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North-South commuter rail feasibility study meeting set for March 30 in Howell

1.1.3 Wally-LogoThe North-South Commuter Rail (WALLY), a proposed 27-mile long commuter rail service connecting Ann Arbor and Howell with stops along the way, is being evaluated as a way to improve traffic along US-23 and promote economic development and job creation in the region.

A feasibility study is being undertaken by the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority (AAATA) to assess in detail the feasibility of the North-South Commuter Rail service. Meetings have already been held in Brighton and Ann Arbor. A third meeting is set for 6:30-8:30 p.m. Monday, March 30, at the Bennett Recreation Center, 925 W. Grand River Ave. in Howell.

This federally-funded study will take about 15 months to complete and will consist of distinct phases and tasks that have been identified in conjunction with the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).  The results of this assessment, which includes in-depth public and stakeholder involvement, will be used to determine project costs, ridership, potential station locations, and the capacity and willingness of the affected communities to build, operate and help fund the project.   If the project is found feasible, the study will help to prepare the project for future federal funding.

These meetings will provide an update on the status of the North-South Commuter Rail (WALLY) project and an overview of the feasibility study.  There will be a presentation at the beginning of the meeting followed by discussion to answer questions and obtain public input on the project and the process.  The presentation and format will be the same for all three meetings.

In addition to the meetings, an interactive website has been established and your participation is encouraged (www.nsrailstudy.com).  For additional information, contact Michael Benham at AAATA at (734) 794-1851 or mbenham@theride.org.

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