Online meeting application displaying 18 participants, some of whom have video feeds. Eric Dryer (pale skin, black hair, earphones, black shirt) is speaking. Others present are dan, D. Parnell McCarter (pale skin, black hair, glasses, grey shirt), Shauna Morris, John Waterman (pale skin, grey hair, glasses, black sweater), Michael Bedard (pale skin, grey hair, headphones, white shirt), Tim Hull (pale skin, black hair, earphones, black shirt), Southeast Michigan Group (pale skin, grey hair, black shirt, grey hoodie), Megan Owens (pale skin, black hair, glasses, black shirt), Taria Sims (darker skin, black hair, glasses, green shirt), Mitch Mantey (pale skin, black hair, glasses, red shirt), Lauren Baker (pale skin, white hair, black shirt), Steve Weatherholt (pale skin, grey hair, glasses, blue shirt), Matt Homrich-Knieling, Joann Ingoglia, Ben, Corri Wofford and Detroit’s
Chairperson Eric Dryer calling the meeting to order.

Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan Citizens Advisory Committee meeting, February 2023 

The recently announced Detroit Metro Airport shuttle is no longer expected to launch before early 2024. The Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan (RTA) still needs to finalize funding for the shuttle, said RTA staffmember Ben Stupka, and it will launch as a pilot program. However, the agency still aims to have the shuttle in service before the 2024 NFL Draft in Detroit, expected to take place in April that year. 

Later this week, RTA will release a Call for Projects funded by Section 5310, a Federal Transit Administration program that assists nonprofits in providing transportation to people with disabilities and senior citizens. The agency receives Section 5310 funding annually, and it is mostly used to replace small vehicles. RTA will seek two-year projects, to be funded by combining the Section 5310 funding RTA received for 2023 and 2024 totalling about $13 million. Project applications will be due April 7, and the Board of Directors will make selections in May. 

RTA is set to receive increased federal funding and possibly increased state funding. It will receive about 40% more funding from Section 5310 after the recent passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Stupka said. Meanwhile, the agency reviewed the proposed state budget and identified the $216 million for local bus operations as a highlight. (See Page 367 of the FY 2024-2025 General Omnibus Budget Bill.) Stupka said it’s approximately a $15 million increase. However, Committee Member Megan Owens said the increase mostly reflects inflation. 

RTA has finally received a state grant to develop a digital wallet service. Participants of a one-year pilot program would be able to deposit money into a digital wallet to pay for rides on DDOT and SMART buses, MoGo bikes, and rental electric scooters. The pilot will target “job seekers” and partner with local agencies like Detroit at Work to recruit participants. However, the agency anticipates it to be a complicated service to develop. The concept was mentioned as early as 2019. According to a report presented at the Board of Directors meeting in November 2022, the $1.1 million grant comes from the Michigan Department of Transportation’s Mobility Wallet Challenge. An official announcement will be made in a few weeks, with planning to start in April. 

Essentially, we’re setting up a bank account. I could tell you how to plan a BRT (bus rapid transit) project, but… 
— Ben Stupka, RTA staffmember, describing the difficulties expected for developing the digital wallet pilot program.

The D2A2 Detroit-Ann Arbor bus line averaged 4,000 riders a month as of January. This is a decline from 5,000 riders in October 2022, but an increase from December. Stupka said a decline was expected during the holiday season. 

The committee appointed new executive members — John Waterman replaced Eric Dryer as chairperson. The other executive members are Michael Bedard, Parnell McCarter, Robert Pawlowski and one other person. 

Table of Contents


The meeting was live-blogged on Mastodon and Twitter for Detroit Documenters, which offers its own report.

Documents available on, including the meeting agenda and more documentation by Joann Ingoglia.

The agency’s last meeting on Feb. 16 was documented by Madison Ganzak and Meghan Rutigliano. The next meeting on March 16 was documented by CAC member Corey Rowe.

Visit the agency’s website for official information.


Archived pages

Mastodon posts and meeting page are archived on the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.


The actual start of the meeting (5:04 p.m.) can be heard four minutes into the recording. Due to a technical issue experienced by the documenter, this recording is incomplete. 



Page published Feb. 28, 2023.

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