Lawmakers grill MDOT over costly railcar leases

February 10, 2015

The Michigan Department of Transportation was harshly criticized by state lawmakers Tuesday over a Free Press report that showed the agency was spending $1.1 million a year to lease passenger railcars it can’t use.

Now, the department is considering options that include terminating the lease or trying to negotiate less expensive terms… Required environmental studies still aren’t completed, and in the case of the Ann Arbor-Detroit service, even the tracks won’t be ready for two more construction seasons… [although] Commuter rail service could dramatically reduce traffic congestion near Ann Arbor on U.S. 23, and if the proposed services go ahead, MDOT’s actions could be seen as “visionary and a wise decision,” [State Rep. David] Rutledge said…

read the rest of the story in the Detroit Free Press, February 10, 2015

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