AAATA announces start of 18-month investigate for Howell-to-Ann Arbor commuter rail

October 26, 2014 - storage organizer

The Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority has announced a start of a new technical investigate to establish a feasibility of WALLY commuter rail between Howell and Ann Arbor.

WALLY is brief for a “Washtenaw and Livingston Line,” a due 27-mile rail use that would use existent burden marks to lift passengers from Howell into Ann Arbor for work in a morning, and behind out to Howell during a finish of a work day.

North-south commuter rail is a long-range plan being deliberate as an choice to palliate trade overload along US-23.

The new technical investigate follows an progressing feasibility investigate that consulting organisation RL Banks and Associates conducted in 2008.

The new investigate is approaching to be a some-more in-depth routine looking during model-based ridership estimates, some-more minute cost estimates, hire locations, sight storage and upkeep trickery locations, and governance and appropriation feasibility considerations.

The range of work also includes a examination of probable alternatives, such as demonstrate train use and high-occupancy car lanes on US-23.

The study, that AAATA officials indicated in early January would be starting this year, is being saved by a $650,000 sovereign grant.

While a extend requires a 20 percent match, supports were collected in allege by a AAATA in partnership with internal contributors. AAATA officials pronounced no supports from a new movement taxation that electorate authorized in May are being used for a study.

The investigate will be led by Smith Group JJR and is approaching to take 18 months to complete. It will be managed in team-work with a Michigan Department of Transportation and will embody a vast open impasse effort, with skeleton for ubiquitous open meetings and focused discussions with internal inaugurated officials, businesses, environmental groups, and other seductiveness groups.

AAATA officials pronounced new conditions now exist that were not accessible for a prior investigate 6 years ago, including recently upgraded lane north of Ann Arbor, a swift of 23 refurbished commuter railcars, support from a Friends of WALLY village group, and a change of tyrannise tenure in a city of Ann Arbor.

The Ann Arbor Railroad, now owned by Watco, has voiced a eagerness to cruise newcomer use on their rail line by a city.

“We are really vehement about this subsequent step forward,” Michael Lamb, a Howell proprietor and Friends of Wally organizer, pronounced in a statement.

“It is good to see that internal governments, both in Livingston and Washtenaw counties, have been operative together to obtain a extend that helped make this possible. We demeanour brazen to a dual counties holding a subsequent stairs to make north-south commuter rail a existence — a existence that is indispensable and wanted by a commuters regulating US-23.”

In further to north-south commuter rail, a AAATA has been in talks with MDOT about rising AAATA demonstrate train use along US-23 north of Ann Arbor.

The AAATA formerly indicated it designed to accommodate with a University of Michigan, Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority, city of Ann Arbor, MDOT and Livingston County to speak about possibilities for appropriation such a service.

MDOT has indicated it would be peaceful to squeeze land for a AAATA to rise a 250-space park-and-ride lot for US-23 train service, presumably nearby 8 Mile Road, that could fit in with a WALLY hire for destiny commuter rail service.

Ryan Stanton covers a city kick for The Ann Arbor News. Reach him during ryanstanton@mlive.com or 734-623-2529 or follow him on Twitter.

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