SMART money benefits township residents
By Lisa Brody
Bloomfield Township trustees unanimously approved the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART) municipal and community credit contract for $66,930, at their meeting on Monday, April 11, during which the various ways revenue sharing by the transit authority can benefit local residents was explained.
Supervisor Dani Walsh presented the municipal credits report for senior services director Christine Tvaroha, who was unable to attend the meeting. Walsh said it was something SMART and the township did every year, funded by the transit authority tax, a transit property tax millage collected from communities that support SMART. As the fiduciary agent for the region, SMART is responsible for administering the State of Michigan Municipal Credit and Specialized Service programs and distributes annually approximately $6.5 million as revenue sharing based on a formula in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.
“It helps with local rides to medical appointments and life sustaining therapies, and maintenance of those rides,” Walsh said.
It is available to residents 60 years and older, with an application. Ambulatory and wheelchair transportation is available Monday through Friday, with five days notice. Rides are provided by Jewish Vocational Service, with drivers vetted, bonded and trained. Walsh said in 2019 the service provided 793 rides, and in 2020, 395 rides.
There is also an errand assistance, with volunteers driving for errands and grocery shopping, subject to availability. Bloomfield Township has a transportation coordinator with SMART.
“We have a very large senior population in Bloomfield Township – over 50 percent of our residents are 60-plus – so we are able to control the quality by doing it in-house,” Walsh said.