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DPW, MDOT to hold public hearing on M-1 Rail

DETROIT — The city of Detroit Department of Public Works and the Michigan Department of Transportation will host a public hearing Jan. 22 about their respective operating license agreements for the M-1 RAIL Streetcar System. The meeting will be held from 5-7 p.m. at the Detroit Public Library Main Branch, 5201 Woodward Avenue in Detroit.

The Operating License Agreements include the licenses and general terms and conditions for the M-1 RAIL Streetcar System to operate on the public roadway. Public comments will follow the formal presentations.

Currently, both the license agreements are available for review online at and in a variety of locations including the main branch of the Detroit Public Library and DPL branch locations at: 3666 Grand River Ave., 121 Gratiot Ave., 1766 Oakman Blvd., 1221 E. Seven Mile Rd., 2507 W. Grand Blvd., and 7117 W. Seven Mile Rd.

The public can also read the agreements at MDOT Detroit Transportation Service Center (1060 W. Fort Street), DPW (2 Woodward Avenue, Suite 802), Southeast Michigan Council of Governments offices (1001 Woodward Ave., Ste. 1400) and the city of Highland Park offices (12050 Woodward Ave.)

M1-RAIL is the organization formed to create a streetcar system along Detroit’s Woodward Avenue, running from Larned Street, downtown, to W. Grand Boulevard in New Center. Included in the license agreement are the proposed locations of the streetcar stations.

In October, the North End Woodward Community Coalition led a week of protest against the rail system, which they claimed would not only fail to serve the needs of many North End community but would potentially hamper existing bus services there. At least one of the NEWCC’s issues has been addressed in the new license agreements. According to M-1RAIL’s plans, there will be a place to board the streetcar system just north of W. Grand Blvd. Previously, NEWCC members believed the northernmost streetcar stop would be at the Amtrak station, many blocks south of the boulevard.

In December, M-1 RAIL contractors began work along Woodward, performing the utility relocation necessary to install the streetcar system later this year. M-1 RAIL representatives say so far the work has not caused any major inconveniences for traffic or business around the work sites and should continue to proceed that way. Work was suspended briefly this week to ensure workers were safe from inclement weather. Representatives say all questions about utility relocation activities can be directed to the M-1 RAIL hotline: 1.800.511.3931 or by sending an e-mail to

To learn more about the system or view the license agreement in advance of the public hearing visit 

— Staff report


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