MICHIGAN ASSOCIATION OF RAILROAD PASSENGERS
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING
RAPID CENTRAL STATION, GRAND RAPIDS
JULY 28, 2012
Members Present: Robert Tischbein, Kay Chase, John Langdon, Jim Wallington, Hugh Gurney, Jim Hinkins, Dave Randall
Also Present: Rich Vavra-Musser, Larry Krieg, Mary Myers, Dan Myers, Chuck Merkel, Jean Merkel, Al Koole, Ronald J.Vonk, Shirley J. Vonk, Charles V. Shong, Dan Platz, Doug Wilson, Rosemary Horvath, Stan Roth, Michael Frezell
Call to Order: Chairman Tischbein called the meeting to order at 10:03 a.m.
Minutes: Secretary Gurney distributed minutes from the previous meeting in Muskegon on June 16, 2012. Langdon moved acceptance of the Executive Committee minutes. The motion was seconded by Randall and approved by the members present.
Langdon then moved acceptance of the Monthly Membership Meeting minutes. Randall seconded the motion and it was approved by the members present.
Treasurer’s Report: Randall distributed the Treasurer’s Report and reviewed salient portions. As of June 30, 2012, the checking account stood at $10,728.28 and the Pratt Fund was valued at $16,359.82. As of the end of June, MARP has taken in 62% of the income projected for the year and has expended 32% of the projected expenses. Income does include $5,000 received from TRANS4M in January, 2012 for expenses incurred in 2011.
Randall distributed a draft Position Description for the Treasurer’s position for review by members of the Executive Committee.
Governmental Affairs: Langdon distributed flyers announcing forums for review of the draft 2035 Michigan Department of Transportation Plan and urged members to attend and participate. Chase suggested that members attend and send their comments to her so that she could submit a formal recommendation from MARP. She also urged members to forward their comments directly to MDOT as individual citizens.
Alpena, Tawas City, and Hancock have been added as Amtrak Thruway destinations, Langdon noted. Effective on August 1, Charlevoix will gain Indian Trails service, but Kalkaska and Mancelona will loose service as a result of rerouting. He urged that we push for designation of both Charlevoix and Beaver Island as Amtrak Thruway stops.
Gurney noted that he had recently taken the Amtrak Thruway bus operated by Trinity from Ann Arbor to Toledo. The service was highly satisfactory.
Megabus is now operating three trips daily Detroit-East Lansing-Grand Rapids-Chicago. Amtrak could loose 270 passengers a day if all elected to take Megabus, though Krieg observed that the seats on Megabus were much narrower than seats on Amtrak. In Grand Rapids, the bus stops at the Amtrak parking lot. Megabus offers curb pick up only.
Amtrak goes to paperless ticketing system wide in late July.
Amtrak has announced a very ambitious plan for redevelopment of Union Station in Washington, D.C.
Langdon shared architectural renditions for a new transportation center in East Lansing. The new station will be closer to the diamond and depicts a platform for future commuter service on the CSX line. Capitol Area Transportation Authority recently received a $6.2 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration for construction of the new facility.
Communications: TRANS4M has held several Community Forums to learn what citizens want Michigan’s transportation system to look like. So far, attendance has consisted mainly of transit riders. Chase urged MARP members to attend upcoming meetings for broader representation. Dates and locations are listed at the www.trans4m.org website. There will be a meeting in Ann Arbor this coming Thursday.
Vavra-Musser urged that the data gathered from the recent rail forums be incorporated in the 2035 State Transportation Plan. The plan should deal with all transportation infrastructure including rail, transit and marine.
MARP’s Annual Meeting will take place at the Durand Union Station on Saturday, September 22. FRA Director Joe Szabo, Tim Hoeffner of MDOT, and Ron DeCook have been invited. Bob Johnston of Trains magazine is confirmed as the principal speaker. Check the MARP website, www.marp.org for registration forms.
This year, the League of Conservation Voters has included the Supplemental Transportation Bill on its scorecard for state legislators. The League now sees transportation as part of its mission.
Membership: No Report.
Meetings: The Executive Committee will next meet on August 25 at 11:00 a.m. at the Coral Gables Restaurant in East Lansing. There will be no August Membership meeting.
Scheduled meetings for the remainder of 2012 are:
September 22 Annual Meeting, Durand Union Station
October 13 St. Louis, former Pere Marquette Station
November 10 Essex, Ontario, former Michigan Central Station
Wallington handed out a tentative schedule for 2013. Suggested additions were Traverse City and Vicksburg.
Wallington will look into the former Grand Trunk station in Lansing, now being rehabilitated by Lansing Board of Light. He will also keep tabs on the new station in East Lansing for a meeting there when completed.
Adjournment: The meeting adjourned at 11:00 a.m.
Respectfully submitted: Accepted:
Hugh D. Gurney Robert Tischbein