During a 2011 statewide rail planning process, communities all over Michigan named Traverse City as the number one destination they would travel to by passenger rail.
The letters of support keep coming in. City after city, from Ann Arbor to Petoskey, is making it clear to state and federal officials that they support passenger trains.
The benefits are clear to these cities: Passenger train service along the state’s existing railroad line not only provides another way for travelers to get around, it will have a major boost to some of the state’s best downtowns. In fact, studies show that rail, even just once-a-day service, provides a major economic boost to areas around the train stops.
Train service, though, doesn’t just appear out of thin air. It takes a comprehensive effort to align support from a cross-section of local, state, and federal agencies; technical analysis; and long-term capital and operations planning.
The next big step may be right around the corner. We’re working with state officials to advance a study that would begin to answer questions about the existing railroad corridor: track conditions, potential costs, economic impact, ridership, and more. That study could begin this year.
We recently partnered with the Bay Area Transportation Authority to apply for a federal transit planning program grant that would pay for a good portion of the study. Now we’re compiling a list of organizations that support our effort to keep this project moving forward.
If you’d like to join the growing list of supporters, please fill out this form below and we’ll add your organization’s name to the list.