ROUTE ENHANCEMENT COMMITTEE
FEBRUARY 23, 2008
DURAND UNION STATION
A short meeting of the committee was held following the regular monthly meeting to follow up on some of the things discussed by Gordon MacKay, President of Indian Trails, at the November meeting in Howell, and a subsequent meeting in Owosso on January 10, 2008, attended by Jim Wallington, Clark Charnetski, Kaz Fujita, Don Montieth and John Langdon.
Among points discussed and agreed upon were these:
-MARP supports a coordinated intercity transportation system and Indian Trails’ role in such a system. As to specific funding for Indian Trails, we will let IT speak for themselves, then follow their lead.
-As a means of understanding IT’s needs and wishes more fully, we will ask IT to share their priorities and vision with us.
-MARP supports IT’s Michigan Flyer service connecting Lansing, Jackson, and Ann Arbor with Detroit Metro Airport. We support their efforts to get proper signing and other appropriate recognition of their service by airport officials.
-MARP would support Indian Trails service, Port Huron-Detroit, particularly if it provided convenient connections with Amtrak in Detroit. At present, there is a connection between Port Huron Transit and SMART in Macomb County,
-MARP supports the extension of the current Lansing-Boyne Falls Indian Trails service into to city of Charlevoix, which currently has no intercity service. If that proves unlikely, MARP supports a local feeder bus connection, Boyne Falls-Charlevoix. Don Monteith is taking the lead on this issue.
-MARP supports an Indian Trails stop at or near the regional airport in Pellston. If the airport authorities do not support a connection at the airport, the nearby Holiday Inn Express is an alternative. Again, Don Monteith is taking the lead on this issue.
-MARP will assist Indian Trails in locating improved boarding points throughout Northern Michigan, assist in securing appropriate signing of those stops, and that the Amtrak timetable offers correct information as to the location of those stops.
-MARP will ask the Wisconsin Association of Railroad Passengers to request WisDOT to support the 180 mile portion of the Calumet-Milwaukee Indian Trails run in Wisconsin. If WisDOT funded the Wisconsin part of the service, funds might be freed up for a second, daylight run from Milwaukee to the Upper Peninsula. John Delora will ask Ken Burbank, a Wisconsin representative on the NARP Board, to bring this up with WisARP and WisDOT.
John Langdon reported that he had tested the Amtrak reservation system and that Houghton and points south are in the nationwide system including connections at Milwaukee with the Empire Builder.
As there are other issues to discuss concerning Indian Trails as well as follow up on many other Route Enhancement Recommendations, I would like to meet with REC members following the April 19 meeting in Standish, if time permits.
Hugh D. Gurney