"I firmly believe that the use of high speed light-rail needs to be looked at in depth before scrapping it," said Conyers. "High speed rail should be our first option for major transit, if at all possible. Even though the option of rapid bus transit is a practical first step in providing transit options for the Detroit Region, it is not the ultimate solution. If, after careful examination, rapid bus transit is the only option that can move forward, the completion of the 3.2 mile portion of the light-rail proposal connecting downtown and New Center must be a part of the overall plan.
"I believe the Mayor and the Governor should reexamine the financing options for the Woodward Corridor project to see whether it is feasible to construct some or all of the rail line. It would be premature to scrap the light-rail project completely in favor of a bus rapid transit system without such an analysis.
"As currently proposed, this project would be funded by a combination of private and public funds, including a $100 million dollar private sector investment. It would bring $3 billion in new economic development to the region and would permanently improve the city's financial situation by providing an estimated $30 to $50 million a year in new tax revenue. Construction of the Woodward Line would also play an important step in finally connecting our region together via one comprehensive mass transit system.
"Over the past few years, I have worked with other federal, state, and local officials to finally provide the people of Detroit and its surrounding communities with better options when it comes to having access to affordable, reliable mass transportation. We must ensure that this effort continues to move forward."