Detroit Free Press: Michigan DOT pays $1.1 million a year for rail cars it can’t use

February 1, 2015

Sunday, February 1, 2015, the Detroit Free Press:

OWOSSO – The State of Michigan is paying $1.1 million a year to lease 23 passenger rail cars it can’t use – and likely won’t use for at least another two years – as the taxpayer tab for the troubled project approaches $12 million and counting.

The 1950s and ’60s-era double-decker cars are sitting in a rail yard in Owosso, where they are expected to remain for the indefinite future.

The Michigan Department of Transportation started leasing the cars in 2010 for two commuter rail passenger services proposed between Detroit and Ann Arbor, and Howell and Ann Arbor.

But, nearly five years later, none of the cars has logged a single commuter passenger mile. There still is no funding and no operator for either proposed commuter service, required environmental studies are not complete, and in the case of the Detroit-Ann Abror service, even the tracks won’t be ready for another two years.

Read the full story at the Detroit Free Press.

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