Category Archives: News

Railway hubs lay down tracks for expansion

From The Washington Post

CHICAGO — This city was built on railroads that moved meat from its famous packing houses, steel from its mills, corn from surrounding fields. Today Chicago is still the nation’s leading rail hub, with about 37,500 rail cars passing through daily.

But massive congestion on Chicago tracks costs millions of dollars in shipping delays, and it causes substantial noise and air pollution as trains idle for hours, waiting for track clearance. The problem threatens to get worse since freight traffic is expected to double in the next 20 years.

With a public-private partnership and stimulus money, Chicago civic leaders are hoping to unsnarl their rail traffic and maintain the city’s self-proclaimed status as the “world’s rail capital.”

Construction planned for new transit center after receiving $1.3M in federal funding

From M-Live

A new $7-million transit center that will provide connections for trains, buses and taxis is slated to break ground in Troy next summer.
Plans for the Troy-Birmingham Multi-modal Transit Center are moving forward after Congress passed $1.3 million in federal appropriations last weekend to help construct the center, according to The Oakland Press.

House approves funds for transit center

From the Royal Oak Daily Tribune

Construction plans for the Troy-Birmingham Multi-Modal Transit Center took a step forward Thursday when the U.S. House of Representatives voted 221-200 to approve a $447 billion U.S. Transportation, Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill.

The bill includes $1.3 million for the transit center planned to be built behind Midtown Square at Coolidge and Maple in Troy at the Birmingham border. It is one of about 5,000 projects included in the bill.

Revitalized European Cities Might Provide Answer to Detroit’s Recovery

The city of Detroit has become synonymous with the economic restructuring taking place in the United States, including deindustrialization, decentralization, and globalization. As a result, Detroit has entered into a half century period of protracted social and economic decline creating what many consider to be a ”dystopian disaster.” Since 1950, no city has seen a larger population decline than Detroit, losing nearly half its population. The city is also now one of the most segregated and poorest metropolitan areas in the nation, with the central city 82 percent African American and unemployment near 28 percent. As this article in The New Republic notes, ”in [any] key measures of economic vitality in the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan regions, Detroit finishes dead last.”

Although the situation in Detroit may seem grim, the New Republic notes that many European cities have suffered under the same circumstances and have recently come out ahead after the process of deindustrialization and economic collapse. Cities like Belfast, once an important industrial center in Northern Ireland, suffered not only economic decline but also religious violence. However, over the five years it has seen economic output increase 35 percent as the city has shifted to services, design and technology related jobs.

Turin, Italy, also provides an example of how Detroit might right itself. Once the car capital of Italy, automobiles accounting for 80 percent of the city’s industrial output, Turin fell on hard times as manufactures moved to Eastern Europe for cheaper labor. Turin’s population plummeted 30 percent in 25 years and went into deep debt. In 1993, the city elected a reformist mayor who outlined 84 actions Turin would take to spur development by 2014. The city recognized its tremendous asset of individuals with industrial design backgrounds and invested money in creating business incubators and research labs to take advantage of this potential. The plan worked and Turin has increased economic activity to the highest it had been in the last half century. The new economy was based around design of not just automobiles, but aerospace, cinematography, and textiles.

Bilbao in the Basque region of Spain also provides an excellent example of how a previously industrial city has managed to turn its economy around and build off a base of existing assets. The city and federal government of Spain invested heavily in retooling the infrastructure of Bilbao, a new metro system, airport, tram line, and sewer system all allowed the city to reinvent itself and open access to revitalizing the cities long neglected waterfront district. A Frank Gehry designed Guggenheim museum added a cultural relevance to the city and helped expand its potential role as a tourist destination.

The article notes that Detroit has, like many of these European cities, ”good bones,” assets that have gone underutilized and have a high potential for redevelopment as tools for a new economy. New Federal investments in high speed rail and transit lines, along with changes in city land use policy toward a smart growth code, might help Detroit turn itself around. As the author notes, ”Detroit’s leaders must manage expectations. It took half a century for the city to get this low. It won’t turn around in a four-year political cycle… To allow Detroit to continue its march toward death would come at significant costs, both human and economic. For Detroit to die, especially in the face of such tested methods for saving cities, would be an American tragedy.”  12/9/2009

Click here to view the source article or Click here to view the source publication.

Indian Trails Expands U.P. Motorcoach Service from St. Ignace to Sault Ste. Marie and Beyond

December 8, 2009
Brenda Cheney, 800-292-3831

Michigan's Intercity Bus System as of Dec. 2009
Michigan's Intercity Bus System as of Dec. 2009
(OWOSSO) – Indian Trails has expanded its scheduled motor coach service in the Upper Peninsula, extending its route from St. Ignace to Sault Ste. Marie and adding service to Kinross and Newberry.

“The extension of the service which began on December 1 is a natural outgrowth of the recently opened transportation center in St. Ignace,” said Indian Trails President Gordon Mackay. “This enables us to better serve all of our customers,” added Mackay.

“The route extension reintroduces daily schedule service to Sault Ste. Marie that ended back in 1993 and opens all of the Lower Peninsula and western Upper Peninsula to the U.P.’s second largest population area,” Mackay said.

The Sault Ste. Marie ticket agent is Eastern Upper Michigan Peninsula Transportation Authority (906-632-8643).

With this expansion of scheduled service by Indian Trails, travelers going to and from Canada can easily arrange transportation across the International Bridge to connect with Greyhound Canada Service and Algoma Central Rail.

Greyhound Canada offers service to Sudbury, Toronto and Ottawa eastbound and to Winnipeg, Calgary and Vancouver westbound.

Algoma Rail service connects Sault Ste. Marie, northern Ontario and the entire VIA Rail system.

Mackay pointed out that even though the Indian Trails expanded service is part of the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) -sponsored U.P. service, “the extension is being operated without any increase in MDOT-subsidized taxpayer dollars.”

Indian Trails’ Central and Upper Peninsula motor coaches with deluxe amenities provide daily service to five Michigan universities – Michigan State, Central Michigan, Lake Superior State, Northern Michigan and Michigan Tech.

Indian Trails operates seven days a week, 365 days each year. For more information about these routes, contact Indian Trails at 800-292-3831 or