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Auditor General Faults MDOT Rail Program For Wasting Millions


The state Auditor General says the Michigan Department of Transportation spent millions of dollars on commuter rail cars that aren’t being used.

As we hear from The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Rick Pluta, it’s just one of the findings.

The audit found the department missed out on applying for federal mass transit funds that could have defrayed the state’s costs, and failed to ensure all railway crossings are safe.

The report also found the state spent almost 10 million dollars refurbishing rail cars that were never put to use. Tim Hoeffner of the state transportation department says he expects they will be used. 

“The projects did not move forward in the time frame that people expected them to move forward,” he says.

But Hoeffner says it’s important for the state to stick with supporting commuter rail if it’s going to attract younger workers who expect transportation options.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987. His journalism background includes stints with UPI, The Elizabeth (NJ) Daily Journal, The (Pontiac, MI) Oakland Press, and WJR. He is also a lifelong public radio listener.
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