Project Description

M-1 Rail

Construction of a fixed rail streetcar in downtown Detroit provides a foundation for economic development, growth and prosperity throughout the adjacent neighborhoods.


The M-1 RAIL (the “Project”) is a 3.31 mile fixed rail streetcar project being developed in Detroit as the lynchpin of the effort to revitalize the city’s urban core. The Project encompasses the construction, operation and maintenance of a streetcar system in the public right of way. It consists of fixed rail infrastructure, stations, a maintenance facility, streetcars, overhead catenary, various sub-systems and supporting electrical distribution. M-1 RAIL will provide premium transit service with 7.5 to10 minute frequencies during peak hours. Ridership is expected to grow to three million trips annually.

The Project is located along Woodward Avenue between the Downtown and New Center areas – the economic and civic core of the region and home to the most exciting and visionary urban reinvention efforts in America today. This corridor includes the region’s central business district – the world headquarters of companies including General Motors and Quicken Loans; a major research university; two of the Midwest’s largest and most important medical centers; world class cultural, sports and entertainment destinations, including the Detroit Tigers’ and Lions’ stadiums; and residential neighborhoods. The prospect of the Project has already helped catalyze well over $1 billion in new investment that is either underway or planned for the future, and has motivated large employers to move thousands of new employees to the city.


Downtown Detroit on Woodward Avenue between Larned Street and West Grand Boulevard.


Construction of the rail line will create 275 union labor jobs that will pay union labor wages and benefits. The Project will endeavor to achieve a target of at least 30% of predevelopment or construction jobs to be filled by residents of low-income communities and/or low income persons. Once complete, the Project is expected to create 37 permanent jobs, catalyze over $2 billion in economic development in the surrounding low-income communities, create 1,200 indirect/induced jobs in the area surrounding the rail line and accelerate growth of existing corporate clusters.

  • Poverty Rate: 40.3%
  • Median Family Income: 45.4 % of benchmark
  • Unemployment Rate: 20.2% or 2.5 times the national average
  • Total Project Cost: $136 million
  • NCF NMTC Allocation: $9 million
  • United Fund Advisors (National Community Fund I, LLC)
  • Great Lakes Capital Fund
  • JP Morgan & Chase Co
  • Invest Detroit
  • LISC