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Detroit Businessman Pushes For ‘Shorter’ Light Rail

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DETROIT (WWJ) - A day after plans were scrapped for a new light rail system that would run along Woodward in Detroit, a prominent local businessman is saying “Not so fast.”

Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert — who has brought several thousand jobs to downtown Detroit — sits on the M-1 Committee that has been pushing for the project.  He said there is still enough cash to build a portion of the planned rail system downtown.

“The vast majority of the cost of the original plan, the 3.4 mile plan that plans on running from the river to Grand Boulevard and back, has already been committed to by foundations, the Kresge Foundation, Hudson Weber and along with several of us business folks and hospitals and universities along the route,” said Gilbert.

Gilbert said he doesn’t think the rail system is “make or break” for Detroit, but thinks it’s an important building block of any world-class city.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s announced Wednesday a potential reversal of its decision to fund a light-rail line along the Woodward Avenue corridor in favor of a rapid-transit bus system.

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