Clinton Township to get new, expanded transportation service

Nick Powers

Fraser-Clinton Chronicle
Published May 8, 2024

Richmond Lenox EMS Chief Paramedic Jeff White gives a presentation about the services the authority could offer Clinton Township. Following the presentation, the Clinton Township Board of Trustees unanimously approved the service at its April 15 meeting.

Screenshot taken from Clinton Township Board of Trustees meeting broadcast

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Richmond Lenox EMS’s Community Transit program will soon be serving Clinton Township.

The Clinton Township Board of Trustees unanimously approved a transfer to the service at its April 15 meeting.

The program currently provides rides for Macomb Township, the city of Richmond and Richmond Township, Lenox Township, New Haven, the village of Armada and Armada Township, Memphis, Chesterfield Township, New Baltimore and Ray Township. The communities will all be accessible by Clinton Township residents with the new service.

The new service would replace a similar service in the township provided by Medstar and amend the township’s contract with SMART, the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation. Medstar’s service provided rides for disabled people and seniors in the township. Richmond Lenox will do the same but will also offer some services to people outside these groups. The service will cost $210,000 and will be paid for with credits already banked by the township.

Buses start at 5:30 a.m. and return at 7:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, according to Jeff White, chief paramedic at Richmond Lenox EMS. A half day of service is provided on Saturday.

“Transportation is provided on a first come first serve basis,” Richmond Lenox’s website states. “Our service operates much like a public transit system and may involve picking up multiple riders going in the same direction near the same time.”

Clinton Township Treasurer Paul Gieleghem highlighted the program’s expanded service at a cost to the township that is similar to Medstar. One example he gave was the $10 rides to the airport.

“It’s actually suggested $10,” White clarified. “We don’t want somebody, especially our seniors, who might not have the $10 to have to pay it. It’s just a contribution to the service.”

White said the airport transportation is available to anyone. For those interested, he suggested booking an appointment at least a month in advance. He said the service has also provided rides for those attending festivals to reduce drunken driving in other communities.

Clinton Township Trustee Tammy Patton asked if the number of vehicles available would be enough with the township’s addition. White said a vehicle would be added for the township for same-day services and airport services.

White said some vehicles would be dedicated to same-day service, while other vehicles would be dedicated to transporting seniors and disabled residents to appointments made ahead of time. Addressing questions by Patton and Clinton Township Trustee Mike Keys about staffing the service, White said he already has applicants. He said wages are competitive.

Clinton Township Trustee Julie Matuzak said she had positive experience working with the service as a Macomb County Commissioner during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“You guys did a fabulous job,” Matuzak said. “You transported people, you got them their shots, you got them their tests. You did a really great job.”

Richmond Lenox EMS has been around since 1975. White said it’s an authority, with a board made up of township board members from Richmond and Lenox.

White estimated the service could begin in July. It would be funded on a year-to-year basis with monthly reports provided to the board. The board would be able to change the service if it’s not meeting the township’s needs, White said.