m-1 rail http://michiganradio.org en Light rail project in Detroit wants more federal funds, or faces changes http://michiganradio.org/post/light-rail-project-detroit-wants-more-federal-funds-or-faces-changes <p>Leaders of a <a href="http://michiganradio.org/term/m-1-rail">light passenger rail line project being constructed in Detroit </a>are looking for another $12 million from the federal government. If they don’t get it, the project may have to be scaled back or redesigned, or they may have to spend money that’s set aside for operating the line once it’s up and running.</p><p><a href="http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20140618/METRO01/306180024">The Detroit News uncovered the plea</a> for more federal funds in a letter from a handful of Michigan congressmen and Senators Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin.</p><p>Officials from Levin and Stabenow's offices forwarded Michigan Radio <a href="http://mediad.publicbroadcasting.net/p/michigan/files/201406/M-1_Rail_TIGER_Grant_Support_Letter_5-1-14.pdf?__utma=227721857.1417651242.1402594183.1403114799.1403116933.15&amp;__utmb=227721857.90.5.1403118790359&amp;__utmc=227721857&amp;__utmx=-&amp;__utmz=227721857.1402594183.1.1.utmcsr=l.facebook.com|utmccn=%28referral%29|utmcmd=referral|utmcct=/l.php&amp;__utmv=-&amp;__utmk=259732105">a copy of the letter</a>, but declined requests for comment.</p><p>In it, elected leaders say without the $12 million grant "this important project will be delayed indefinitely, and we fear the resulting costs could make the project unaffordable." Wed, 18 Jun 2014 19:38:29 +0000 Lindsey Smith 18059 at http://michiganradio.org Light rail project in Detroit wants more federal funds, or faces changes What's happening with public transportation in Southeast Michigan? http://michiganradio.org/post/whats-happening-public-transportation-southeast-michigan <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Anyone who has spent time in Chicago, New York or Washington knows the value of a good public transportation system – something that has been woefully lacking in southeast Michigan.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">But there are hopeful signs: the M-1 rail along Woodward in Detroit, talk of an Ann Arbor-Detroit commuter line and planned improvements on the Pontiac-Chicago Amtrak line.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Couple this with the fact that, according to the University of Michigan's Transportation Research Institute, 26% of households in Detroit do not have a car.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">That leads to the question: What would better public transit options mean to Detroit – a city so deeply-rooted in the car culture?</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Richard Murphy is the programs director of the Michigan Suburbs Alliance. He just finished his term on Southeast Michigan's Regional Transit Authority Board. We spoke with him today.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><em>*Listen to the audio above.</em></span></p><p> Tue, 28 Jan 2014 22:34:27 +0000 Stateside Staff 16218 at http://michiganradio.org What's happening with public transportation in Southeast Michigan? Contractors sought for $140M Detroit light rail http://michiganradio.org/post/contractors-sought-140m-detroit-light-rail <p>DETROIT – Detroit's light passenger rail project is moving one step closer to reality with a request for contractors to work on the $140 million mass transit system.<br /><br />The company serving as construction manager on the 3.1-mile <a href="http://m-1rail.com/">M-1 Rail project</a> announced Sunday night that it's seeking proposals from contractors on the project for such services as paving, salvage, traffic signals, water main work and landscaping.<br /> Mon, 27 Jan 2014 02:23:00 +0000 The Associated Press 16184 at http://michiganradio.org Contractors sought for $140M Detroit light rail Below-ground work starts on Detroit light rail http://michiganradio.org/post/below-ground-work-starts-detroit-light-rail-0 <p>DETROIT (AP) - Below-ground utility relocation is underway on a 3.3-mile light rail system that will run from Detroit's riverfront to the city's New Center area.</p><p></p> Sat, 21 Dec 2013 21:36:34 +0000 Associated Press 15800 at http://michiganradio.org Below-ground work starts on Detroit light rail A conference in Lansing this week will attempt to put Michigan railroads on the right track http://michiganradio.org/post/conference-lansing-week-will-attempt-put-michigan-railroads-right-track <p>In Lansing this week, a group hopes to lay the course for developing Michigan's railroads.</p><p></p><p>There is a growing demand for passenger and freight rail transportation. But the question is how to increase capacity on the rail lines that crisscross Michigan.</p><p>Tuesday’s conference at Lansing Community College will try to answer that capacity question.</p><p>Pasi Lautala is an engineering professor at Michigan Technological University and the director of the MTU Rail Transportation Program.&nbsp;&nbsp; He’s also one of the co-chairs of the conference.</p> Mon, 26 Aug 2013 04:26:00 +0000 Steve Carmody 14127 at http://michiganradio.org A conference in Lansing this week will attempt to put Michigan railroads on the right track M-1 Rail Project to get $25 million in federal support http://michiganradio.org/post/m-1-rail-project-get-25-million-federal-support <p><strong>Update 11:36 a.m.</strong></p><p>At the press conference this morning, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said the M-1 Rail project can go forward using a $25 million TIGER grant (<span class="st">Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery<em>).</em></span></p><p>The money will help support the construction of the $137 million streetcar project.</p><p>The 3.3 mile streetcar line is planned to travel from Midtown Detroit to New Center. It's planned to have 11 stations, with connections to Campus Martius, Comerica Park, the Detroit Medical Center area, and Wayne State University.</p><p>LaHood also announced an additional $6.5 million in funding to help develop a "bus rapid transit network" to help connect other destinations around Detroit to the transportation network.</p><p>In a statement, LaHood said the state's passage of a law authorizing a regional transit authority for southeast Michigan will "will improve access to jobs, education, medical care, and other destinations for residents in the Detroit metro area."</p><blockquote><p>“The Obama Administration is committed to the creation of a modern transportation system that will create jobs Detroit needs right now, while spurring new economic development to help this region grow stronger in the years to come,” said LaHood.</p></blockquote><p><strong>9:20 a.m.</strong></p><p>The U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is in Detroit this morning to announce $25 million in funding for the city's M-1 rail line.</p><p>David Shepardson of the <a href="http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130118/METRO01/301180334#ixzz2IKj9h8eM">Detroit News</a> reports the M-1 rail money was expected, but federal money for "a system of rapid buses will receive less than initially forecast."</p><blockquote><p>LaHood — who will make the formal announcement at 9:30 a.m. Friday at Wayne State University with Gov. Rick Snyder and Mayor Dave Bing — told congressional offices Friday morning the news.</p><p>The funds will support construction of a planned 3.3-mile streetcar line that will cost $137 million.</p><p>LaHood also said that $6.5 million in Federal Transit Administration planning funds will help Michigan develop a bus rapid transit network to expand transit options, connecting downtown Detroit with its suburbs and key destinations in the region.</p></blockquote><p>M-1 supporters say construction of the rail project could begin this year.</p><p>Michigan Radio's Sarah Cwiek is covering the press conference. Fri, 18 Jan 2013 16:36:14 +0000 Mark Brush 10840 at http://michiganradio.org M-1 Rail Project to get $25 million in federal support U.S. transit chief in Detroit Friday on big project http://michiganradio.org/post/us-transit-chief-detroit-friday-big-project <p>DETROIT (AP) - U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is coming to Detroit on Friday to make "a major funding announcement" that is expected to involve plans for a light rail system between the city's downtown and the cultural, medical and educational center a few miles north.</p><p>LaHood's office said in a statement Wednesday that Mayor Dave Bing, U.S. Senators Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow and others will be at Wayne State University to reveal details of a plan "that will significantly expand transit options in downtown Detroit."</p><p>The U.S. Transportation Department didn't reveal details, but LaHood has been in talks for months with city, regional and state officials on their part of a deal to create a 3.3-mile light rail line that's expected to cost $137 million. Thu, 17 Jan 2013 17:59:32 +0000 The Associated Press 10822 at http://michiganradio.org U.S. transit chief in Detroit Friday on big project Feds to inject $25 million into Detroit light rail project http://michiganradio.org/post/feds-inject-25-million-detroit-light-rail-project <p>You can say one thing about the backers of the M-1 light rail project in Detroit, they're persistent.</p><p>The on-again, off-again federal funding of the project is now on-again, according to reports from the Detroit Free Press and the Detroit News.</p><p>The Freep reports U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is expected to visit Detroit next week with $25 million for the light rail project along 3.3 miles of Woodward Avenue.</p><p>The rail line is proposed between downtown Detroit and New Center.</p> Fri, 11 Jan 2013 16:03:14 +0000 Mark Brush 10719 at http://michiganradio.org Feds to inject $25 million into Detroit light rail project New hope for federal funding for proposed light rail line in Detroit http://michiganradio.org/post/new-hope-federal-funding-proposed-light-rail-line-detroit <p>U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood met with Michigan officials today to discuss the development of a regional transit authority to oversee<a href="http://www.m-1rail.com/"> a light rail line in Detroit.</a> Tue, 21 Aug 2012 19:59:59 +0000 Steve Carmody 8754 at http://michiganradio.org New hope for federal funding for proposed light rail line in Detroit It's official: no federal money for Detroit light rail--again http://michiganradio.org/post/its-official-no-federal-money-detroit-light-rail-again <p>A proposed light rail project on Detroit’s Woodward Avenue won’t be getting millions in federal transit dollars—for now.</p><p>U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood awarded the so-called M-1 project a $25 million TIGER grant in 2010. But late last year, LaHood, Governor Snyder, and Detroit Mayor Dave Bing decided that money would be better spent on a regional rapid bus system.</p><p>Since then, M-1’s private backers—who have pledged millions toward the 3.4-mile span connecting downtown Detroit and the New Center area—have rallied to re-gain government support for the project.</p> Tue, 19 Jun 2012 22:22:12 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 7946 at http://michiganradio.org It's official: no federal money for Detroit light rail--again Commentary: Blow to Mass Transit http://michiganradio.org/post/commentary-blow-mass-transit <p>Back in the days when the Big Three really were the BIG Three, Detroit may&nbsp;have been the most hostile place in the nation to mass transit. The city&nbsp;existed to create private transportation for all. You were expected to have your own wheels. Well, the world has changed, and estimates indicate that more than a third of Detroiters have no cars&nbsp;these days, and many more would like to take mass transit when they can -- especially downtown.</p> Thu, 07 Jun 2012 14:11:48 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 7792 at http://michiganradio.org Commentary: Blow to Mass Transit Feds: We need to see more before we put money in Detroit light rail http://michiganradio.org/post/feds-we-need-see-more-we-put-money-detroit-light-rail <p>Elected leaders and private backers of the proposed Woodward Avenue light rail line met with federal transit officials in Detroit Monday.</p><p>They left that meeting with<a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20120604/NEWS05/120604046/Woodward-light-rail-M-1-Rail-feds?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE"> yet another 60-day deadline to try and secure federal funding</a>.</p> Mon, 04 Jun 2012 19:20:14 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 7760 at http://michiganradio.org Feds: We need to see more before we put money in Detroit light rail In this morning's news... http://michiganradio.org/post/mornings-news-271 <p><strong>Federal investment in Detroit light rail? Ray LaHood in Detroit today</strong></p><div class="card-content"><div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden "><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p>U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood will be in Detroit today to meet with a group of business leaders and government officials. The topic of discussion will be the on-again, off-again light rail system in Detroit.</p><p>More from <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/federal-state-and-local-leaders-meet-today-discuss-light-rail-detroit">MPRN&#39;s Rick Pluta</a>:</p><blockquote><p>The M-1 project on the main thoroughfare of Woodward Avenue could eventually connect with a regional system.</p><p>Governor Rick Snyder plans to attend. He says light rail is part of a strategy to make Michigan&rsquo;s largest city as attractive to entrepreneurs and young people as Chicago or Boston...</p><p>Businesspeople and government officials hope for more federal financial support for the project, which would operate for several years before reaching the break-even point.</p></blockquote><p><strong>Detroit&#39;s top lawyer says consent agreement with the state is not legal</strong></p><p>Detroit&#39;s consent agreement with the state of Michigan is facing a legal challenge by Krystal Crittendon. More from <a href="http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120604/METRO01/206040335/City-s-top-attorney-exercises-her-clout?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE">the Detroit News</a>:</p><blockquote><p>The city&#39;s top attorney, Krystal A. Crittendon, could single-handedly derail the historic consent agreement between the city and state if she can convince a judge to endorse her opinion that the document is illegal.</p></blockquote><div style="overflow: hidden; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); text-align: left; text-decoration: none; border: medium none;"><a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/city-detroit-lawyer-challenges-consent-agreement-state-vows-move-forward">Michigan Radio&#39;s Sarah Cwiek reports </a>Crittendon doesn&#39;t have the full support of Mayor Dave Bing and some city council members:</div><div style="overflow: hidden; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); text-align: left; text-decoration: none; border: medium none;"><blockquote><p>Mayor Dave Bing initially made conflicting statements about a legal challenge. He publicly opposed it, but then admitted he supported the &ldquo;concept&rdquo; of the letter.</p><p>But now Bing says litigation would be a distraction.</p></blockquote></div><p>Officials with the state have called the challenge nonsense. They plan to move forward with the agreement.</p><p><strong>Venus and the Sun come together for a once-in-a-lifetime show</strong></p><p>Tonight, the planet Venus can be seen crossing in front of the sun. It&#39;s known as the &quot;transit of Venus&quot; and it only happens once around every one hundred years.</p><p><a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/once-lifetime-transit-venus-viewing-parties-near-you">Michigan Radio&#39;s Lindsey Smith</a> says she &quot;stumbled across the&nbsp;transit while gulping down an&nbsp;awesome new beer at one of my favorite spots in Benton Harbor,&nbsp;<a href="http://liverybrew.com/#">The Livery Microbrewery</a>.&quot;</p><blockquote><p>People in Michigan will be able to see the transit of Venus for a roughly three hour window beginning at 6 o&rsquo;clock and lasting until the sun sets.</p><p>The transit won&rsquo;t happen again until the year 2117, so it&rsquo;s a pretty big deal to professional and amateur astronomers alike.</p><p>&ldquo;Oh yeah, we&rsquo;re having a full out party,&rdquo; said Richard Bell, President of the Kalamazoo Astronomical Society. Mon, 04 Jun 2012 12:49:15 +0000 Mark Brush 7728 at http://michiganradio.org In this morning's news... Rail group says it has money to build system, run it for a decade http://michiganradio.org/post/rail-group-says-it-has-money-build-system-run-it-decade <p>A group with plans to build a privately funded light rail line in Detroit says it has the money it needs to construct it, and to run it for ten years. Backers laid out their <a href="http://www.m-1rail.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Cover-Letter-Final_pac.pdf">case </a>in a feasibility study submitted to the federal government.</p><p>The&nbsp;<a href="http://www.m-1rail.com/">M-1</a>&nbsp;rail line would run along a three-mile stretch of Woodward Avenue in Detroit.</p><p>Supporters say it&rsquo;s an important project &ndash;&nbsp;especially at a time when the city of Detroit is cutting back dramatically on its spending.</p><p><span style="line-height: 115%; font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;; font-size: 14pt;">&quot;We view the M-1 initiative as a real catalyst for economic development <span> </span>along this entire downtown district that is undergoing a bit of a renaissance already, but we think this can even jump-start it.,&quot; said <font face="Times New Roman" size="5">M-1 Rail&nbsp;</font>President&nbsp;Matt Cullen.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 115%; font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;; font-size: 14pt;"><span style="line-height: 200%; font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;; font-size: 14pt;">The project was nearly derailed late last year &ndash; after Detroit Mayor Dave Bing and&nbsp;Governor Rick Snyder pulled their support in favor of a rapid bus system. The mayor and governor now say they think both projects should move forward.</span></span></p><p><span style="line-height: 115%; font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;; font-size: 14pt;">If and when a regional transit authority for southeast Michigan gets off the ground, the idea is to hand the system over to that authority.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 115%; font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;; font-size: 14pt;">&quot;Our aspiration&nbsp;to own&nbsp;and operate a rail system long-term,&quot; Cullen said.&nbsp;&quot;It&rsquo;s a group of philanthropists that have put this together.&quot;</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 115%; font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;; font-size: 14pt;">Construction is expected to begin in early 2013, and be completed in 2015. Tue, 24 Apr 2012 09:00:00 +0000 Sarah Hulett 7163 at http://michiganradio.org Rail group says it has money to build system, run it for a decade More private backing for light rail plan in Detroit http://michiganradio.org/post/more-private-backing-light-rail-plan-detroit <p>Back in December, it seemed a 3-mile light rail project in Detroit along Woodward Avenue was put on the scrap heap when U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood raised doubts that Detroit could pay the operating costs for the proposed line.</p><p>In discussions, Detroit Mayor Bing, Gov. Snyder, and LaHood <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/report-light-rail-plan-detroit-has-been-scrapped-favor-bus-system">opted for a rapid bus system</a> instead.</p><p>But as <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/extension-good-sign-detroit-light-rail-plans">Michigan Radio&#39;s Sarah Cwiek</a> has been reporting, private investors who were backing the light rail project pushed back on the bus idea.</p><p>Now the <a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20120423/NEWS01/120423048/Woodward-Avenue-light-rail-line-M-1-Rail-Group?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE">Detroit Free Press</a> reports the M-1 Rail Group says they&#39;ll put up the money to run the system for the first 10 years.</p><blockquote><p>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.</p></blockquote><p>After the first ten years, the group says they would donate the system &quot;to the appropriate agency, such as a regional transit authority that Gov. Rick Snyder and the Legislature are working to create for southeast Michigan...&quot; Mon, 23 Apr 2012 17:51:43 +0000 Mark Brush 7154 at http://michiganradio.org More private backing for light rail plan in Detroit Extension a good sign for Detroit light rail plans http://michiganradio.org/post/extension-good-sign-detroit-light-rail-plans <p>Transit advocates in Detroit are happy that a proposal for light rail along Woodward Avenue is still alive.</p><p>Federal, state, and city officials had nixed the plan late last year in favor of a Bus Rapid Transit system.</p><p>But after pushback from the line&rsquo;s private backers, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood gave them a deadline to put forth a &ldquo;feasible&rdquo; plan.</p><p>This week, LaHood extended that deadline about a month. He also <a href="http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120418/METRO05/204180402/1361/LaHood-delays-decision-on-M-1-light-rail-project-until-May">told The Detroit News</a> that he&#39;s &quot;still optimistic&quot; about the project.</p><p>Megan Owens, director of the transit advocacy group Transportation Riders United, says the current proposal is for a shortened line serving Detroit&rsquo;s downtown&mdash;but that&rsquo;s ok.</p><p>&ldquo;Light rail, or streetcars, can not only provide a great transit option for getting around the downtown-Midtown-New Center areas--but can also be a great way to boost re-development in those communities,&rdquo; Owens said.</p><p>The extension also gives state lawmakers time to move bills to form a regional transit authority in southeast Michigan.</p><p>Such an authority is a key condition for federal transit aid to Metro Detroit. Thu, 19 Apr 2012 22:39:56 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 7122 at http://michiganradio.org Extension a good sign for Detroit light rail plans Hope still alive for Detroit light rail project http://michiganradio.org/post/hope-still-alive-detroit-light-rail-project <p>There&rsquo;s a chance <a href="http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20120106/FREE/120109944/light-rail-8216-not-dead-m1-rail-gets-90-days-to-create-plan-to">light rail might still be a part of Detroit&rsquo;s transportation future</a>.</p><p>But backers of a proposed rail line on Woodward Avenue face a deadline to prove they have a viable plan.</p><p>In December, federal transportation officials, Governor Snyder and Detroit Mayor Dave Bing decided the M-1 light rail project should be scrapped.</p> Fri, 06 Jan 2012 23:42:04 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 5685 at http://michiganradio.org Hope still alive for Detroit light rail project Detroit seeks national advice on light rail http://michiganradio.org/post/detroit-seeks-national-advice-light-rail <pre> Detroit is trying to build a new light rail system. </pre> <pre> Transit officials from different U.S. cities who have done just that dispensed some advice at Wayne State University Monday. </pre> <pre> At one point, Detroit had one of the world&rsquo;s best light rail systems. Mon, 08 Aug 2011 21:23:16 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 3658 at http://michiganradio.org Detroit seeks national advice on light rail Bonds for Detroit light rail project approved by city council http://michiganradio.org/post/bonds-detroit-light-rail-project-approved-city-council <p>Detroit City Council has approved $125 million in bonds to help pay for a light rail system that will stretch from downtown Detroit to the New Center.</p><p>The total cost of the project is expected to be $528 million, according to <a href="http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20110411/STAFFBLOG03/110419989/local-cost-for-woodward-light-rail-project-211-million">Bill Shea at Detroit Crain&#39;s Business</a>.</p><p>Council also approved a $25 million TIGER grant from the federal government (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery).</p> Mon, 11 Apr 2011 20:07:43 +0000 Mark Brush 2023 at http://michiganradio.org Bonds for Detroit light rail project approved by city council Feds sink $25 million into Detroit light rail http://michiganradio.org/post/feds-sink-25-million-detroit-light-rail <p>Plans for a light rail line in Detroit got a boost with a $25 million grant from the federal government.</p><p>The money will help with the first phase of the project, which will connect Detroit’s downtown and <a href="http://www.newcenter.com/">New Center </a>areas. That 3.5 mile stretch could ultimately extend up Woodward Avenue to the city’s border at Eight Mile Road.</p><p>The project is backed by a powerful group of business leaders in the city – including <a href="https://www.quickenloans.com/about/press-room/management-profiles">Dan Gilbert</a>, <a href="http://www.compuware.com/about/management.asp#KARMANOS">Peter Karmanos</a>, and Roger Penske. They’ve helped pull together about $125 million in private funding. In an unusual arrangement, the federal government agreed to match those private dollars. Normally the city would have to put up the money, but Detroit is broke.</p><p>The project is expected to break ground this year. Thu, 20 Jan 2011 21:25:57 +0000 Sarah Hulett 954 at http://michiganradio.org Feds sink $25 million into Detroit light rail