University of Michigan Allows Football Coach to Use University Money on Private Jets

When travelling, passengers usually have to worry about whether or not they'll get the window seat. In fact, a recent study on Expedia found that 21% of customers in the last year picked window seats before anything else.

However, if you're Jim Harbaugh, University of Michigan football coach, the only thing worth worrying about is which private jet to take.

Harbaugh's contract allots him a certain amount of money to be used on private jets, both for business and personal use. According to Fox Sports, Harbaugh "spent more than $10,000 a day on private jets during a 12-day recruiting period in January 2015." The entirety of the recruiting period cost the University of Michigan approximately $136,000.

And while Harbaugh is spending six digits on private charter jets, the Regional Transit Authority is working on a plan to connect Wayne, Oakland, and Washtenaw counties with a new rail line.

The RTA plans to have the system work with existing transportation services, which include the Detroit Department of Transportation, the Ann Arbor Transit Authority, and Downtown Detroit's People Mover.

According to the RTA, formed in 2012 in an effort to plan for and coordinate public transportation in this four-county area, the project will cost approximately $4.6 billion. They report that the 20-year millage plan would cost Michigan taxpayers an average of $7.92 per household.

Nothing is set in stone, though. Although the recent proposal is causing concerns among citizens, it hasn't been fully implemented or even accepted yet.

The multi-billion dollar plan is being put to a vote in November 2016, where voters in Macomb, Oakland, Wayne and Washtenaw counties will be asked to consider the proposal.

In an interview with Click on Detroit, RTA CEO Michael Ford said, "We're trying to connect the region. Transportation is not connected in this region and we are responsible for connecting services in the four counties."

The RTA proposal could also benefit students at the University of Michigan, as it would provide more options for local transportation.

While coach Jim Harbaugh may want to stick to his private jets, the plan proposed by the RTA has the potential to connect countless people to more convenient -- and cost-effective -- methods of transportation.

For full story, pick up a copy of the MONTH XX issue of The Allegan County News/The Union Enterprise/The Commercial Record or subscribe to the e-edition.

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