M-1 Rail Public Private Partnership: Success in the Context of the Historic Failures of Transit Initiatives in Metro Detroit

A modern street car project has been on the works in Detroit Michigan since 2007 and is possibly the largest contemporary private investment in public transit in the United States. The proposed line goes along 3.4 miles of Michigan State Highway 1, which is Woodward Avenue, and will connect downtown with the New Center area. Construction is scheduled to be completed in 2015. The local match for the capital expense is provided primarily from private individuals and foundations. As the project has been privately planned and financed, unique issues emerged related to the development of the concept, and the interaction with existing transit planners and providers, and the public. The lessons for transit planning are much different than for traditionally planned transit projects. It is an example of how public-private partnerships can succeed in historically formidable circumstances. The involvement of business leaders proved to be an important change in the political dynamic. Their venture which appears philanthropic also improves the economic climate for their businesses. The M-1 plan will have the business leaders operate a public transit system in public right-of-way until a regional authority possibly takes it over.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This paper was sponsored by TRB committee AP025 Public Transportation Planning and Development.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Transportation Research Board

    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Authors:
    • Hoback, Alan
    • Hanifin, Leo
    • Anderson, Scott
    • Bernasconi, Claudia
    • Douglas, Scott
  • Conference:
  • Date: 2014


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 13p
  • Monograph Title: TRB 93rd Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01516560
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 14-1132
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Jan 27 2014 2:26PM