Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Detroit People Mover Still Serves as “a Rich Folks’ Roller Coaster”

A poor city subsidizes 20 years of failure

. . . and the lessons Cincinnati can learn before it's too late!

From Michigan Capitol Confidential:
The Detroit People Mover, a light rail transportation system, celebrated its 20th birthday in July. More than a year before People Mover opened in 1987, Time magazine printed an unflattering preview of the coming attraction titled "Horizontal Elevator to Nowhere." Estimating the project to be a year late and 50 percent over budget, Time detailed numerous defects and problems, with the most notable mistake being the decision to build it at all. One Detroit resident was quoted as saying that it was "a rich folks’ roller coaster," and a Reagan administration transit chief predicted that it could become "the least cost-effective transit project in the last 20 years." The People Mover has repeatedly revisited these themes as if they were stations on its tiny circuit.
It looks like Cincinnati is on the verge of doing the right thing in canceling the Streetcar project. Let's hope we don't insist on repeating Detroit's Folly!

Read the entire article here.

1 comment:

  1. So...you use the least successful streetcar as an example and ignore all the successful streetcar projects across the country? And by successful, I mean they were well-used, loved, and have helped support businesses in their service areas. Public roads don't pay for themselves, so to expect public transportation to completely pay for itself too is a ridiculous double-standard.


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