Michigan Lawmakers Applaud Investment in Detroit’s M-1 RAIL

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

U.S. Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin and Congressmen Gary Peters, John Conyers, Jr., John D. Dingell, and Sander Levin, announced today that M-1 RAIL will receive $12.2 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). M-1 RAIL is a public-private partnership to build a 3.3-mile streetcar line that will run along the Woodward corridor from downtown to the New Center area of Detroit, boosting economic development in Southeast Michigan and creating thousands of jobs.

"Today's announcement is great news and an important economic boost for Detroit and Southeast Michigan," said Stabenow. "This project will help attract new businesses and investments in the region and create thousands of new jobs. Today's news is another vote of confidence in the amazing public-private partnerships that are moving Detroit forward."

"It's an exciting time to be a Detroiter," Sen. Levin said. "Today's grant announcement is the final piece of the puzzle for the M-1 project, which represents years of work by the Detroit community. The M-1 project will produce even more development along the Woodward Corridor in the coming years."

"Investing in transit like the M-1 RAIL project is critical to creating good jobs and driving new economic development opportunities for communities across Southeast Michigan," said Peters. "Experts estimate that every $1 we invest in transportation and infrastructure has a $4 return on the investment. This is a positive step toward building a strong future for Greater Detroit."

"M1 RAIL is a win-win-win for commuters, businesses, and taxpayers," said Conyers. "Today's announcement will fast-track this essential job-creating project."

"This much-needed funding is not only an investment in creating good jobs today, it's an investment in an infrastructure system that will show benefits well into the foreseeable future," said Dingell. "A public transportation system like this is a positive step forward for the city of Detroit and throughout our surrounding areas. I'm proud we were able to work together at all levels of government, and with private industry, to show the importance of this effort and the support of our community behind it. This is wonderful news for Southeast Michigan."

"This is an important step in moving forward with rail along the Woodward Avenue corridor," said Rep. Levin. "The federal government has been and must continue to be a full partner in this effort."

Southeast Michigan's Congressional Delegation helped secure this and other federal funding for M-1 RAIL by working closely with high-ranking government officials, business and community leaders, philanthropic partners, Wayne State University and others on the project.

This new funding will allow the transit project to be finalized by the end of 2016 and comes through the U.S. DOT's TIGER discretionary grant program, which invests in local transportation projects designed to strengthen the economy, increase commerce, and achieve critical national policy objectives. Construction of the M-1 RAIL began in June and will include 11 stations providing links among key destinations along Woodward Avenue. It will also provide an energy efficient transportation alternative and reduce traffic congestion and parking demand along the corridor. A one-way trip will take approximately 15 minutes depending on the time of day.