U.S. Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin today announced 11 grants for Michigan transportation agencies to purchase buses, rehabilitate facilities and study new public transit options. The projects were selected by the U.S. Department of Transportation on a competitive basis.
"These grants will create jobs and provide Michiganians across the state with upgraded public transportation options," said Levin, D-Mich. "These funds will support environmentally friendly projects and are solid investments in future growth. These grants will allow transit agencies to improve the customer experience and reduce their environmental impact."
"Many families depend upon public transportation to shop and to get to class or to work," said Stabenow. "In these tough economic times and with gas prices taking more of a bite out of family budgets, these projects will go a long way in making transportation more affordable."
Details of the grants follow:
Recipient: Southeast Michigan Council of Governments
Project: Central Woodward Corridor Alternatives Analysis
Grant Amount: $2,000,000
Project Description: This project was selected on a competitive basis through the FY 2011 Alternatives Analysis Program. The study will include a possible 7.5-mile extension of the first phase of the planned Woodward Light Rail Transit, which will end just south of Eight Mile Road. The 7.5-mile Central Woodward corridor extends north from Eight Mile Road in Wayne County to Maple Road (Fifteen Mile Road) in downtown Birmingham, which is in southern Oakland County. This project will significantly enhance regional mobility and help to attract and retain businesses and the valued workforce. It will also significantly improve mobility between major medical facilities and universities in the region. The 7.5 mile study area is a major commercial and retail corridor that is also extensively utilized by commuters. Downtown Birmingham is a regional destination that contains offices, condominiums, upscale dining and retail, and entertainment destinations.
Recipient: City of Detroit Department of Transportation
Project: Transit Vehicle Replacement
Grant Amount: $6,000,000
Project Description: This project was selected on a competitive basis through the FY 2011 State of Good Repair Program. The City of Detroit Department of Transportation will replace vehicles in its fleet that have met their useful lives.
Recipient: Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation
Project: Modern Hybrid Biodiesel/Electric Fixed-Route Bus Replacement
City: Greater Detroit
Grant Amount: $4,995,000
Project Description: This project was selected on a competitive basis through the FY 2011 Bus Livability Program. The Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation will replace buses in its fleet that have met their useful lives with hybrid biodiesel/electric buses. These buses will modernize the bus fleet and contribute to healthier communities while improving mobility and ensuring an accessible, integrated, and efficient transportation system.
Recipient: Ann Arbor Transportation Authority
Project: Ann Arbor Connector
City: Ann Arbor
Grant Amount: $1,200,000
Project Description: This project was selected on a competitive basis through the FY 2011 Alternatives Analysis Program. The study will examine transit alternatives in the 8.5-mile crescent-shaped corridor extending from northeast Ann Arbor through the University of Michigan (UM) North and Central Campus, through the UM South Campus to Briarwood Mall near I-94. The study area incorporates two "Signature Transit Corridors" (the Northeast and the South) that were identified to focus new development and support a higher density of land use without generating the need for additional roadway improvements. The signature corridors are intended to improve access to major activity centers while complimenting Ann Arbor's goals to be a walkable and livable community. The study area also provides connectivity between the UM campuses, with downtown Ann Arbor, the traditional civic, economic, and cultural heart of the community, located just west of the Central Campus.