A plan by billionaires Dan Gilbert and Roger Penske to construct a privately funded $103 million light rail loop on Woodward Avenue is being supported by Sen. Majority Leader Mike Bishop and House Speaker Andy Dillon. This could signal bipartisan support from the Legislature, eliminating a potential hurdle for a wider transportation network in metro Detroit.
During a pannel discussion on Mackinac Island today, the House and Senate leaders acknowledged publicly for the first time that Gilbert and Penske were involved in the project. Previously, details had been kept secret about the proposal, especially the identities of its backers.
The Woodward Transit Catalyst Project would be a street-level loop 3.4 miles long along Woodward that would run between Hart Plaza and Grand Boulevard. It would include about a dozen stops at high-traffic areas that include major businesses, theaters, ballparks, museums and hospitals. The line would potentially be the first stage of a larger, regional transit system.