I am SOOO very happy to hear about this. When I lived in Sacramento, CA, I worked for legislative lobbyist that worked on bills for light rail and mass transit throughout the state. My employer paid for my monthly tickets to ride the rail to and from work / to the convenient parking lot where my car sat waiting for me to take the rest of the ride home. At least I was able to get out of ‘dodge’ (rush hour traffic in the middle of the capital city) without incident and without a sit and wait.
Too many times I hear (and you will read at the article) where people have hesitated “liking” the light rail idea based on the ‘transient effect.’ Bottom line,
most transients can’t afford to ride the rail so it’s a mute issue.
Go Detroit! A long time behind but a reduction in the auto industry could have been the god-send. Cheers!
Light Rail May Be Just a Few Stops Away
February 09 2011
construction could begin within the year according to Megan Owens with the non-profit transportation riders union. “It’s really exciting. We’re seeing some strong progress toward bringing light rail to Woodward Avenue as a start of a much broader regional system.”
Megan Owens says the federal government has committed $25 million and private investors $100 million toward the m1 light rail project.
It’s a light rail that will start downtown at the river and glide north 3 ½ miles through midtown, DMC and Wayne State and into New Center. Phase 2 would take it all the way through Highland Park to a transportation center at Woodward and 8 mile.
According to Owens, “By the time the 40’s or 50’s came around the auto and oil companies recognized that transit was something of competition and they were a significant part of taking apart the old system. And so by 1956 we had eliminated all of the street cars in Detroit and the region. It’s been 55 years now we’ve been without.”
And now there is an urgency– a need to look past politics, history, race and cost.
“What I hear now in citizens comments that I get and talking to elected officials is we want jobs, we want economic development, we want ease of travel. We don’t want to have to park. We want to be able to go to red wing games or tiger games with the convenience of just getting on a system and going.