Mayor Bing has tossed away a $3 billion economic development opportunity

Detroit Transit Update
As the Free Press reported,
the Woodward Light Rail project has been canceled.
"U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood told Detroit Mayor Dave Bing that doubts Detroit could pay operating costs over the long term for the Woodward Light Rail line because of it and the state's financial problems swayed him against the plan."

If it had been built, Woodward Light Rail could have brought in $2-3 billion in new economic development which could have produced $30-50 million a year in tax revenue.

But because Detroit couldn't figure out how to fund the $10 million a year in operating costs, the project is dead.
 
Mayor Bing has tossed away a $3 billion economic development opportunity that could have been the centerpiece of Detroit's revitalization. 
 
This is an outrage!  
 
It is worth noting that the rapid bus project that has been proposed is a good step and something that our region very much needs.  Providing frequent reliable bus service along several major regional corridors will help many riders get where they need to go.

However, while rapid bus is a great transportation tool, it has not been shown to provide even a fraction of the economic development and urban revitalization that light rail provides.  Buses cannot serve as many people as quickly as light rail can (especially on a corridor as busy as Woodward) and costs more on a per-passenger-mile basis than light rail does (once built).   

TRU will actively watchdog the rapid bus proposal to ensure it provides the greatest benefit to the region as possible.  As details emerge, we hope to be able to actively support and promote it.
While I am greatly saddened by the enormous opportunity lost this day, Detroit area transit can and must improve and TRU will continue to actively fight to make it happen.

I hope you'll stand with us as the fight continues.

 
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Thanks,

      Megan Owens, Director
    Transportation Riders United