The Metro: New bus route will connect Oakland County communities

The new 492 bus route in Oakland County will connect to Oakland University in Auburn Hills, to downtown Rochester and Rochester Hills, the Oakland Mall in Troy and more.

Photo of SMART public bus

A photo of a SMART bus.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that the 492 route would only travel from Oakland University to Somerset Mall.

Residents of Oakland County will soon have a new bus route — part of the county transit millage that passed in November 2022.

The new 492 bus route in Oakland County will connect to Oakland University in Auburn Hills, to downtown Rochester and Rochester Hills, the Oakland Mall in Troy and carry riders through Royal Oak, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday, according to SMART.

On the route there will also be connections to downtown Royal Oak, Ferndale and the new State Fairgrounds Transit Center, where riders will be able to connect to other routes across Detroit.

The route is expected to start operating in April.

Oakland County Commissioner Dave Woodward — who says he rode the SMART bus to WDET’s studio in Midtown Detroit — joined The Metro to talk about the new bus route and expanded transit in the county.

“For me, the future is…that people can get to where they want to go in a reasonable way. I came here to the studio for $2. Uber was gonna cost me $30,” Woodward said. “So I mean, [transit] is a dollar and cents question. More people being able to get to more destinations through a system that delivers more rides at a higher frequency. That’s the way forward.”

The newly-established 492 Route is a collaboration across four transit agencies in the county: SMART, North Oakland Transportation Authority, Western Oakland Transportation Authority and Older Persons Commissions.

The District 1 commissioner of Oakland County says he anticipates more regional transit growth in Southeast Michigan.

“I’m very confident that over the next year, you’re gonna see an increased dialogue or partners with the Regional Transit Authority talking about bus rapid transit,” Woodward predicted. “There’s an unprecedented amount of federal capital dollars for public transit. Shame on us if we can’t get our act together to bring those resources here to make transit better.”

More headlines from The Metro on Feb. 19, 2024:

  • Workers at the Marathon Petroleum Detroit Refinery have voted to authorize a strike. President of Teamsters Local Steve Hicks joins the show to discuss next steps in union negotiations. We also speak with Travis Jackson, an operator at the plant, on work conditions at the facility.
  • WDET’s Nargis Rahman spoke with Dearborn City Clerk George Darany on access to ballots in Arabic and Arabic translators assisting voters during Michigan’s primary. 
  • The 6th Annual Rags to Riches fashion show and gala is this weekend. Director Stephanie Bedell gives a preview for the black tie event. 
  • Dr. Matthew Sims, director of infectious disease research at Corewell Health in Southeast Michigan, discusses how to stay healthy amidst COVID-19, colds, and the flu. 
  • MichMash: This week on the podcast, host Cheyna Roth and Gongwer’s Alethia Kasben discuss state gun control laws passed this year.

Marathon had not responded to The Metro’s request for a response until Feb. 20 when managers said they have been regularly meeting with Teamsters union representatives and are willing and available to negotiate a new contract.

Listen to The Metro weekdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. ET on 101.9 FM and streaming on-demand.

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