IMG_20130505_142244As the 7 day Jericho Journey moves through its fourth day, suddenly there is a wealth of information about the M1 StreetCar in the news. None of it explains what benefit most Detroiters can expect from a project that disrupts life for the tens of thousands in SE Michigan who drive or ride down Woodward every day.

We have been given a lot of “impressions” that do not seem to mesh with the Crains report.

For instance the impression that the Streetcar, which has sucked up 25 million in public funds is Public Transit. For what Public? According to Crain’s:

  • M1 Rail is a nonprofit using a blend of public and private funding to finance the rail line on 3.3 miles of Woodward Avenue. Unless I am not understanding something, this means the Streetcar is not expected to make money. So who is going to pay its operating cost? At a guess the same dupes whose 25 million tax dollars went from being designated for a Public Light Rail System, fostering employment and commerce, to being added to a Privately owned Non-Profit fostered by a group of avaricious developers. Rather than creating any long-term jobs with living wages, it will line the pockets of those who need neither transportation nor any more money. ┬áThe cash-challenged folk who live in Mid-Town now are being pushed out. The folks doing the pushing are already served by buses and shuttles, can afford cars and do not need Public or any other transit to support their comfortable lives.

Or the conception that this 3.3 mile long project is a “stage” in the light rail system-even though that system was deemed prohibitively expensive 2 years ago. After hearings and studies ad nauseum, it seems to have been determined that a BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) system was the most feasible and cost-effective Rapid Transit System for SE Michigan. How does Street Car moving at 11 miles an hour, and NOT under the administration of a Regional Transit Authority serve as a link to a BRT?

Wouldn’t you think that tearing up Woodward Avenue and putting rails on two curbside lanes from Downtown to the New Center would actually impede a BRT’s connecting Downtown Detroit to Pontiac? Am I missing something, like by the time this train gets connected to Rapid Transit, it will be by those flying cars the Jetsons drive?

I’m just sayin’…..