Detroit Transit System

Its no secret that the city of Detroit was in a recession before the recession. It struggling education system and public transit are just a few of its major downfalls. Many major cities have well developed train systems and subways that connect the city to the suburbs, but Detroit has nothing to compare. A new public transit system that connected the suburbs to Downtown would make a dramatic economic effect on the City.


As a student at the University of Michigan I rarely travel to downtown Detroit for several reasons. The only reason I would go downtown is for a sporting event and to be honest no one wants to be the designated driver. This might seem like a childish and absurd reason, but I would bet that is the reasoning for a lot of people in Michigan. A new mass transit system would drive a lot more business and money into Detroit. Detroit is at a critical moment and Ford is stepping up to build the foundation. “The new commuter rail line linking downtown Detroit to Midtown won’t be done until late 2016, but Ford is already focusing on what’s next” (Mlive). What will be the economic effects of this newly developed system?



First, it will have effects on highway congestions. According to the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) “As indicated in the Highway and Bridge Technical Report, 38 percent of state‐trunkline vehicle miles of travel (VMT) were at or approaching congested in 2004.   By 2030, this percentage is forecasted to increase to 55 percent of total VMT”. This analyst shows that by 2030 our highways will be completely congested and the investment in the new public transit could dramatically reduce congestion. Secondly, the new transit system will reduce costs and increase their revenue for residents and small businesses. “In addition, the IAV package will generate more than 43,000 permanent full‐time equivalent jobs by 2030.   This translates into $1.64 in economic benefits for Michigan residents for every one dollar invested in transportation.9  In comparison, the Business as Usual program gives rise to nearly $50 billion in economic impacts and nearly 30,000 permanent full‐time equivalent jobs.” (MDOT). This kind of impact would help build a strong foundation for the city of Detroit.


This new transit system seems like a no brainer for Detroit. The Government is implementing an increase in the sales tax from 6% to 7% to help rebuild our roads, but they should be using that money to build a new transit system. It would reduce congestion and giving construction crews a better chance at building better highways. This plan would be amazing for Detroit residents and would rebuild Detroit to its glory days.


One thought on “Detroit Transit System

  1. Nate McCrumb

    The transit system can be a very powerful tool. Just in regards to parking, it is much easier to pay a few bucks and take the train downtown than it would be to pay 20 dollars to park. I also like your point at the end: raise to tax to invest in transit. Transit has a much lower maintenance cost than fixing a road every 5 years. I think one of the first ones they actually should start building would be the train connecting ann arbor to Detroit. This would greatly cut down on the traffic into the city each morning and make it much easier and safer for individuals to travel to games.

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