Regional Rail Chances Getting Brighter in Detroit

With a recent infusion of $44 million and hopes for more from the federal stimulus package, regional light rail is gathering momentum in Detroit. Advocates see more than mobility in the struggling city's future.
March 17, 2009, 2pm PDT | Nate Berg
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"The first link in that potential system got a major boost last week when the Kresge Foundation and Detroit's Downtown Development Authority pledged a combined $44 million to the proposed M1-RAIL light-rail line on Woodward in Detroit."

"The potential is big. Beyond actually moving people from place to place, regional transit systems tend to spur nearby creation of residential, retail and other development. The regional transit plan being considered for southeast Michigan envisions 30,000 new jobs, $1.4 billion in annual payroll and almost 11,000 housing units built near the transit lines, as well as boosted retail sales and other benefits, all spurred by the year 2035 if a regional transit system is built."

"Momentum is building. In addition to the big pledges last week, Congress approved a $950,000 earmark for a Detroit-Ann Arbor route, and regional leaders expressed hope late last week that some of the federal stimulus money could go toward a regional transit system."

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Published on Monday, March 16, 2009 in The Detroit Free Press
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