Category Archives: News

Boyne City bus stop discontinued

From The Petoskey News-Review

BOYNE CITY — Boyne City residents will have to go about five miles farther east to catch an Indian Trails bus ride after Dec. 1.

On Tuesday, Indian Trails will discontinue service to a bus stop at the McDonald’s Restaurant on Division Street in Boyne City. The next closest bus stop is at the Mobil E-Z Mart in Boyne Falls.       

The change comes despite a request by Boyne City officials that Indian Trails and the Michigan Department of Transportation reconsider the change.

About a month ago, Boyne City officials received notice that Indian Trails was considering extending its service to Sault Ste. Marie. The route had previously ended in St. Ignace. On Monday, city officials learned that the change had been decided.

Chad Cushman, vice president of business for Indian Trails said the Boyne City stop and stops in Onaway, Tower in Northern Michigan; Epoufette, Naubinway, Nadeau, Carney, Bagley, Daggett, Stephenson, Wallace and Calumet in the Upper Peninsula and a location in Wisconsin will be removed from the company’s service route to offset the extra miles added to the service system between Saint Ignace and Sault Ste. Marie

Cushman explained that Indian Trails’ service is subsidized by the Michigan Department of Transportation and because of the state’s budget crisis, it won’t subsidize additional miles on its rural routes.

He said the locations that were chosen had a history of very low ridership. In 2008, the Boyne City stop had 131 passengers, or about 2.5 passengers per week. During the same year, Tower and Onaway combined had 67 passengers.

Cushman said even with all of the service eliminations — including the 4,380 annual miles from the Boyne City stop — the Sault Ste. Marie route will still add 27 unsubsidized miles for the bus company.

He said bus service will continue in Boyne Falls on roughly the same schedule as was offered in Boyne City with stops around 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. daily.

For more information on Indian Trails bus service, call (800) 292-3831 or visit www.indiantrials.com.

http://www.petoskeynews.com/news/article_153158f0-db69-11de-a5f5-001cc4c002e0.html

Drive continues for light rail projects

From The Capital News Service

Southeast Michigan officials are pushing for a commuter rail connecting Ann Arbor and Detroit, as well as a light rail running between downtown Detroit and the New Center area along Woodward Avenue.

Kirk Steudle, director of the Department of Transportation, said the projects have the potential to offer better options to travelers in the area.

http://capitalnewsservice.wordpress.com/2009/11/13/drive-continues-for-light-rail-projects/

New station at New Buffalo

New station

Amtrak’s Blue Water (train 365) arrives to the new Amtrak station in New Buffalo, Michigan, Oct. 26, 2009 while being greeted by media, passengers, and area residents. The station, located along Amtrak’s high-speed Michigan District line in downtown New Buffalo, opened officially Oct. 26 and replaces the former Amtrak station south of town on CSX served by Amtrak’s Pere Marquette. Amtrak’s Blue Water (trains 364 and 365) and Wolverine trains 354 and 355 now serve New Buffalo. Amtrak’s Pere Marquette (trains 370 and 371) no longer serve New Buffalo as of Oct. 26.   (Photo by J.R. Valderas)

Click HERE for more information about Amtrak’s services in Michigan. Send us a photo.

Amtrak Thruway bus service has a new U.P. MDOT Station

St. Ignace and the Upper Peninsula have a new Bus Depot/Travel Center located on US-2, just east of the I-75 intersection on the North side of US-2 near the Mackinac Bridge.

An Indian Trails official said the company plans on using the new St. Ignace station starting Sept. 22 with dedication slated Sept. 28.

MARP Vice-chair Don Monteith said the Michigan Association of Rail Passengers will be represented at inaugural of service from the station and the dedication.

The new bus station is the northern terminus of Indian Trails‘ Amtrak/Thruway route that starts in Kalamazoo at the Transportation Center that is shared with Kalamazoo Transit buses, Amtrak train and Indian Trails’ Amtrak/Thruway route # 8364. The Amtrak Thruway service leaves Kalamazoo at 3 p.m. for Big Rapids, Cadillac, Traverse City, Boyne Falls, Petoskey, plus other intermediate stops, arriving at St. Ignace at 11:45 p.m. The southbound schedule # 8365 has a 8:30 a.m. departure from St. Ignace with an 5:20 p.m. arrival in Kalamazoo.

The new bus station is also the terminus of another Indian Trails bus route that runs from Lansing and Bay City along the shore of Lake Huron to St. Ignace.

Indian Trails also operates a connecting westbound motor coach to Escanaba, where it connects to another Indian Trails Amtrak/Thruway (# 8539) motor coach to to Marquette, L’Anse, Houghton and Hancock with intermediate stops. Indian Trails extends service to Calumet but it is not part of the Thruway service.

South from Escanaba, Indian Trails operates another Amtrak/Thruway service (# 8532) that stops at Marinette, Green Bay, Manitowoc, and intermediate points. ending at the Milwaukee Amtrak Intermodal Station at 7:45 a.m., connecting to Amtrak’s 8 a.m. Hiawatha train to Chicago. With a layover, passengers can connect to Amtrak’s Empire Builder to Minneapolis-St. Paul, Spokane, Seattle and Portland. In Chicago, U.P. residents can connect to the entire Amtrak network

There is also reported interest to connect at St. Ignace to Sault St. Marie, the third largest city in the U.P., but which has no scheduled transportation service.

Amtrak Adjusts Schedule of Pere Marquette to Accommodate Track Work

Temporary Timings from June 4 to June 21

CHICAGO – Amtrak is temporarily adjusting the westbound schedule for the Pere Marquette service on the Chicago-Grand Rapids route to accommodate track work planned by CSX Transportation, the owner of the train’s route in Michigan. The temporary schedule will begin June 4 and continue through June 21, 2007.

The westbound Pere Marquette (Train 371) will be scheduled to operate one hour earlier from all stations. The eastbound Pere Marquette (Train 370) schedule is unaffected. These changes will compensate for anticipated delays due to the track work.

“While we recognize this temporary schedule change might cause some inconvenience for our passengers, they will eventually benefit from the track improvements with a smoother ride and improved reliability,” said Don Saunders, Amtrak Central Division General Superintendent.

Amtrak Pere Marquette ridership for the fiscal year-to-date (October 2006 through April 2007) was 56,827, an increase of 5.4 percent from the same period a year ago. The train often operates at full capacity, so passengers are reminded of the need to obtain reservations in advance from Amtrak.com, by calling 800-USA-RAIL, using a Quik-Trak(SM) Ticket Express automated ticket machine (including the Grand Rapids, Holland, Saint Joseph and Chicago stations) or through a travel agent.

The plans for this temporary schedule change are correct as of the above date. If these plans are changed, Amtrak will notify passengers who have included personal contact telephone numbers with their reservations.

The Pere Marquette is financed primarily through funds made available by the Michigan Department of Transportation and with the support of Westrain, a grass-roots group representing the communities along the corridor. For more information about Westrain, visit http://www.gvmc.org/transportation/Westrain.shtml.

About Amtrak

Amtrak provides intercity passenger rail services to more than 500 destinations in 46 states on a 21,000-mile route system. For schedules, fares and information, passengers may call 800-USA-RAIL or visit Amtrak.com.

Amtrak Pere Marquette Temporary Schedule
Effective June 4-21, 2007

Train 370 – Chicago to Grand Rapids – Eastbound Pere Marquette

Station Daily
Chicago, IL – Union Station 5:20 p.m. CT (Depart)
New Buffalo, MI 7:35 p.m. ET (Depart)
St. Joseph – Benton Harbor, MI 8:03 p.m. ET (Depart)
Bangor, MI (South Haven) 8:39 p.m. ET (Depart)
Holland, MI 9:21 p.m. ET (Depart)
Grand Rapids, MI 10:20 p.m. ET (Arrive)

Train 371 – Grand Rapids to Chicago – Westbound Pere Marquette

Station Daily
Grand Rapids, MI 6:35 a.m. ET (Depart)
Holland, MI 7:21 a.m. ET (Depart)
Bangor, MI (South Haven) 8:02 a.m. ET (Depart)
St. Joseph – Benton Harbor, MI 8:39 a.m. ET (Depart)
New Buffalo, MI 9:06 a.m. ET (Depart)
Chicago, IL – Union Station 9:30 a.m. CT (Arrive)

This press release was provided by Amtrak and is available at www.amtrak.com