Author Topic: Bankrupt Detroit Breaks Ground on New 3.3-Mile Streetcar Line  (Read 178 times)

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Online rangerrebew

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Bankrupt Detroit Breaks Ground on New 3.3-Mile Streetcar Line
« on: August 19, 2014, 10:16:35 AM »
Bankrupt Detroit Breaks Ground on New 3.3-Mile Streetcar Line



August 15, 2014 - 3:16 PM

(CNSNews.com) – On July 27, the City of Detroit broke ground on M-1 Rail, a 3.3-mile streetcar line that will run down Woodward Avenue from the Central Business District to New Center.

Despite the fact that the city filed for the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history, is $18 billion in debt, and nearly half of its 138 square miles have been abandoned, city leaders hope the new transit project will spur $3 billion in economic development to help revive their dying city.

In April, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) green-lighted the $140 million transit project.

Last year, Transportation Sec. Ray LaHood announced that Detroit would be getting $25 million in federal funds for M-1 Rail. The rest of the construction costs will be raised from private donors.

An earlier plan to build a 9.3-mile light rail line called for the federal government to pay three-quarters of the $528 million cost. But that project was cancelled after DOT balked due to concerns that the city would not be able afford to subsidize the project’s operating costs.

“The city is betting on the streetcar generating a new kind of economic development that will catalyze around this new infrastructure investment. They bought into the rhetoric surrounding these kinds of investments, but most of them have not been backed up by good solid numbers,” Dr. Samuel Staley, managing director of the DeVoe L. Moore Center at Florida State University and research fellow at the Reason Foundation, told CNSNews.com.

“Most of these projects are based on future estimates that are rarely validated by studies done post-investment,” Staley said, adding that he is highly skeptical that Detroit’s new streetcar will “create the development it’s promising.”

Although he personally likes to ride streetcars, Staley says,“from an economic perspective, they don’t make sense.”

”You need certain fundamentals for a light rail project to be successful, and none of those exist along the Woodward corridor,” he told CNSNews.com. ”I just don’t see that part of the corridor having the density to make it work, or the City of Detroit having the economic activity in place to leverage such an infrastructure investment,” he added.

“That’s decades away from happening,” Staley pointed out. “The idea that people would move into a bankrupt city with out-of-control spending and the worst public schools in the nation because of a streetcar really strains any concept of credibility.”

The light rail line will connect with Detroit’s People Mover, which runs in a 2.9-mile loop around the downtown section of the city.


People Mover
Detroit's People Mover. (AP photo)


The People Mover, which opened in 1987, was designed to carry up to 15 million riders per year, but attracted only 2.2 million passengers last year, according to data from the American Public Transportation Association.

The line has to be heavily subsidized by Detroit taxpayers because the 75-cent fare only covers 11 percent of the operating costs per passenger mile.

Staley says that the MI-Rail project is likely to share a similar fate.

“Economic development creates the foundation for rail success,” he pointed out. “Rail doesn’t create the foundation for economic success.

"As I’ve said before, transit doesn’t build cities. Cities build transit networks.”

http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/barbara-hollingsworth/bankrupt-detroit-breaks-ground-new-33-mile-streetcar-line
« Last Edit: August 19, 2014, 10:17:16 AM by rangerrebew »
America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves. Abraham Lincoln

Offline GourmetDan

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Re: Bankrupt Detroit Breaks Ground on New 3.3-Mile Streetcar Line
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2014, 03:16:35 PM »

“That’s decades away from happening,” Staley pointed out. “The idea that people would move into a bankrupt city with out-of-control spending and the worst public schools in the nation because of a streetcar really strains any concept of credibility.”


Well, it makes sense to Democrats... who never let "any concept of credibility" get in the way of a bad idea...


"The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left." - Ecclesiastes 10:2

"April Fools Day is the one day of the year that people critically evaluate news articles before accepting them as true." - Unknown

Online Fishrrman

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Re: Bankrupt Detroit Breaks Ground on New 3.3-Mile Streetcar Line
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2014, 09:13:56 PM »
Quote:
"As I’ve said before, transit doesn’t build cities. Cities build transit networks.”

This shows an absolute lack of historical knowledge.

Going back to the days of the horsecar, a new horsecar route to an undeveloped portion of a growing city (in the mid-nineteenth century the cities were smaller, of course) resulted in economic development along the line.

After the trolley was perfected (by Frank Sprague in 1888 in Richmond), a new line built past the edges of a city guaranteed growth and prosperity along such lines.

Most American cities as they existed up until the close of World War II were "built by" growth that was enabled by public transit lines -- first the horsecar, then cable cars in some cities, and finally by the trolley...

Online rangerrebew

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Re: Bankrupt Detroit Breaks Ground on New 3.3-Mile Streetcar Line
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2014, 09:31:34 AM »
Detroit had trolleys when I was quite young, some 60 years ago, but people didn't take their lives in their hands by going south of 8 Mile Ave.  The DA in Detroit, Kim Worthy, the woman who put the Kwamster in prison, has had her car radio stolen three time, Jesse Jackson had the tires on his SUV swiped, etc.  Times have changed since the trolleys.
America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves. Abraham Lincoln


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