A plan to provide rail service between Ann Arbor and Northern Michigan is on track, now that funding has been obtained to conduct a feasibility study on the proposal.
The feasibility study is expected to get underway this spring and take six to nine months to complete.
The Groundwork Center in Traverse City is partnering with MDOT and local transit companies to determine several factors, including how much demand and interest there is for passenger rail service from Ann Arbor to Petoskey, how much are people willing to pay, and how long the train trip might take among other issues, according to center program director Jim Lively.
"Who would operate a passenger train? It's pretty clear it's not likely to be Amtrak, so we're looking at other options."
Part of their research will also include public input sessions in the communities to gather feedback from potential riders, including in Ann Arbor.
Lively says it will likely be another year before all the study data is complete.
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— Lisa Barry is a reporter, and host of All Things Considered on 89.1 WEMU. Contact her at 734.487.3363, on twitter @LisaWEMU, or email her firstname.lastname@example.org