Friday, March 13, 2009

Funds flow for Detroit’s M1-RAIL streetcar

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Detroit's Downtown Development Authority voted March 12 to contribute $9 million to help build M1-Rail, a proposed $120 million, 3.4-mile  streetcar route for Downtown Detroit that has incorporated details from two separate streetcar proposals.

More fiscal aid may come from the Kresge Foundation, which may donate $35 million to the project, according to Matt Cullen, M1-Rail CEO.

The project already has raised about $30 million in private contributions from other private contributors. But the funds from DDA and the foundation indicate that the effort has evolved into apubic/private partnership.

Combined, funding commitments so far would cover at least half of the overall construction cost. Cullen, addressing the DDA’s board of directors, said construction could start this year, with revenue operation commencing near the end of 2010. The initial segment would link Hart Plaza toNew Center.