TROY, MICHIGAN—On October 14, 2014, Troy Mayor Dane Slater and members of the Troy City Council joined with Congressman Gary Peters, representatives from Amtrak and the Michigan Department of Transportation and residents to cut the ribbon on the new Troy Transit Center. The $6.3 million facility brings together the services of Amtrak, Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART) buses and taxis. It replaces the former station, an enclosed shelter, located across the tracks in Birmingham.
In the 1990s, Troy and neighboring Birmingham began to consider the creation of a new multi-modal center to serve both communities. Designed by local architectural firm Neumann/Smith, the one story brick building includes a waiting room and restrooms; walls of glass allow natural light to flood the interior. Passengers may take advantage of free Wi-Fi and vending machines. A pedestrian bridge over the tracks allows access to the western platform and protects passengers from inclement weather. The transit center was funded through a High Speed Intercity Passenger Rail grant administered by the Federal Railroad Administration.
In a press release, Mayor Slater commented, “The grand opening of the Troy Transit Center is an exciting moment… Increasing our community’s connectedness is a priority, and this marks a step in the right direction.” Mark Murphy, Amtrak General Manager, Long-Distance Service, added, “With the opening of the Troy Transit Center will come more connections to other transportation modes and a welcoming all-weather place for Amtrak passengers.”
The Troy Transit Center is served by six (Pontiac-Detroit-Chicago) trains each day. In fiscal year 2013, more than 23,000 travelers began or ended their journey at the former Birmingham station.
The State of Michigan purchased the Dearborn-Kalamazoo portion of the Wolverinecorridor in late 2012 from Norfolk Southern Railway (Amtrak owns a section to the west between Kalamazoo and Porter, Ind.). Michigan is currently undertakingon the line including tie, rail and switch replacement and improvements to grade crossings and signal systems. These projects are expected to be completed in 2016.
Following Michigan’s purchase, approximately two-thirds of the Wolverine corridor is under the control of Amtrak and Michigan DOT. Together, the partners aim to reduce travel times between Chicago and Detroit from 5 hours, 15 minutes, to less than four hours.