New East Lansing Station to open this summer

From the Lansing State Journal:

The new Amtrak Station in East Lansing .(Photo: Dave Wasinger/Lansing State Journal)
The new Amtrak Station in East Lansing .(Photo: Dave Wasinger/Lansing State Journal)

The new Amtrak station near Harrison and Trowbridge roads will be complete this summer (2015).

The station, which is part of the new $6.3 million Capital Area Multimodal Gateway, will be three times larger than the existing station on the property. It will have an enclosed lobby with floor-to-ceiling windows as well as luggage and bike storage, said Laurie Robison, spokeswoman of Capital Area Transportation Authority, which operates the station.

There is no set date for completion of the station. Construction crews just have to finish mechanical and electrical work before final inspections can begin, Robison said.

Once the station is ready to open, CATA will demolish the smaller station – something customers have been waiting for.

“It’s absolutely needed,” said Gerald Lee, of Lansing. “This station is very small and a lot of Michigan State University students use it when they move in. I can’t wait.”

Lee was waiting for a Greyhound bus to Buffalo, N.Y., to meet with his six sisters for a small family reunion. Lee said he uses the bus service at the station three times a year, but would likely travel more often when the new passenger station opens.

Renovations include adding four canopied bus bays, 150 parking spaces with a payment kiosk and an overflow area for taxis and buses. When the project is fully complete this fall, the station will serve as a transit hub for Amtrak trains as well as bus service from Greyhound, Megabus and Indian Trails.

Jonathan Keith, a cab driver for M-Cab, is relieved there will be spaces for taxis. In the cramped parking lot only made smaller by construction, Keith said he’s had to wait 15 minutes to exit onto Harrison Road with a van full of passengers.

“It’s a pain,” Keith said. “Buses just park on the road because they can’t navigate through the parking lot. This is long overdue. I’m glad CATA stepped up to it.”

Work began on the property in August 2014 when the former Michigan State University Surplus Store and Printing Services buildings were torn down. MSU owns the site and leases it to CATA.

The project is funded by a $6.3 million grant by the U.S. Department of Transportation.