Ann Arbor Area Community News
With this summer’s construction season promising to turn US-23 into whatever the next thing slower than a parking lot is, pieces are coming together for parallel commuter rail service that could alleviate congestion. From Wednesday’s Ann Arbor News:
Southbound commuters would start from a parking lot at an old industrial site at Eight Mile Road near Whitmore Lake. They would debark in Ann Arbor along Plymouth Road a short distance north of Barton Drive, where they would be picked up by Ann Arbor Transportation Authority buses. The buses would take passengers to various destinations around Ann Arbor, perhaps the University of Michigan and hospitals, for example . . . The proposal envisions six round trips each morning and evening five days a week. The first train in the morning would leave Eight Mile Road at 5:55 a.m. and would take 20 minutes at top speeds of 40 mph to reach the Ann Arbor debarkation point. The earliest evening train would leave Ann Arbor at 3:55 p.m.
The new owner of Great Lakes Central Railroad and the owner of the 26-acre potential park-and-ride lot are on board with the proposal. The railroad notes that the time frame is tight, with 30 days of good weather needed to make repairs – not to mention cash. MDOT, which would need to provide around $2.4m for capital and operating costs, minus passenger fares, is currently reviewing the proposal.
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