Extending the hours at Jackson’s train station still a possibility

From The Jackson Citizen-Patriot

Jackson’s historic Amtrak train station could extends its hours later in the day if the station is converted to an intermodal transportation center.

Brain Karhoff, lead agent at the station, told state and local officials today ridership has been increasing at the station but so have complaints about it closing at 3 p.m.

“It’s not a good reflection on the city,” Karhoff said.

The station used to be open until its third and final train came in, usually around 11 p.m., but in 2002, its second shift was eliminated to cut costs. Since 2002, ridership at the station has grown ever year except 2009.

A study on the feasibility of converting the station to an intermodal transportation center with buses, shops and possibly a restaurant, was done in 2005 and revised last year.

The conversion, which would include buying the station from Amtrak, is estimated to cost $15 million and no funding is currently available.

Patrick Roach, an associate with Quinn Evans Architects of Ann Arbor, said he would not promise the station would be open all day, every day if it was  an intermodal facility, but it is possible, especially if it had a security officer.

John Guidinger, a member of the Michigan Association of Railroad Passengers and Friends of the Michigan Central Station, Jackson, said that would be welcome news for railroad passengers who have to wait in the cold and dark for trains in the winter or sit in their car with the motor running.

Guidinger said the organizations he belongs to want to get the station “full of happy people at the minimum cost.”

Source: http://www.mlive.com/news/jackson/index.ssf/2011/08/extending_the_hours_at_jackson.html