From an Indian Trail press release
Michigan Flyer, LLC, of East Lansing, MI—a division of Indian Trails, Inc.—plans to add a new I-96 route this fall, doubling the number of trips it makes each day between East Lansing and Detroit Metropolitan Airport.
Currently, Michigan Flyer offers luxury motor coach service along the I-94 corridor between East Lansing, Jackson, Ann Arbor and Detroit Metro.
To establish the new route on the I-96 corridor between East Lansing, Howell, Brighton, Ann Arbor and the Detroit airport, Michigan Flyer is seeking a one-time grant of $1.5 million from the federal Transportation, Community, and System Preservation (TCSP) program for start-up operations for one year. The new route should become self-sustaining in the second year.
This new service would be a major improvement in convenience for travelers from and to the Greater Lansing/Tri-County region because it would double the frequency of trips—from 7 to 14 per day—from East Lansing to Detroit Metro. That would enable Michigan Flyer to offer hourly departures, which passengers have told Michigan Flyer they want.
To begin the new route, Michigan Flyer would contribute $390,000 in matching funds/in-kind value toward operations and invest $1.5 million of its own funds to purchase three new luxury motor coaches.
Michigan Flyer is poised to begin this service as soon as Nov. 15, 2011, to serve the public during the peak holiday travel season.
However, the I-96 project cannot proceed without the TCSP funding. TCSP has announced they are making $61 million available nationwide to be awarded competitively to applicants that mitigate congestion and air pollution.
The TCSP Program funds public-private partnerships to improve the efficiency of the transportation system, reduce environmental impacts of transportation, reduce the need for costly future public infrastructure investments, and ensure efficient access to jobs, services and centers of trade.
In fact, TCSP funding guidelines state that priority consideration is given to projects that:
- “Demonstrate a commitment to public and private involvement, including the involvement of non-traditional partners in the project team; AND
- “Examine ways to encourage private sector investments that address the purposes of this section.”
Indian Trails and Michigan Flyer are privately owned providers of public transportation services. A significant percentage of Indian Trails inter-city routes statewide are subsidized by the State of Michigan.
The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is sponsoring Michigan Flyer’s application for the TCSP grant.
Editors note: Michigan Flyers is making an effort to secure funding for the route and is making its argument at: http://michiganflyer.com/pdf/MIFLY_Tri-County_Planning_Commission-20110727.pdf