Pontiac Transportation Center to celebrate grand opening Monday

From The Oakland Press

Abigail Wright stood on the train platform with her luggage.

Wright was visiting from England and on her way to a wedding in Berrien Springs. She was making the journey by train, hopping on at the new Pontiac Transportation Center.

Train travel, she said, is far more popular in her home country than in Michigan.

“It’s the best really,” she said. “You get a lot of people being on one mode of transportation instead of everyone driving and polluting the air.”

Wright is one of the first to take advantage of the new transportation center on Woodward Avenue.

The grand opening for the $1.4 million facility will be at 1:30 p.m. Monday at the facility, which is located at 51000 Woodward Ave., just north of Orchard Lake Road.

Michigan Department of Transportation Director Kirk Steudle, U.S. Rep. Gary Peters, D-Bloomfield Township, Amtrak Board Cochairman Thomas Carper and State Rep. Tim Melton, D-Auburn Hills, will be in attendance.

Ground was broken on the transportation center in July 2010.

The center is meant to serve as a hub for mass transit, with six daily Amtrak Wolverine trains going from Detroit to Chicago. It also provides access to Greyhound buses.

The station was open for a short time before the grand opening was announced, Michigan Department of Transportation officials said.

The money for the new 4,500-square-foot building came from gas taxes collected at the pump and funneled through the Michigan Comprehensive Transportation Fund to mass transit.

The previous transportation center on Woodward Avenue was demolished in 2008. A small temporary building was placed on the site as a replacement.

The old center had been victimized by vandals before being torn down.

The new facility has a lobby for customers, bathrooms, seating and canopies for the bus and train platform.

It also provides passenger parking, security lighting and covered bus access.

Source: http://www.theoaklandpress.com/articles/2011/08/05/news/local_news/doc4e3b2f3b32b3a378340017.txt?viewmode=fullstory