Comments on: Concerns Voiced Over Fuller Road Station it's like being there Tue, 16 Sep 2014 04:56:38 +0000 hourly 1 By: Anon-U-Are Anon-U-Are Wed, 24 Mar 2010 20:19:51 +0000 That’s true. There are lots of delays. I’ve experienced those myself.

One thing to keep in mind is that many of the delays actually originate in the Illinois and Indiana portion of the line, where there are several bottlenecks associated with freight lines, not to mention old signals and switches.

In those areas, Amtrak doesn’t own the tracks, so it has to take a back seat to freight sometimes.

Those delays spillover into the Michigan portion of the line.

However, the stimulus high speed rail funding that has been approved will address two major bottlenecks in Indiana and Illinois, which will do a lot to keep the line on time. See [link]

Amtrak actually owns much of the route’s track in Michigan. In fact, there’s a stretch in Michigan that is the longest Amtrak-owned track in the nation outside of the Northeast Corridor between Washington D.C. and Boston.

This route has a high potential to run uninterrupted at higher speeds than today, and these improvements will go along way toward doing that.

By: Tom Whitaker Tom Whitaker Wed, 24 Mar 2010 16:25:15 +0000 @7: I agree that the ridership numbers on the Ann Arbor – Chicago run are high, but I’m not certain I’d use the term “successful” to describe this route. With only one track for the majority of the way, the Amtrak train is often sidetracked to allow freight trains, which have the right-of-way, to pass. Any slight incident or malfunction along the way and passengers either are forced to wait for hours, or are eventually transferred to buses.

Last time I took the train to Chicago for a school trip, it took 7.5 hours to get there and 6.5 to return. Many stops for freights, malfunctioning switches, and several “mystery stops” for no apparent reason.

I’d like to see the on-time record as well as the net revenue after expenses before I would label this route a success.

By: Anon-U-Are Anon-U-Are Wed, 24 Mar 2010 15:13:04 +0000 @Vivienne,

“But that is to Chicago, not Detroit, yes?”

If you mean where is the bulk of the passengers getting on at Ann Arbor headed, I would think you’re correct, to Chicago.

The Amtrak service really isn’t useful as a commuter service, except for someone doing a reverse commute, from Detroit to Ann Arbor. The first train heading east to Detroit leaves Ann Arbor at 1 p.m.

By: Bug Bug Wed, 24 Mar 2010 14:39:50 +0000 I really appreciate Grand’s comment “..Why would they use a bike station at the Fuller Road Station, she asked, if they could just as easily ride directly to their destination?”

I am a long time bike commuter, and that is the really the beauty of riding a bike. And as far as public showers go- if you are getting sweaty on your commute you are riding too hard. “Transport, not Sport” is the proper attitude to bike commuting. The too common suggestion that riding a bike to work requires that you have a shower available to you is more of a discouragement than a help in getting people to begin bike commuting.

Honestly, I can’t think of anyone who would be willing to use a public shower in a Buss/Train station or parking garage, certainly no woman. At least, it would require a full-time attendant to control access and decency, and that would be expensive. Otherwise, are people going to bring their own towels and soap with them on their bikes? It makes no sense at all. As said by others, this is just a parking garage. The “Transportation Center” glue-ons are just wishful thinking.

Now, there is one population to which this could be helpful- the homeless folks living under the bridges and along the river in that area. The access to clean water, sanitary facilities and showers would be a great improvement to their situation.

By: John Floyd John Floyd Wed, 24 Mar 2010 04:00:35 +0000 Seems like an awful lot of bond money is being spent on parking lots for specific interests, but there is no bond money to fix the Stadium bridges, which everyone uses.

By: Vivienne Armentrout Vivienne Armentrout Wed, 24 Mar 2010 02:28:51 +0000 Re #7: But that is to Chicago, not Detroit, yes?

By: Anon-U-Are Anon-U-Are Wed, 24 Mar 2010 01:34:50 +0000 And not to sidetrack this discussion, but Amtrak consolidated reports, available on its Website, show that yearly ridership on the Wolverine service (31,182 passengers) was flat compared to the previous year, which is pretty amazing considering how poorly the local economy has been.

Ticket revenue earned by Amtrak from the line, however, was up 11 percent.

By: Anon-U-Are Anon-U-Are Wed, 24 Mar 2010 01:18:41 +0000 @ Comment 4:

“That Amtrak station is hardly ever at capacity”

That’s not really true.

Despite my skepticism about the proposed commuter rail and this boondoggle of a parking garage on Fuller, I support an expansion of the existing Amtrak station.

I’ve taken the Amtrak to Chicago several times. Mostly leaving Ann Arbor on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday, and coming back on Sunday. On those days, all of the parking spaces have been full, even those on the other side of the tracks where you have to park in the dirt or on the elevated grassy area adjacent the bridge.

The fact is the Wolverine Amtrak service, despite a lack of investment over the years, is well used and is successful.

By: Karen Sidney Karen Sidney Tue, 23 Mar 2010 22:09:19 +0000 The only way to pay for the city’s share of the structure is to borrow the money. The city’s share of parking structure revenue will not be enough to pay operating expenses plus debt service. The difference will have to come from the general fund. If this deal goes through, Ann Arbor residents will see even bigger service cuts in the future.

By: Stefan Szumko Stefan Szumko Tue, 23 Mar 2010 21:17:59 +0000 On a tangential note:

Should a Fuller Road Station go through and Amtrak ridership actually increase, is there a way to negotiate an official walkway between Gallup Park and the Arb?

We do a great job of planning for vehicles, but not always for pedestrians.