Feds reject M1 Rail's $25M grant application, funds down the road possible

The Detroit Free Press reports that U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has sent a letter to M1 Rail CEO Roger Penske informing him that the Feds will not provide a $25M TIGER grants for M1's Woodward street car project.

LaHood's letter details several significant open questions that, until resolved, prevent federal money going to the M1 project. Among the issues include the lack of a "credible plan" for both long and short-term operation costs, the lack of a capital reserve fund to cover cost overruns, the lack of an agreement between M1, the state, and local officials defining roles and responsibilities for what would be a public-private partnership, the lack of assurance that SEMCOG has the legal authority to perform function outlined in M1's business plan, and the lack of a regional transit authority to serve at the street car's operator.

However, LaHood's also promised that $25M in "alternative funds" could be available down the road if these issues are ever resolved. -- JTW

Read more:  Detroit Free Press

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