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Rip Rapson speech details lessons learned from Detroit’s M-1 Light Rail success

General Foundation News

Rail~Volution address details principles for integrating transit in American communities

Kresge CEO Rip Rapson discussed the challenges and opportunities facing municipal transit in a recent address at the Rail-Volution conference in Minneapolis.

Speaking to a crowd of urban planners, transit and economic development professionals, city and other officials in September, Rapson recounted what he called “the city of Detroit’s grand adventure in creating a light-rail system, describing:

  • Why light rail was important to the city
  • How the foundation and its partners got the project started
  • The obstacles encountered
  • And the status today.

After hurdling political detours and delays, which increased the cost to $175 million and generated public skepticism, Detroit’s M-1 Rail broke ground last month, he reported. Operations should begin in 2016.

Rapson went on the enumerate six principles “that speak to the kind of transit our country will need in order to accommodate our changing demographics, growing economic uncertainties and shifting forms of urbanization.”

Read Rapson’s speech