Legislation defines light rail vision

From The Michigan Citizen

DETROIT — Detroit is closer to a light rail line on Woodward Avenue. A federal spending bill, allowing $125 million in matching funds for the project has spurred state legislators to start work on a regional transportation authority to oversee any future mass transit expansion.

Until earlier this year, the Woodward Light Rail plan was being developed by two separate groups. Corporate business leaders Roger Penske, Dan Karmanos, Dan Gilbert and Mike Illitch formed the core of a group, known as M1 Rail, which had raised over $120 million to fund a rail line which would run between Jefferson and Grand Boulevard. Concurrently, the Detroit Department of Transportation was developing a $371 million plan to extend the rail line to the Michigan State Fairgrounds.

In May, the two groups, bolstered by the potential of receiving federal matching funds, agreed to begin coordinating their efforts.