Trying Time for Transit, But Still Trying

Echoing Detroit's inability to agree on a public transportation plan that cost the city $600 million in federal funding in 1976, Milwaukee appears poised to forfeit the last of a $289 million federal grant for mass transit.

"It's a fitting conclusion to what has been a fiasco and just a comical story about how a community can waste and squander a shrinking pool of federal money that is now in increasing danger of being lost altogether," Alderman Bob Bauman told the Journal Sentinel.

Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory says a proposed $182 million streetcar system will key new economic development in his city.

But local leaders continue to bicker about where exactly the route will run.

"We're nowhere near construction," City Manager Milton Dahoney told the News Record.

Indianapolis, IN, like Grand Rapids, MI, is just starting to think about streetcars, and how to pay for them.

“A downtown transit system getting people around can induce development,” Real Estate Executive Michael Wells told the local Business Journal.

Bringing this post full circle, Detroit is again gearing up to petition the feds for mass transit money. This time to build a publicly funded $371 million light rail line on Woodward Avenue.

Strangely, nobody in the Motor City wants to talk about a separate private sector proposal to build a $103 million downtown circulator.

"[The mayor] is aware that there is a group of private individuals who have been in conversations about and working on a mass-transportation project," Press Secretary James Canning told Crain's Detroit. "[He] wants them to be able to continue that process below radar."