NPR: MDOT to study service connecting Grand Rapids, Lansing and Detroit.

June 26, 2014

Map of the three potential routes between Holland and Detroit to be considered in the upcoming feasibility study. − Michigan Environmental Council

In the never-ending quest to improve transportation in Michigan, how do you get from Detroit to Grand Rapids – the two largest metropolitan areas in the state – with the state Capitol parked right in the middle?

The only answer you get is the highway.

The Michigan Department of Transportation, however, will begin to study the viability of a passenger rail line linking Grand Rapids, Lansing and Detroit.

Dan Somerville is with the Michigan Environmental Council.

He said the study will look at the market demand, destination patterns, population densities, and current traffic patterns in the highway corridor.

Existing train tracks haven’t had been used for passenger trains since 1971, but are used for freight traffic. They could be upgraded for passenger trains, which would be much easier than buying new land for tracks.

Full article and voice interview (audio) at Michigan Public Radio

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