- Associated Press - Friday, February 13, 2015

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - State auditors are criticizing the Department of Transportation over a multimillion-dollar project to lease passenger trains that haven’t been used yet.

The state is spending $1.1 million a year to lease 23 double-decker passenger cars while commuter service between Detroit and Ann Arbor and Ann Arbor and Howell still hasn’t been established.

The Detroit Free Press says the state has spent $12 million on the project, including $7.6 million to refurbish the cars.

The audit released Friday says handicapped-accessible restrooms on 14 cars would cost nearly $4 million. Train stations also would have to be built.

State transportation chief Kirk Steudle has defended the leases. He says the money could not have been spent on roads and securing passenger trains can take time.


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