Category Archives: FYI

Washtenaw and Livingston Commuter Rail (WALLY) Feasibility Study community meeting scheduled March 30, 2015

The North-South Commuter Rail (WALLY) is a proposed 27-mile long commuter rail service that would connect Ann Arbor and Howell, with intermediate stops along the way. It is being evaluated as a way to improve mobility along US-23 and to promote economic development and job creation in the region.

A feasibility study is being undertaken by the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority (AAATA) to assess in detail the feasibility of the North-South Commuter Rail service. This federally-funded study will take about 15 months to complete and will consist of distinct phases and tasks that have been identified in conjunction with the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). The results of this assessment, which includes in-depth public and stakeholder involvement, will be used to determine project costs, ridership, potential station locations, and the capacity and willingness of the affected communities to build, operate and help fund the project. If the project is found feasible, the study will help to prepare the project for future federal funding.

Two community meetings have already been held, one on March 12th at the Brighton Community Center and one on March 16th at the Ann Arbor District Library. A third meeting has been scheduled for:

Monday, March 30, 6:30-8:30 PM
Bennett Recreation Center
925 W. Grand River
Howell, MI

The intent of these meetings is to provide an update on the status of the North-South Commuter Rail (WALLY) project and an overview of the feasibility study. There will be a presentation at the beginning of the meeting followed by discussion to answer questions and obtain public input on the project and the process. The presentation and format will be the same for all three meetings.

In addition to the meetings, an interactive website has been established and your participation is encouraged (www.nsrailstudy.com). For additional information, please contact Michael Benham at AAATA at (734) 794-1851 or mbenham@theride.org.

Here’s where to look for updates on the M-1 Rail project in Detroit

An artist's rendition of the completed M-1 Rail project.
An artist’s rendition of the completed M-1 Rail project.

M-1 Rail is posting weekly constructions updates on its website, Facebook page and Twitter feed. There is even an option to receive weekly updates via email. Visit their website at http://m-1rail.com for more information.

M-1 RAIL is a non-profit organization formed in 2007 to lead the design, construction, and future operation of a 3.3-mile circulating streetcar along Woodward Avenue between Congress Street and West Grand Boulevard in Detroit, Michigan.

Once completed, there will be a stop at the Detroit Amtrak station.

M-1 RAIL is an unprecedented public-private partnership and model for regional collaboration Notably, the first major transit project being led and funded by both private businesses, philanthropic organizations, in partnership with local government, the State of Michigan, and U.S. Department of Transportation.

The mission of M-1 RAIL is to create a catalyst for investment, economic development and urban renewal that positively impacts the entire region through the construction of a streetcar circulator system running along and connecting Woodward Avenue from the Riverfront to the New Center and North End neighborhoods

The M-1 RAIL Woodward Avenue Streetcar project is envisioned to be one element of a future modern, world-class regional transit system where all forms of transportation, including rail, bus, vehicle, bicycle and pedestrian, are considered and utilized to build a vibrant, walkable region that includes a thriving Downtown Detroit. This city center is envisioned by supporters of M-1 RAIL to become a foundation for growth and prosperity throughout the surrounding neighborhoods adjacent to the Central Business District, Midtown, New Center and North End.

Save 20% on Amtrak tickets

Amtrak is offering discounts on select routes in Michigan beginning January 5, 2015:

winter2013Book your travel now through March 30, 2015, for travel January 5 through March 31, 2015, to save. Your trip could take you to shimmering shores of Lake Michigan or Lake Huron, or bring you as far as Grand Rapids or Detroit.

Travel the following routes, including:

  • The Blue Water – which stops in Kalamazoo, Battle Creek and the maritime town of Port Huron
  • The Pere Marquette – offers a scenic ride that connects Chicago and Grand Rapids.
  • The Wolverine – travels east from Chicago all the way to Detroit.
Have a Relaxing or  Adventurous Winter Getaway

Make the most of The Midwest Winter Warm Up Sale and enjoy traveling in comfort with less stress and great amenities. Your winter getaway begins the minute you step onboard. And when you book now through March 30, 2015, for travel January 5 through March 31, 2015, you’ll have even more to enjoy — a savings of 20%.

CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS: http://www.amtrak.com/travel-to-michigan-and-save-20-percent-this-winter?WT.mc_t=MIWinter2015_EXT&WT.mc_n=MichiganPage&WT.mc_r=365

Terms and Conditions
  • Valid for 20% off the regular (full) adult rail fare.
  • Valid for sale now through March 30, 2015.
  • Valid for travel January 5 – March 31, 2015.
  • Blackout dates:
    – February 13, 2015
    – February 16, 2015
  • Advance reservations are required a minimum of one (1) day prior to travel.
  • Seating is limited; seats may not be available on all trains at all times.
  • Up to two (2) children ages 2 – 12 may accompany each adult at half the regular (full) adult rail fare.
  • Children and infants must travel with an adult who is 18 years or older.
  • Valid for travel on the following services: Blue Water, Pere Marquette and Wolverine.
  • Valid for Coach seats.
  • Upgrade to Business Class is available upon full payment of applicable accommodation charges.
  • Fares, routes and schedules are subject to change without notice.
  • Not combinable with any other discount offer.
  • In addition to the discount restrictions, this offer is also subject to any restrictions, blackouts and refund rules that apply to the type of fare purchased.
  • Once travel has begun, no changes to the itinerary are permitted.
  • Other restrictions may apply.

Ann Arbor to Traverse City passenger rail to be discussed Feb. 16, 2015

Do you want a train from Traverse City to Ann Arbor? 

Learn how rail is taking off in the state and what we can do to make a connection to southern Michigan a reality.

When: Monday, Feb. 16, 2015 at 7 p.m.

Where: State Theatre, Traverse City

What: In 2012, Michigan created its first State Rail Plan, a $10 billion strategy for modernizing the state’s rail system. Since then, Michigan has been accelerating rail projects at a pace it hasn’t seen since the 19th century. And someday, we may see trains to Traverse City.

Join transportation leaders from across the state to learn about new rail projects, including the M-1 Rail project in Detroit, the Washtenaw-Livingston (WALLY) commuter line in Ann Arbor—and plans to explore a passenger train connection to Traverse City.

Stay after the discussion for a free showing of Alfred Hitchcock’s “Strangers On a Train.”

Email james@mlui.org for more information.

Click on image to enlarge.
Click on image to enlarge.

Amtrak adds more Wolverine trains for Christmas-New Years travel period

Amtrak is adding 12 additional Wolverine Service trains between Michigan and Chicago to provide expanded December and January holiday travel options. Amtrak will offer an additional eastbound and westbound Wolverine Service train daily between Chicago and Ann Arbor from Dec.26, 2014 through Jan. 4, 2014.

Passengers should book their tickets now for best availability and pricing. Ordinarily, Amtrak and Michigan Department of Transportation provide three daily round-trips between Detroit-area stations and Chicago.

The extra Wolverines (Trains 356 & 359) will operate in addition to regular Wolverines (Trains 350-355) with approval from Norfolk Southern and CN railroads. Please see the attached schedules, which include the Blue Water (Trains 364 & 365), which share the Wolverine route between Battle Creek and Chicago.

The success of extra Amtrak trains during the Thanksgiving period, with more than

35,000 passengers in Michigan, prompted additional Amtrak trains this month and next.

Amtrak-Michigan-Holiday-ATK-14-115_Page_2