Looks like 35 more years of driving to work (and everywhere else) for Detroiters. Last night the Freep informed us that plans for light rail died. U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood's concern that the city could not pay operating costs for a line from downtown to Eight Mile is what did it in. The announcement comes the same day that Mayor Bing's spokesman Dan Lijana resigned. (Nice timing. We would not want to take calls this week either.) It's hard to count all the ways in which this is massively disappointing but let's give it a shot.
1. The last time Detroit had a decent chance at new rail transit was the 70s. So it would seem we don't get to try again for 40 years.
2. There is a lot of work going to waste on this failed plan not to mention big bucks. Around $100 million was pledged in private and philanthropic investment.
3. In lieu of operating like a real big city, Detroit is going to go with rapid-transit buses that run from downtown to the suburbs.
4. We thought this was a done deal already! They had Kresge money and Dan Gilbert. How else does anything get done around here?
We could go on and on, but it is your turn. Eulogize your gas money in the comments.
· Detroit light-rail line plan scrapped for city, suburban buses[Freep]
· Light-rail line canceled in favor of cheaper bus plan [Crain's]