Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Opening of unneeded Detroit light rail line pushed back to 2017

Rails for the M-1
As I wrote on Sunday, central Detroit already has a train line the few people use, the People Mover.

Now the recently-bankrupt city is building another train line, a light rail system, also centered around downtown Detroit and nowhere else.

The opening of the expensive but redundant streetcar system has been delayed.

From the Detroit Free Press:
A year after construction began on the M-1 Rail transit line, officials say passenger service should begin in spring 2017 rather than late 2016 as initially predicted with more time needed to work through updated federal safety regulations.

Known as MAP-21, for the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act signed into law in 2012, the new regulations will find one of their first tests in the certification process of M-1.

"MAP-21 is now just being implemented throughout the whole transit area," Paul Childs, chief operating officer for M-1 Rail, said this week. "It's going to be a learning experience. We think we have a sense of it, but it's new and it's the government."

Weather and the timetable for delivery of M-1's streetcars have also added extra time to the schedule. The first two cars are scheduled to be delivered to Detroit in late 2016 and four more by spring 2017. The service needs at least four to start passenger service.
Four cars or six? It appears the M-1 will also be little used. Surprised? You shouldn't be.

Related post:

Detroit is building another train line to nowhere


Ron said...

When I lived in the "evil suburbs" of Detroit in the 70's and 80's the people mover was supposed to revive the center of Detroit. The joke in the media was that its a train that goes to places other than where they wanted to go.

John Ruberry said...

Good point.