus system and 48.1% of the money to the Detroit Department of Transportation. The previous formula had given 65% to Detroit and 35% to the suburban bus system. That system had been in place for decades, according to local reports.
The switch means Detroit will lose $7 million in fiscal 2014. Detroit Mayor Dave Bing said in the move would be "devastating" to the cash-strapped city, which is under state control.
"My biggest concern about this now is the timing of this," local reports quoted Bing telling the executive committee. "It's very, very difficult for us to look at losing revenue of any sort."
SEMCOG has temporary control over the use of federal dollars until the newly created Michigan Regional Transit Authority takes over next year.