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Detroit leaders told by Amazon regional transportation is why we didn’t make the cut

Jan. 18, 2018

WXYZ Detroit

Jim Kiertzner

Detroit leaders on a conference call with Amazon were told Detroit failed to make the list of 20 cities still in the running for a second Amazon Headquarters because we lack regional transportation.

Khalil Rahal, the Executive Director of the Economic Development Corporation for Wayne County was on the call.

“They talked about more of the kind of amenities that we needed to be able to attract people from other places. They specifically brought up transit. Transit was an issue for them.”

Detroit has the People Mover, the Q Line and DDOT bus service. But beyond Detroit there is another, separate bus system.

Sandy Baruah, President of the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce also said that needs to change.

“So there’s a hostage exchange at some arbitrary municipal boundary. Most effective regional transit systems have a unified system.”

Rahal adds, “If you look at the list, you’ll see places with either a robust transit system or plans for a robust transit system.”

Amazon listed 20 cities still under consideration for a second headquarters that Amazon would spend $5 billion to establish and employ 50,000 employees.

Chicago and Newark made the cut and got a lower grade than Detroit by some financial analysts.  Both offered billions in tax incentives.

Detroit and Michigan offered some too, but we are not being told what that offer was.

Baruah said, “I, its not my number to share. That’s a state number.”


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