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    The U.S. government has awarded $161 million to Michigan for use to improve its high speed rail route. This money would be used to create and upgrade rail stations, purchase track, better bridges and signal systems, and rework congestion points.

    These improvements will allow trains traveling the over 200 miles from Detroit to Chicago to hit 110 m.p.h., shaving off 90 minutes of the existing travel time to make the trip less than four hours.

    .

    It is estimated by the Michigan Department of Transportation that these upgrades could be completed in less than 24 months. The development and later maintenance of these rails and stations would create thousands of jobs. Before Michigan can begin reaping the benefits, however, the state must first prove its commitment to the project.

    This initiative calls for the state to spend money now. Michigan must provide $30 million of its own funding in order to receive the federal grant. Although the fact that Michigan is already strapped for cash has many wondering if this undertaking is worthwhile, citizens must think of the spending of this money on high speed rails as an investment in the state's future. When completed, this transit improvement will not only provide residents with convenient and affordable travel, it will reduce air pollution and oil dependence, contribute to economic development and provide connections between Michigan's communities.

    Governor-elect Rick Snyder has called for the revitalization of Michigan's cities, asserting that the state's economic future depends on it. His website states, "For Michigan to be a world leader again, the state's central cities need to be revitalized into vibrant places where families want to visit, work, and live." Improving rail transit is essential to making this happen. Providing residents with quick, clean, convenient, and affordable transportation is what will make Michigan's cities the places to be.

     

     

    Sources:

    http://www.governorelectricksnyder.com/vision-plan/policy-central/central-cities

    http://www.freep.com/article/20101201/OPINION05/101130057/1336/OPINION/High-speed-rail-in-Michigan-could-become-a-reality-if-state-Senate-acts-

    http://www.environmentalcouncil.org/newsroom/pressRelease.php?x=54

    http://earthandindustry.com/2010/11/8-recent-events-to-stir-optimism-or-concern-for-high-speed-rail/

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