Federal Money at Risk as Regional Transit Falters in Detroit

Millions of federal dollars could be lost if transportation officials in metropolitan Detroit can't figure out a way to combine a variety of transit services into one regional authority.
June 9, 2011, 11am PDT | Nate Berg
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The Obama administration has pledged $25 million in federal funding for regional transit projects in Detroit, including a new light rail line.

"Detroit's budget crisis and declining suburban property tax revenues are putting enormous pressure on DDOT and SMART, the region's separate bus agencies.

'Both systems are down to cutting into bone at this point,' said Megan Owens, executive director of Transportation Riders United, a Detroit-based transit advocacy group. 'I think the public understands the need to invest in transit, but will the politicians listen?'

On that point, stumbling blocks have already arisen, but representatives of Detroit Mayor Dave Bing point out that regional authorities have been established to oversee city-owned assets such as the water system and Cobo Center."

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Published on Tuesday, June 7, 2011 in The Detroit Free Press
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