A new commuter railway between Detroit and Ann Arbor moved a step closer to reality on Monday, following the approval by the State House of an amendment to the Regional Transit Authority’s proposed M-1 Rail line in Detroit.
“This rail project would bring a surge of new economic activity to Ann Arbor, Detroit, and all of the communities in between,” said State Rep. Adam Zemke (D-Ann Arbor), who introduced the amendment. “I will continue to do everything I can to make this proposal a reality.”
The bipartisan vote of 82-26 on Monday seeks to amend the Regional Transit Authority to include the proposed M-1 Rail line in Detroit and adds the ability to create new commuter rail lines. Zemke’s amendment specifically facilitates the creation of a line between Ann Arbor and Detroit.
The M-1 Rail is a planned operation providing a 3.3-mile circulating streetcar along Woodward Avenue. The system, expected to be operational by 2017, will run from Larned Street to West Grand Boulevard in Detroit.
Preliminary estimates suggest the rail will serve between 5,000-8,000 riders per day, on average. Utility work for the project is already underway.