M-1 RAIL Project $25 Million Grant on Hold

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DETROIT — After discussing with the Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood, the organizers of the M-1 RAIL project Tuesday will not receive the $25 million in grant funds until some remaining questions are answered. 

In an open letter, the organizers of M-1, which include Roger Penske, chairman; Dan Gilbert, vice chairman; Matt Cullen, president and CEO; and Rip Rapson, president & CEO of the Kresge Foundation, say they have a clear path forward to move on the project. 

The organizers said they are confident that those questions will be answered, and welcome the opportunity to work with the governor, mayor and U.S. Department of Transportation to provide assurance that the project will be successful and sustainable.

The organizers said they are encouraged LaHood anticipates they will use the next 60 days to resolve these questions; in anticipation of their success that the U.S. DOT is initiating the necessary federal environmental work for the project to move into construction.

The upcoming 60-day period is an opportunity to refine and continue to bring to close these issues, said the organizers.

LaHood has said he is committed to getting to “yes” on this project.

The organizers said the reserved funds and commencement of the FTA’s environmental work, combined with the $100 million invested by corporate and philanthropic donors, shows the commitment to getting this project done and building a better future for Detroit.

They continued saying, M-1 RAIL will be the catalyst to enhance the revitalization of the city, strengthen the core of our entire region, spur the advancement of a strong regional transit system in Southeast Michigan, and bring economic investment and growth.                                                                   

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