Detroit light rail project could get federal funding

New track would be shorter, less costly to maintain than previous proposals

Transportation Management News Detroit Free Press June 04, 2012
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A new 3.3-mile light rail line scheduled to run through downtown Detroit could be on the verge of receiving federal grant money toward its completion, according to the Detroit Free Press. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff were scheduled to meet with city officials Monday morning to discuss the project.

 

Local political, business and philanthropic figures have already pledged $84 million toward the total $137 million cost of the project; that would leave approximately $40 million that would need to come from federal sources. The Free Press reports that those sources could include a $25 million TIGER grant and $16 million in federal tax credits.

 

Cost concerns derailed a previous proposal, which featured a longer track. Specifically at issue was the cost of operating the new system once it’s complete. For this latest effort, the M-1 Group has promised to cover up to 80 percent of operating costs through 2025.

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