Where is rail transportation headed in Michigan? What role does rail freight play in our state’s economy? When and how will high speed rail become a viable option for passenger travel in our Great Lakes State?
MDOT is asking for the public to weigh in on these questions and any other issues that warrant consideration as part of the development of the Michigan State Rail Plan. Required as a part of the federal government’s passage of the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008, this rail plan will hopefully create a vision for how the State manages and invests in rail infrastructure, a vision which is desperately needed and has been sorely lacking in recent years.
To ensure that there is broad public input, the series of public forums being conducted by the Municipal League’s partners within the Michigan By Rail group, are designed to engage the forum attendees in a similar vision-setting process and comments collected from the attendees will be submitted to the department as part of MDOT’s rail plan process.
Please take a few minutes to review the State Rail Plan website and submit your comments online, or plan on attending one of the upcoming Michigan By Rail forums (September 8th in St. Joseph and September 15th in Dearborn) and share your thoughts on what Michigan should be doing to leverage passenger, freight, commuter and light rail opportunities to boost economic development and quality of life.
Chris Hackbarth handles transportation issues for the Michigan Municipal League. Chris can be reached at 517-908-0303, or by email at email@example.com.