Saturday, December 17, 2011

No light rail for Detroit

WXYZ had the following report Wednesday morning.

Light rail project gets derailed

Sure enough, it was official by that afternoon.

According to sources familiar with the Woodward Light Rail Project, federal funding for the plan is being pulled and the project is dead.
Crap. So much for the good news on the Woodward light rail line I posted last August. Color me disappointed but not terribly surprised.

Not everyone has given up. The Detroit Free Press reports Woodward light rail investors say they'll press ahead.
The leader of the largest private-sector investor in the abortive attempt to build a light rail line on Woodward Avenue in Detroit said Friday that he would press ahead with plans to build a train-based connection between downtown and the New Center despite Mayor Dave Bing and Gov. Rick Snyder putting their support instead behind a modernized system of bus-based rapid transit.

Rip Rapson, president and CEO of the Troy-based Kresge Foundation, said the M-1 group of private investors who initially wanted to build a 3.4-mile rail line between downtown and Grand Boulevard do not agree with the decision to kill off the rail line, which was later planned to extend north to 8 Mile Road.
The Kresge Foundation had pledged $35 million of the roughly $100 million in seed money pledged for the $550 million rail project.
I wish these people luck. I'm not optimistic, but at least they're willing to put their money where their mouths are.


  1. All that state take-over noise probably killed it.

    1. The state takeover is about to happen, but the M1 Light Rail line is going ahead anyway, so that wasn't the problem. It was the lack of a metropolitan transit district. Once that was solved, the money returned.

  2. I'm skeptical they can get a high-speed bus line up and running, either. And I predict that in the end they will scrap it, too.

    And from what I just read at the Free Press website, I predict the City will be taken over by the State. Which probably means no buses, period.

    What you all need there is some kind of metropolitan district commission.

    1. As I told my buddy Nebris above, the state takeover is about to happen, but the M1 Light Rail line is going forward. The buses will, too. What solved the problem was exactly what you suggested in the last line, a metropolitan district. We now have that.