DETROIT -- The city has identified five corridors for a rapid transit system that would tie downtown and some neighborhoods to a proposed commuter rail line to Ann Arbor, city officials announced Thursday.
The next step is winnowing the corridors -- Woodward, Michigan, Gratiot, Grand River and Eight Mile -- to one and selecting a system. Options include light rail, streetcars, express buses with dedicated lanes and an extension of the downtown People Mover.
The Detroit Department of Transportation will hold open houses next week to gather public input.
The process is part of a $3 million, federally funded study that aims to convince Bush administration officials to pony up potentially tens of millions of dollars for a transit system.
It won't be easy. Metro Detroit has failed for 50 years to develop effective public transportation and federal transit funding is fiercely competitive and requires a significant match from the city and state.
No local or state dollars have been committed to the project, officials said.
"It's a hard row to hoe if there's not a lot of commitment all the way down the line," said Dale Marsico, executive director of the Community Transportation Association, Washington, D.C.
Tim Roseboom, a DDOT transit planner, said rapid bus service likely would be the cheapest alternative while extending the People Mover would be the most expensive. No price tag has been attached to the project.
If funding is found, construction could start as early as 2010, said Norman White, DDOT's director.
You can reach Andy Henion at (313) 222-2610 or firstname.lastname@example.org.