Troy city council rejects federal funding for new transit system

TROY, Mich. (WXYZ) - It was standing room only as the Troy city council considered accepting $8.5 million in federal funding for a regional transit center before eventually voting to reject the money.

The decision came after a surprise proposal from Councilman Wade Fleming to cap the project at $5-million, but several council members raised concerns that wouldn't cover the cost of the project.

The train station was supposed to be built on Troy's side of its Birmingham border and would have connected Amtrak users with buses, taxis, car and bikes.

Dozens of people made impassioned pleas both for and against the proposal.  Some pointed to the limited SMART bus service, saying a transit system is needed to keep Troy vibrant. Michele Hodges, president of the Troy Chamber of Commerce, went so far as to say the Chamber would consider relocating its headquarters if the transit center was built.

But others said the project was a waste of money and is just masking a massive bus station as a rail station. "Private enterprise wouldn't touch these projects with a ten foot pole," Gordon Shepsky. " It's a bad business decision."

 The council voted 4-3 to reject the money.

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