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Old Posted Apr 24, 2012, 1:07 AM
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LMich LMich is online now
Midwest Moderator - Editor
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Big Mitten
Posts: 31,378
Yes! The Freep has a better angle on this:


Woodward light rail line group says it will pay for first 10 years of operations

By Matt Helms | Detroit Free Press

April 23, 2012

The private-sector group that wants to build a 3-mile light rail line on Woodward Avenue from downtown Detroit to the New Center said today it has raised all of the money it will need to build the line – and is pledging to fund the operations of the system privately for the first 10 years after it’s built.

The M-1 Rail Group outlined the details in a report it has sent to the federal government. The group of private investors and philanthropic groups behind the effort said they would commit to paying the estimated $5.1 million annual cost of operating the Woodward rail line through 2025.

That’s a significant step for the project. How to pay for operating the system has been a key point of contention in a city that’s now under a consent deal with the state to oversee its finances and plans to slash millions from its annual appropriations for the city’s bus system.

The group would then donate the project’s assets to the appropriate agency, such as a regional transit authority that Gov. Rick Snyder and the Legislature are working to create for southeast Michigan to oversee a big new network of rapid-transit buses on Woodward, Michigan Avenue, Gratiot and Hall Roads connecting Detroit to key suburbs, Metro Airport and Ann Arbor.

The project would still require nearly $40 million in federal funding that M-1 Rail said the feds have already committed for construction of the rail line.

By sheer force of will, the community is going to make this work in spite of short-sighted, elected leadership. I can't believe I'm still rooting for M-1; I hated the proposal, but it's almost as if this needs to be done just to show that it can be done.
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