The future of mass transit in Detroit will be the topic of a meeting later today that brings U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to Michigan. City, state, and federal officials are hoping to get some financial support for a light rail project down Detroit’s main thoroughfare.
Governor Rick Snyder plans to be at the meeting. The governor says he’s anxious to hear what LaHood has to say about the project, called M-1. The rail project would eventually connect to suburban transit systems, just like transportation networks in cities such as Boston and Chicago.
“How Detroit does, and the comeback of Detroit is important for the comeback of Michigan,” Snyder says.
The governor says the rail project would better serve the people already living in the city, and make Detroit an attractive destination for entrepreneurs and young people starting careers.
“If you look at the major cities, cities that are very successful, mass transit is an important component both for the young people that want those communities, but for the people living in the city,” he says. “It’s a more-efficient means of getting around and for people who don’t have the resources, it can be their lifeline to a job or other services that are critically important.”
The success of the city’s comeback is critical to the governor’s long-term strategy to make Michigan the center of a North American trade region that stretches from Saint Louis to Montreal.