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Detroit light rail in question

John Smaltak
Federal officials and Detroit civic leaders want to reassure people that a light rail project is still going forward.
Those reassurances come after a week of press reports and swirling rumors that some of the project’s private backers may be pulling out.
A group of private investors had pledged $100 million to finance the Woodward Avenue rail line. That money is crucial for the city to get federal matching grants.
Kresge Foundation President Rip Rapson stoked some of the controversy with comments that Kresge might consider pulling its money. 
Rapson now says those comments were misinterpreted.
“We are completely committed to making this work. We’re all now negotiating through the details of how to get it done. Not whether it should be done, not whether it can be done, but how it will get done.”

Rapson acknowledges disagreements between the city and private backers.
He says private investors are most concerned about how to create a regional authority to govern the transit system.


Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Public in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.