Rail line stops sketched in

By thauckthauck (1226977147|%a, %b %e at %I:%M%p)

It finally seems like reliable transit connecting Ann Arbor, Metro Airport, and the City of Detroit is becoming a reality. This article details the proposed stops for the line that officials hope will become part of a larger regional system. The original can be found here.

Tanveer Ali - The Detroit News

WESTLAND — Officials have pinpointed sites for rail stations serving Detroit Metro Airport and Dearborn along a proposed commuter rail line that planners hope will be running by October 2010.

Six miles from the new North Terminal, a planned station on county-owned land at Michigan and Henry Ruff would connect commuters to their flights via an airport shuttle. The station would be one of five along the line that would share track with Amtrak and freight trains and include stops in Ypsilanti and at the New Center in Detroit.

Carmine Palombo, director of transportation for the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, said the train line is a key component of the ambitious plans for a mass transit system that could complement and add to the region's economy.

"The site gives us a lot of accessibility and with getting to and from the airport, it gives us good travel time," Palombo said.

Palombo said the project is one of several in planning stages, including a light-rail line along Woodward in Detroit and a commuter line from Livingston County to Ann Arbor. Palombo said he was optimistic the Ann Arbor-Detroit line will get off the ground, as it already has some political support, though cost estimates and funding proposals have yet to be decided.

After a multiyear study, Dearborn officials are considering an area south of Michigan Avenue near Elm as the site of the Dearborn Intermodal Rail Passenger Station. Officials say the transportation center, which has yet to receive funding, could make Dearborn a regional hub connecting train commuters to various bus lines, taxis and shuttles.

The city's economic and community development director Barry Murray said the site was chosen for its proximity to the city's business district and major attractions.

"We picked it because of proximity to the Henry Ford, downtown and the (University of Michigan) campus," Murray said.

An open house to show the plans for the station is scheduled in Dearborn from 4:30-7:30 p.m. Nov. 18 at the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center at 15801 Michigan.

In September, a regional transit commission unveiled its concept for a transportation system crisscrossing the Metro Detroit area with high-tech buses and light-rail lines over the next few decades. A progress report on regional transit issues is on the agenda for the SEMCOG Fall General Assembly, scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Nov. 20 at the Sterling Inn in Sterling Heights.

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