The Ann Arbor to Traverse City train effort is gaining steam!
You've probably already seen it in the media: We've officially announced the major northern Michigan passenger rail study that will explore regular service between Ann Arbor and the Petoskey and Traverse City areas. The announcement took place last week at press conference along the tracks at Traverse City's former train depot.
The study will address questions related to track conditions, potential costs for upgrades, economic impact, rider demand, and operating structure. It's expected to take about 8-10 months and will begin this fall.
Funding for the study is provided by a federal transportation planning grant and contributions from communities along the rail line including the City of Traverse City, Downtown Petoskey, the City of Alma, and Washtenaw County. Dozens of groups have submitted letters of support for the project.
It's been a while since you've heard from me. That's because I've been out-and-about around the state, giving presentations and asking for support for the grant that will ultimately pay for the upcoming study.
It's no surprise that the cities chipped in to support the study. Consider the impact this project will have on everyday travelers, the 90,000 college students along the line, and our robust mid-Michigan downtowns.
We're excited and we hope you are, too! This study is the first step in making train service to Traverse City a reality. It's a major milestone for the project and it demonstrates the widespread support for passenger rail to northern Michigan.
When the study kicks off this fall, we'll need your help. We'll need people to show up, engage, and help out when its time for public meetings and when the study consultants are looking for feedback.
Our job will be to keep you in the loop in how you can help move this project along.
You can watch the full announcement event here.
Here's all the media coverage on the announcement, so far:
Here's the A2TC webpage.
As always, contact me with questions, concerns or comments.
Thanks again for all your support!