Here are some common questions about the Ann Arbor to Traverse City/Petoskey Passenger Train.
Why Ann Arbor to Traverse City? Why not Chicago to Traverse City?
The tracks are still in place, are owned by the state and are in very good shape. Often, the most expensive part of any transportation project is the cost of buying land, and, with rail, laying new tracks.
There’s also tremendous public support and enthusiasm for trains to Traverse City from southeast Michigan. In fact, connecting Traverse City to passenger rail was the number one priority of a statewide rail planning process in 2011 and re-establishing passenger rail in northern Michigan is now a goal in Michigan’s State Rail Plan.
As for Chicago, The Traverse City Line would connect to two Amtrak routes–the Blue Water and Wolverine– that already service Chicago and other destinations in the national network.
How long will the trip take?
That’s the question this study will help determine. The goal is to make the 250 mile trip between the two downtowns in five to six hours. Along the way, passengers will be free to work, read, nap, or enjoy the Pure Michigan view without worrying about traffic, weather, or road construction.
Once I arrive, how will I get around? Can I take my bike?
The Traverse Line will connect cities with stations that close to downtown. Once passengers arrive, they will have access to the same network of transportation options available when they travel by air, but also they downtown options like bikeshare, rideshare, carshare, and public transportation. As part of the plan, we will work with our bike advocacy partners to make sure travelers can roll-on bicycles. Once they arrive, they should be able to roll out of the station and hit the road!
When will I be able to ride the train?
If all goes as planned, preliminary runs will be up and running by 2019 with full-service passenger rail from city to city in service by 2020. However, we need your support to ensure that the investments are made and the plan to implementation is kept on track.
How can I stay informed and help ensure that The Traverse Rail Line happens?
Sign up on this website to stay informed and to participate in the planning process. Over the next few months, planners will be visiting future stops along the route to meet with civic leaders, train advocates, and the curious to get needed feedback on services needed.