MARP Executive Committee Minutes
09 October 2018
Conference Call, 7:00-8:15pm
712-770-8041 code 426600
Present: Tom Purmort, Kay Chase, Robert Tischbein, Mark Miller, John Langdon,
Absent: Steve Vagnozzi, Robert Patterson, Charles Shong, Adam Tauno Williams, Joshua Hamilton
Call to Order at 7:10 pm
Update on Annual Meeting Planning Annual meeting announcements mailed to all 2017-18 members, announcements and complete registration information is on the website, Oct ON TRACK will prominently promote annual meeting registration, email blast “last call for registrations” will go out mid-month. Contacts have been made with additional speakers: Bob Johnston (Trains Magazine), Joe Shacter (Amtrak), James Bruckbauer (A2TC Project). Langdon will be sending email invites to Senators Stabenow and Peters, Rep Debbie Dingell (who will be given opportunity to speak), the State Senator and Representative representing Dearborn area, Barry Murray (Dearborn Economic Development), and a number of allies and friends.
Langdon: Amtrak is putting additional trains on at Thanksgiving, Pere Marquette only as far as Holland, Wolverine only as far as Ann Arbor.
A2TC report has been in the news today, was released yesterday. Titled “Northern Michigan Passenger Rail Study”, it may be accessed at: www.groundworkcenter.org/railstudy
Budget adjustments – Donations of $500 (America By Rail) and $350 ( John Guidinger for printing Michigan time tables) need to be credited to the Annual Meeting and Outreach Budget lines, respectively
Nominating committee – still seeking candidates for West Region Chair and Secretary
Membership Committee – Purmort will have more to say at Annual Meeting about targets and strategies for increasing membership
North Region Report from Miller: Attending a 3 day meeting of model RR group, stopping off at Chambers of Commerce along the way. Difficulty getting to Chambers when they’re open. Met Bryan Boyle of Issues Media and pitched A2TC as a possible story.
Langdon: Meeting with Indian Trails next week. Asks Mark to document his mileage, with the possibility of getting some reimbursement for expenses (via a grant).
West Region Report: Purmort & Langdon will attend meeting tomorrow of the West Michigan Prosperity Alliance Public Engagement and Grant Prioritization Meeting, at which the public will vote on projects to be awarded grants. West Michigan Express Pilot Project (WMX) is one of six projects in the running. Optimistic about gaining the grant, which will enable a survey of all employees in businesses along the route with 50 or more employees in order to gage need and potential use of a proposed rapid transit line linking Grand Rapids and Holland.
Miller: Need to strategize outreach to colleges & universities and also reach out to young professionals. Langdon: Larger firms often have a person who coordinates/arranges travel.
Chase: At the Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission (MIPRC) meeting just attended, Derrick James spoke and during Q&A talked about the robust, very targeted social media efforts of Amtrak. Chase surmises that Amtrak may be doing a pretty good job of connecting with young professionals.
Chase: Brief remarks on MIPRC annual meeting in Milwaukee last week. FRA-led Midwest Regional Rail Study consultants are still writing up, FRA will review it, uncertainty about when and how it will be released, likely not before 2019. Melissa Hatcher, FRA, said that PTC issues continue to delay introduction of the new Charger locomotives to the Wolverine and Blue Water routes. When the technical issues are resolved, there will be a period of training/testing before revenue service begins. Don’t expect before next summer.
Langdon: Distribution of “Ride the Rails to Michigan Trails” posters is pretty well finished. Looking toward a June kickoff, Michigan Trails magazine will be working with us, will put an ad in the magazine. May have to seek additional money for a second printing of the poster.
The 3,000 Timetables printed on the initiative of John Guidinger are out to most stations. Everyone is appreciative.
Miller: has talked with someone from Alpena newspaper and has sent information in hopes she will write an article on passenger trains and thruway connections.
Adjourn: 8:10 pm
Kay Chase Steve Vagnozzi_________________ Acting Secretary Chair