lightrail derailPosted: December 14, 2011
The cancellation of the federally-funded light rail through the Woodward Corridor is not the worst outcome of this project.
The federal funding that was to be spent on a lightrail system intended to connect Detroit to Ferndale will instead be funneled into a suburban bus system. In all likelihood, a suburban bus rail system will better serve Detroiters, namely because 60% of city residents with jobs work outside of the city center.
Lightrail should be more than a pipe dream, but as the Detroit bus system slows, as routes become increasingly erratic, maintaining transportation infrastructure for people to have access to what employment opportunities are available is more crucial than the possibility of garnering what some have termed a “$3 billion investment.” It is likely that investing in lightrail would garner lots more investment than the area currently enjoys; however, achieving higher employment generates higher tax revenues for Detroit, the lack of which is the reason the city lost the federal funding for the Woodward lightrail project in the first place.