(Detroit-WWJ) It’s been talked about and dreamed about for years; now, a light rail system for Detroit appears on the verge of reality.

City Council Monday voted to approve the sale of 125 million dollars in bonds to finance the first leg of a light rail system projected to eventually go from downtown north to Eight Mile Road.

A $25 million federal transit grant was approved. Private investors have pledged another 100 million dollars.

Work is expected to get underway next year on the first phase, a 3.4 mile link from downtown to the New Center. The entire 12-station line is projected to be up and running in 2015.

Plans call for eventually connecting with another section stretching from New Center to Eight Mile. The total cost of the project is estimated at about $530 million.

“Detroit is a world-class city, and we should not be without rapid transit,” said City Council President Charles Pugh. “This is exciting. It’s a big day for the city.”

(Copyright 2011 WWJ Newsradio 950. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press Contributed To This Story.)

Comments (3)
  1. Robert A. Ditzhazy says:

    If the light rail does not connect the suburbs to the city then it is useless. A rail line from the Ren-Cen to Dearborn would be useful. One leg should go from Wyandotte to down town Detroit and another out to the north. I should be able to get on a train in Wyandotte and go to a Pistons game at the Palace or a Tiger game or the Zoo. A train going from 8 mile to City Center is kind of useless, Like the people mover. I would ride the train through Detroit to go to work in Dearborn if it was possible. The system needs to be able to create revenue. Who would drive to 8 mile and park the car to get on a train?

  2. Joel Duneske says:

    Well said Robert. Hopefully this Woodward line is just the spine for additional lines that branch out in all directions to the suburbs.

  3. David Gifford says:

    I have the perfect solution to connect the suburbs to Detroit’s proposed light rail. Take Amtrak out of Detroit and on the same tracks, start running electric metro trains like the ones in Washington DC. It would start in Pontiac and make stops at Birmingham, Royal Oak, Ferndale, Hamtramck, Russel Industrial, New Center, Dearborn, Metro Airport and end at the new Amtrak station they are building in Ann Arbor. This plan would provide much faster service than a light rail and would compliment the first stretch of light rail out of down town. New Center would be the hub, not a huge parking lot. This would also bring hundreds of people to the dying city of Pontiac, a city that has plenty of parking to support the riders from the northern parts of Metro Detroit.