In September 2011, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) published the Michigan State Rail Plan. This plan provides a long-term vision for passenger and freight rail transportation throughout Michigan, guiding the development of our state’s system and services.
The Plan starts off with a review of the history of Michigan’s rail system, and its present status in 2011. This review covers every corner of the system, including state-owned rail lines, abandoned routes, international border crossings, port access, passenger ridership, intermodal freight activity, passenger ridership, and state and federal funding sources. Additionally the Plan also features brief snapshots of previous studies of and other existing state and regional plans for the system.
To ensure the Plan reflects current and future needs, MDOT reached out to businesses, organizations and passengers for input. The Department held two rounds of public meetings, one alongside the Michigan By Rail forums in 2010 and a second round in 2011. While outeach efforts were coordinated between us and the Department, State Rail Plan public meetings and Michigan By Rail forums were separate events.
With all of the above accounted for, investment needs are then identified and sorted into four distinct investment packages: Baseline, Good, Better, and Best. In the Plan recommendations, the Good Investment Package is determined to be the best course of action for the state.
The Good Investment Package includes projects such as the Ann Arbor-Detroit and WALLY commuter rail projects, and feasibility studies of a north/south passenger service connecting to Traverse City, and the Detroit-Lansing-Grand Rapids corridor.