Rochester Transit Stories

“I support bus service for Rochester Hills because I don’t want living in this city to require paying for an automobile. I’d like local bus service that I could use to get to my local library, and to downtown Detroit.”
Thomas Yazbeck, Rochester Hills

“I’m an Oakland University graduate and current Wayne State University student. Parking on campus costs over $200 a semester, and commuting from Rochester Hills by car means navigating the I-75 construction zone twice a day. On the flipside, Wayne State students ride transit in Metro Detroit for free and can spend their commute productively without the stress, added cost, or negative environmental impacts of driving.

Our neighbors in Pontiac, Auburn Hills, Troy, Shelby Township, and Sterling Heights all have fixed-route bus service. It’s time our community offered the same.
Corey Rowe, Rochester Hills

“I would like to see transit services in Rochester so that our local businesses can tap into talented workers from surrounding communities without the requirement of them owning a car, which would also reduce the stress on our city-owned and managed parking system.”
Dean Bevacqua, Rochester

“I support transit because it makes it easier to access the beautiful parks and trails near Rochester in a convenient and environmentally friendly way.”
Calley Wang, Detroit

“I support public transit because I want all people to have access to our beautiful community.”
Kristy Plesscher, Rochester

“I’m a Rochester Hills resident who has been raising his family here since 2013. I support public transit because it enables me to work, study for college, and relax, and watch Netflix during my daily commute. It also saves a lot of money and wear and tear on my vehicle, especially during pothole season.”
Scott Struzik, Rochester Hills

“I’m a junior at OU currently living in Rochester Hills. In my first year I was living on the edge of Troy and Rochester Hills (Square Lake and Crooks) and I had no car at the time. I would have to carpool with friends or family every time or worst of all I had to spend 15-20$ on an Uber ride, which definitely added up! There was absolutely no way to get to school through public transport and the Bear Bus would never come to my area. I could’ve saved a lot of money and carbon emissions if we just had a SMART bus system in Rochester Hills that even got me near my school. Buses are also a better place to socialize, and as an off-campus student, that would help with community building in Rochester.”
Firas, Rochester Hills

My son lives in Detroit. He doesn’t own a car and finds it very difficult to get home with limited bus service and I find it very difficult for me to travel as I get older, especially at night. Having a short distance to catch the bus would be better than driving all the way to Pontiac to catch the bus. I would like to be able to travel to activities in other cities like Detroit, Ann Arbor, and Dearborn but with parking difficulties and other safety concerns I don’t travel as much as I would like to. Please Rochester be the family city with travel options for all.”
Oakland Township resident

“Hi. I work with adult students with disabilities to assist them on their employment journey. One of the biggest barriers for these young adults to access work is transportation. In order for many of these young adults to be employed or attend social gatherings, they must rely on their families to transport them. This takes away the independence they have worked so hard for. The Rochester area is in desperate need of regular and reliable public transportation. Our community needs it!”
Jen Lamar, Rochester Hills

“I have been a resident of Oakland Township for approx. the last 8 years. We have an adult son with disabilities that uses the OPC to obtain transportation to/from his job and social activities in the Rochester area.

Prior to and during the COVID period, we have had availability issues utilizing the OPC for transportation due to lack of drivers and/or staff. They have a very full schedule and are not always able to accommodate riders with disabilities (even though their mission statement states they serve this population). In addition, they only serve within the Rochester community, but not outside of the district in surrounding places such as Lake Orion.

NOTA (Northern Oakland Transportation Authority SEMTA) comes through our community multiple times per day, but due to the fact we are a “closed transportation district”, we do not have access to the 58 square miles that they cover (including my son’s place of paid employment in Lake Orion).

I would like to understand in more depth what the challenges are to allowing NOTA to provide transportation in our area. The population of people with disabilities in the Rochester/Oakland Township area is continuing to grow. As they become tax paying/voting members of society, lack of transportation is quickly becoming a barrier to employment for many of our adults. This is prohibiting exactly what we have been training them to do…obtain employment and become independent productive citizens.

Having access to public transportation is must for this population in order to access to all that an independent life has to offer. I am hoping to hear some more information on how we can improve this challenge in our community.”
Jorja Rapelje, Oakland Township