Friday, October 3, 2008

Street Railway Resurrection

Michigan lawmakers are looking at a bill that would allow street railway companies to form in the state and use recently passed tax increment financing laws and other mechanisms to fund new lines. I don't imagine the line is completely private, but its an interesting step away from the public transit agency model. It seems similar to Portland Streetcar Inc, but I haven't looked deep enough yet to see the similarities. There are some interesting provisions though:
As envisioned in one set of bill drafts, for which state Rep. Bert Johnson, D-Detroit, is the lead sponsor, the street railway company could build, own and operate the system. The company could acquire property, including through gift, purchase or condemnation, and could borrow money and issue bonds.
It's a fascinating idea and the point is to have it replicated all over the state, from Grand Rapids, to Ann Arbor, to Detroit.
Allen also said a goal is “to come up with a replicable plan, which means that we can work it in Detroit, or Grand Rapids. We’re open to input from anyone. If this tool can work in a variety of communities in the state, that is one of our objectives.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What makes this strange is that it is taking place in Detroit. The with HQ's of the companies that bank rolled the original destruction of the worlds rail systems.