M-1 Rail Project to get $25 million in federal support

Jan 18, 2013

Update 11:36 a.m.

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 (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery).

The money will help support the construction of the $137 million streetcar project.

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.

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.

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."

β€œThe 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.

9:20 a.m.

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.

David Shepardson of the Detroit News reports the M-1 rail money was expected, but federal money for "a system of rapid buses will receive less than initially forecast."

LaHood β€” who will make the formal announcement at 9:30 a.m. Friday at Wayne State University with Gov. Rick Snyder and Mayor Dave Bing β€” told congressional offices Friday morning the news.

The funds will support construction of a planned 3.3-mile streetcar line that will cost $137 million.

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.

M-1 supporters say construction of the rail project could begin this year.

Michigan Radio's Sarah Cwiek is covering the press conference.

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