Public Transit News

They’re talking about transit here again. The Detroit Free Press and WDET’s Detroit Today show reported on Tuesday about a plan to build a light rail line from the State Fairgrounds to downtown. It’s a bit less ambitious plan than the previous incarnations, but analysts say that’s why it’s gone further. Maybe if they get that one built, and it gets enough use, the idea to expand it will be considered.

As good as it would be to have some part of a transit system somewhere in this car-bound area, what’s planned so far wouldn’t help the thousands of people who commute suburb-to-suburb. One of the main obstacles to that idea are the many “competing interests”, as cited in the Freep article. Maybe gasoline prices will make those competing interests reconsider their positions, though, I’m sure that prices will never go down below, well, $3/gallon, even.

For years now, I’ve been driving I-696 from Warren to Farmington Hills, wishing there was a light rail line down the middle of the freeway—y’know, similar to DC’s Metro. Boy, would that be nice. It might be an economic spur, too.

The Freep article mentioned is “Plan takes shape for travel by light-rail” (Detroit Free Press, April 22, 2008)


About songdogmi

I'm a longhaired almost-hippie stuck in the inner suburbs of a major rust-belt metropolis who's thoughtful, creative, and kind of geeky. In exchange for a paycheck I run around in a cubicle maze most days. When I escape, I play music, hang out in coffee houses, dink around on the computer, take naps, and think I should be off in the woods somewhere. Every once in a while I get in my car and drive far, far away, though I've always come back so far.
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2 Responses to Public Transit News

  1. ferndalealex says:

    A rail line from downtown Detroit to 8 Mile might prove that it’s viable here and provide a connection point between city & suburban transit systems. Hopefully the ever rising gas prices will make a regional transit system more economically viable…if Detroit will let go of some of the paranoia about the suburbs and join a truly regional system.

    • songdogmi says:

      I definitely support a truly regional system; it makes no economic sense to have the city-suburb separation we have here. My dream I-696 route would “interchange” with an extended Woodward routee, and a few other spur routes that have yet to be proposed.

      There is a major trust issue in southeastern Michigan that derails a lot of regional plans, transit and otherwise. I think it goes two ways, though: The suburbs have as much paranoia to lose as the city does about a regional system.

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