Walter P Reuther Transportation Library

Movement on Detroit's Woodward light rail system to be discussed in open house event

Editor's note: This story has been republished with permission from MLive.com. To read the original piece, click here.

DETROIT — An event to discuss the status of plans to build a streetcar system along Woodward Avenue is being planned by state, federal and local authorities.

The state Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration, and the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments will host the open house Tuesday, Aug. 21, 3 p.m.-7 p.m. at Michigan State University's Detroit Center, 3408 Woodward Ave.

Supporters of the Woodward Avenue Light Rail Transit Project initially planned a 9.3-mile system stretching from Downtown Detroit to 8 Mile Road, but backers later decided on a shorter version.

The group of private investors and philanthropic groups behind the effort now hopes to build 3.3-mile streetcar line between Downtown and the New Center area, according to a SEMCOG news release.

The event later this month is meant to "provide information on an environmental assessment that will analyze potential impacts of the project," according to SEMCOG.

The private investors, lead by M-1 CEO Matt Cullen, Roger Penske and Dan Gilbert, plan to proceed with the project despite setbacks in efforts to secure federal funding.

The group said in June that it had raised close to $90 million in private and philanthropic contributions for construction of the $137-million rail system.

The proposed streetcar line would run along Woodward Avenue from Congress Street to the New Center, making 11 stops along the way. Organizers have said a one-way trip would take between 15 and 16 minutes.

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