City to Break Ground Tuesday on Troy Transit Center

The transit center will be an Amtrak station with access to regional bus routes, taxi services and the Troy-Oakland airport.

The following information was provided by the City of Troy.

After nearly a decade of planning, the City of Troy will break ground at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday on the Troy Multi-Modal Transit Facility.

The City of Troy received a federal grant for the construction of the transit center through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) Program and Federal Rail Administration (FRA).  The project is fully funded with federal funds; no City funding is required for the construction of the project.

The Troy Multi-Modal Transit Facility will replace an inadequate Amtrak station with an ADA-compliant, safe and secure transportation center in the City of Troy.  The Facility will strengthen transit options and provide greater mobility options through a centralized facility allowing user access to intercity passenger rail service, regional bus routes, taxi services and the Troy-Oakland Airport. 

The project includes a 2,000-square-foot building with a waiting area and public restrooms.  The facility will provide linkages to groundside intermodal facilities via ADA-compliant sidewalks and a pedestrian bridge over the tracks to a new Amtrak platform on the west side of the tracks. Elevators and stairs will provide access to the pedestrian bridge.  The new facility will also provide a SMART bus stop area sized to accommodate up to four full size buses, and a passenger/taxi drop off and pick up area.  Parking for all modes of travel will be provided in an upgraded parking area on the Troy side.

Dale Murrish November 21, 2012 at 02:14 AM
The only thing "inadequate" in the current location was a shortage of dedicated parking (only 20 spaces). An upgraded structure could have been built on the existing site for much less, probably around $200K, far less than the cost of the footbridge alone. Other factors favored the current Birmingham location. http://troy.patch.com/articles/letter-to-the-editor-improve-current-transit-center-don-t-build-new The transit center was far from unanimous in its support, despite what supporters say. Yes, it was ten years in the planning, but people were planning to spend our federal tax money on a very expensive project that did NOT improve train service. Yes, it does improve the infrastructure (a 2000 SF waiting room with heat and a 20,000 SF empty footbridge with elevators because the waiting room is on the wrong side of the tracks), but at a very high marginal cost ($18.73 per passenger subsidy on the annual interest payments based on the current 66 passengers per day, never mind repaying the principal). http://troy.patch.com/blog_posts/troy-transit-center-the-real-cost-of-the-footbridge Yes, there is also a bus depot, but the bus station also does NOT improve service and could have been built on less expensive land elsewhere as proposed by Dave Henderson. Thankfully, this project has been reduced in cost from the original proposal, but it is still very expensive for what it accomplishes.
Igor Loprevich November 22, 2012 at 04:38 AM
Expand your thinking. Think what is possible. You can't live forever in a rabbit hole. Progress means losing some control.
Linda November 25, 2012 at 06:52 PM
What is ironic is that the cost savings were mainly LEED certification items which would have saved money down the road. "Penny wise, pound foolish."
Jeff S. November 26, 2012 at 07:48 PM
The land was deeded to the City of Troy as party of the consent judgement way back when. Therefore the land was free. Is there some land in Troy that is cheaper than free? Is that cheaper-than-free land adjacent the train tracks?
Dale Murrish November 26, 2012 at 10:37 PM
Some features of LEED design are useful and cost-efficient, but there was no reasonable Return On Investment for some of the other deleted items. Solar charging panels make sense in Michigan only if there is a marketing reason. I think there were also heated sidewalks in the original plan, hardly energy efficient unless it was waste heat from boilers somewhere. The design that saves the most energy is to not build an unnecessary building in the first place. My big issue with this project was the immoral transfer of federal debt to the next generation when our country is borrowing 40 cents on every dollar we spend. It’s fitting that Dane Slater will be mayor for the ground-breaking, since his visionary leadership and working after the December deadline brought this expensive project to Troy. I hope it works out well and does not become the seldom used white elephant or crime magnet its critics predicted. For sure it will cost Troy taxpayers extra to have the police patrol the empty building and elevators at night and on weekends when no buses are running. Meanwhile, residents are told they must accept fewer police services.
Jeff S. November 27, 2012 at 12:51 AM
I consider the war in Iraq to be an immoral transfer of federal debt to the next generation. At least with this spending we get a train station out of the deal.
B. Yaldo November 27, 2012 at 02:07 PM
Amen to that, Jeff! Could not have said it better.
Glenn November 27, 2012 at 02:45 PM
C'mon Jeff. You know that "true" fiscal conservatives never scrimp when it comes to bombing brown people. The ROI on international hegemony just can't be accurately measured.
David Gifford November 27, 2012 at 05:23 PM
While I feel this is a step in the right direction, there is a lot of ground work that needs to be done for this station to be a success. #1 - Amtrak only runs past that station 3 times a day. It departs the Birmingham station at 6:18am, 10:54am and 5:48pm. Arrival times are 2:40pm, 8:17pm and 12:59am. If this station supported a commuter train that ran between Ann Arbor and Pontiac more than 3 times a day (and only if a new station is built at Merriman Road by the airport) will this train line be successful. SEMCOG has been testing a refurbished commuter train between Jackson and Pontiac ( http://www.theride.org/Wally/Roadshow.pdf ) ( http://www.mlive.com/news/jackson/index.ssf/2012/11/jackson_was_test_spot_for_newl.html ) #2 - The image of public transit in Detroit and surrounding communities needs to change. When I think of SMART buses, I think of people standing in the grass next to a sign on the side of the road with no bus shelter. This needs a new, attractive approach. If you have never heard of Freshwater Railway, check this out: http://www.fwrail.org/ Here are some people who have worked in the transit industry and are presenting a fully thought out system. I think they have some great ideas. #3 - I don't see a Regional Transit Authority happening unless each city agrees to how it will be run or it is a privately owned organization. Also, Metro Detroit won't want to pay taxes for buses and trains AND roads and bridges.
Dale Murrish November 28, 2012 at 10:43 PM
Enough with the deceitful race baiting. Glenn said “C'mon Jeff. You know that "true" fiscal conservatives never scrimp when it comes to bombing brown people.” There is only one race, the human race. True conservatives don’t want to bomb anyone except in defense of freedom, and then only as a last resort, same as liberals. I admire honest pacifists like the Amish who won’t drive cars because they can harm people. They serve in other ways during wars as conscientious objectors. I have disdain for dishonest leftist pacifists who deny the existence of evil unless it fits with their political views. Their version of “evil” is often just a difference of political opinion. It will be interesting to see the comments from Glenn, Jeff and others on my upcoming blog post: Axis of Evil – North Korea’s Underground Railroad. Starving your own people and isolating them from information (they just recently learned of John Lennon’s death) while developing nuclear weapons to blackmail the world – that is real evil. In the meantime, from your comfortable homes while others are defending your liberties, I’ll just ask you about Auschwitz. Should America have joined in the battle against National Socialism (leftist ideology, despite the way the media spins it today) or let the Jews, Christians, mentally handicapped, Slavs and Poles starve and be extinguished in Nazi death camps?
John November 28, 2012 at 11:43 PM
Actually, Dale, the Amish don't reject cars because of pacifism. They reject technology because of the effect it has on the community. The Amish follow Ordnung, a set of beliefs that define their relationships to God and the community. The Amish believe in submission to higher authority, with God and the Community being the most common examples. The Amish are communalists, rejecting much of the "modern" world in order to live together in peace and happiness. They view material possessions like television, cars, and telephones as a cause of covetousness. Because this is destructive to the community, they are rejected. (For further info, see the work of sociologist Donald Kraybill.)
Daffy Noodnicks November 29, 2012 at 12:44 AM
Please don't Nazi bait. Nazis were neither left nor right politically. It is disgusting and extremely offensive for anyone to try to link their ideology to contemporary politics. Unless you are talking about contemporary Nazis, just stop it.
Sharon November 29, 2012 at 01:33 AM
Dale, my understanding was that there were 3 parking spaces and it was a bus shelter. And one or two of the spaces were handicapped. Just so you know.I suppose as a great transportation expert you must understand that if you go to Chicago over the weekend by train, it would be right snappy to have free parking to leave your car. Or if you want to commute by train you can leave a car there. Now people can't do that. ...FYI.
S.L. Gross November 29, 2012 at 05:01 AM
Yes, let's talk Auschwitz, an extermination camp run by Nationalistic madmen who rejected liberalism and tried to wipe much of it from the earth, murdering communists and other left-leaning people. Hey, I've got an idea, Dale. Wanna meet some Auschwitz survivors? I know some dear people. I invite you to explain to them your misguided ideology of comparing liberals to Nazis. They would definitely have something to say about that. Hey, and let's talk about me for a minute. I am a proud liberal, wanting clean air, medicaid for my severely handicapped sister, you know, all of those commie ideas. But, you say that Nazis were on the left? Now, that bothers me because besides being a liberal, I am a Jew. When am I going to start being a anti-Semite? And should I start with a pogrom or just round the Jews up into a ghetto? Let me know. I've got plans to make. It's sad how brainwashed you are Dale.
Sharon November 29, 2012 at 06:19 AM
Yup Dale. And no doubt slaves were to blame for their captivity, Japanese Americans to be blamed for the internment and women to be blamed for being raped. Your lack of knowledge of just about everything you spew about is astonishing.
Dale Murrish November 29, 2012 at 12:04 PM
Thanks for the helpful additions to what I wrote on a complicated subject. I know more about the Amish than the average person. They are pacifists and conservative Bible-believing Christians. The other stuff John wrote is also true. Except for Sharon, you have all added good information. I've visited Dachau, read Metaxas' biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, so I know a bit about the Holocaust. Not as much as Jewish people, obviously. My point was that there is real evil in the modern world that need to be opposed. If no one opposes it, evil wins. That's all.
Jen Anesi (Editor) November 29, 2012 at 01:40 PM
Hey, all, I'm not sure how this conversation managed to shift away from the Transit Center to the Amish and Nazis, but please get the conversation back on track (no pun intended) or I'll shut down the comments. Thanks. Jen
Daffy Noodnicks November 29, 2012 at 02:37 PM
Apologies to Ms. Anesi. Dale: you are wrong about why Amish drive buggies. This has been pointed out to you before and is another example of you repeating something wrong. You said an extremely evil group of people were liberals which is a terrible thing to do. You don't have to be Jewish to know about the Holocaust or any other historical facts (??!!?), you just have to inform yourself and not say irresponsible wrong things. Try using unbiased good scholarship that might do something other than reinforce what you want to be true, like actually teach you something real, rather than fill your head with propaganda which you regurgitate on the Patch. Honestly, I don't know why I ever tried with Dale Murrish. I'm sure this is all falling deaf ears. I had given up. Mention of a certain political group roused me from my slumber. Here's one last attempt from Carl Sagan: "it is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."
Jeff S. November 29, 2012 at 02:44 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin's_law "Godwin observed that, given enough time, in any online discussion—regardless of topic or scope—someone inevitably makes a comparison to Hitler and the Nazis."
Dale Murrish November 29, 2012 at 09:36 PM
I was not wrong about the Amish. They are conservative, Bible-believing, pacifist Christians. They have differing rules agreed upon by the individual community. (Sorry, Jen, but I can’t let misinformation about Amish beliefs lie.) I’ve stayed at an Amish home run as a Bed & Breakfast in northern Indiana and visited Menno-hof at Amish Acres in Nappanee, which describes the Anabaptist roots of Mennonites (who do drive cars) and Amish (who do not). I’m not familiar with the source John used. Quoting someone other than the actual group about their religious beliefs is a little sketchy. This summer I spoke with an Amish farmer who had hosted a horse-drawn farm exposition on his northern Michigan farm. Their families had hired a van to take a short vacation day trip to Bois Blanc Island. Next year’s farm show will be held in Illinois; thousands attend from all over the U.S. Some come from Europe and Africa. Many Amish know more about our world than we do about theirs.
Dale Murrish November 29, 2012 at 09:38 PM
I’m glad there are proud liberals like S.L.; we need an open forum with all views heard to make the best soup. I have respect for proud liberals and disdain for deceitful liberals who want to shut down discussion by calling themselves conservatives and shaming others into silence. My main point remains. There is still evil in the modern world, which must be opposed or it will triumph. Not everyone can be pacifists. I stand corrected on Nazi Germany. I will re-ask the question: Should America have joined in the battle against National Socialism or surrendered and let the Jews, Christians, liberals, aristocrats, communists, mentally handicapped, Slavs and Poles starve and be extinguished in Nazi death camps? My answer is yes; hopefully everyone agrees on that and we can talk about other things.
Dale Murrish November 29, 2012 at 09:39 PM
Sharon, you were misinformed about the Birmingham train station. You could have talked to Cathy Fucinari or Linda, who commented on my December letter to the editor. There were not 3, but were and are TWENTY dedicated parking spaces for the train, within walking distance of the platform. The handicapped ones are right by the platform. Unlike most or all of the council members who voted for this boondoggle and other transit center proponents who could only see the flaws in what we had in Birmingham, I went there several times and took pictures twice, so I know a little something about what I’m talking about. You could have read my letter to the editor and seen the pictures yourself (which outline a proposal for upgrading the station for ~$200K with private sponsorships and dealing with the parking shortage) instead of calling me names: a “great transportation expert,” among other insults I won’t mention here. http://troy.patch.com/articles/letter-to-the-editor-improve-current-transit-center-don-t-build-new
Dale Murrish November 29, 2012 at 09:40 PM
There were empty spaces on Thanksgiving weekend (biggest travel weekend of the year?) when I took some of the pictures for the letter. You could go back and read it if you want, but I expect you’d rather continue to throw rocks than have a constructive dialogue. If you do read it, Sharon, please let me know what you think, even though it’s water under the $1.6M (or whatever the cost was reduced to) footbridge now. I like passenger trains as much as anyone, but oppose wasteful spending for marginal improvement or maybe a step backwards overall. This was a prime example, so I got involved! It will be a long time, if ever, before many people commute by rail from Troy to Detroit. For now there are 66 passengers per day on 3 Amtrak trains, with more than $18 per passenger subsidy on the interest alone for the new station, never mind paying down the principal. You will have your shiny white elephant with windows that need cleaning, roofs that will need replacing, and a $6.4M unnecessary increase to the mountain of federal debt for our kids and grandkids. Hope you’re happy!
B. Yaldo November 30, 2012 at 12:27 PM
Well, Dale, I'm Happy! More than happy to see our City move forward, along with other communities in the region that chose to invest in our "kids and grandkids'" future. When are you going to move on?? Could you, please, just learn to lose with some grace? Your after-the-fact argument against the Transit Center is absolutely pointless. Why not invest your energy in something more constructive instead?
Sue Martin November 30, 2012 at 12:41 PM
I went and looked, Dale. I went several times. It's difficult to find; if you didn't KNOW it was there, you wouldn't know it was there. It's in an awkward, near-hidden location. The parking to which you refer? Residential street parking that is really for the condos and visitors to the condos. It is not meant for long-term parking for a rider of the train. In addition, to park a block away and walk up to the platform and then wait out in the elements? Not exactly ideal. So the argument as you see it has been, essentially, "Why, there's enough parking SOMEWHERE sort of close, and I don't understand why MORE folks aren't HAPPY to schlep their bags for travel down a block or two and up the platform, in rain or sleet or snow!! Why would ANYONE want close, safe and adequate parking and a warm place to wait?? That surely won't increase ridership, will it?" So let's review: poor conditions, terrible parking and inconvenient location vs. open and accessible location, proposed increased routes, more-than-adequate parking, indoor waiting and comfortable walk to enclosed platform. Oh, and bonus revenue for Troy. How awful for us.
Cathy Fucinari November 30, 2012 at 02:30 PM
Dale, I would strongly suggest you never refer to liberals as Nazi's again. That single thought demonstrated more ignorance than anything else you have said.
Dale Murrish November 30, 2012 at 10:42 PM
Cathy, I never said liberals were Nazis. I said National Socialism was leftist ideology (not the same thing; the reverse of a statement does NOT have the same meaning!), and I corrected my mistake when S.L. reminded me that communists and other liberals were also persecuted by the Nazis. Saying 1930s Nazis were leftists was incorrect. I was wrong about that! Fascism is totalitarianism of a different stripe, a cousin of communism. Both are dictators telling people how to live their lives. I never said, nor would I ever mean to imply, that any or all of today’s liberals are Nazis, even if what I actually wrote had been true. That is utterly ridiculous! So please do not accuse me of saying it or thinking it! Go back and read what I wrote the second time without your filter, please. And focus on the main point I was making: that evil must be resisted, or evil will win. I also said we need proud liberals like S.L. to make the best soup. Please be an honest, good hearted liberal, not a deceitful one who carelessly reads, misunderstands and sometimes twists what others write. I’m trying to be an honest, good hearted conservative. People who know me agree that I’m all three of those.
Dale Murrish November 30, 2012 at 10:44 PM
Sue, people see what they want to see. The 20 spots have signs that say “train parking only.” Parking is better at the new site behind Kohl’s but we gave up the walkable, bikable, upscale neighborhood that was touted by the transit center proponents. If Birmingham hadn’t backed out, their side would have been in an industrial zone. Remember, the station will be moved only a quarter mile. Supporters wanted to change the name to the Birmingham-Troy Transit Center after they had won approval for the Troy-centric project you just described as bringing more revenue to Troy. I thought we were giving up more than we were gaining, especially for the price spent. Thanks for going to look and see what was there. I did propose a warm place to wait: a replica of the original 1831 station to replace the current shelter, near the Whistle Stop Cafe, upscale restaurants and condos, at a fraction of the cost of the footbridge for Troy’s new Monument to Big Government. Go back and read my letter to the editor, linked above.
Dale Murrish November 30, 2012 at 10:45 PM
B. Yaldo, Mayor Daniels was just recalled partly over her opposition to the wasteful spending of the transit center. I’ll consider moving on to some other political issue after this battle over replacing her is finished, in December or February. In the meantime, it’s a great example of unnecessary “investment” that was opposed by many people and will be helpful as we choose leaders whenever the next elections are. So you can expect it to resurface as a hardy perennial in future campaigns. Please read my FLL blog post and consider coming to tomorrow’s FIRST LEGO League robot state competition for a change of pace if you’re tired of politics. The young people will have creative displays on how to help senior citizens and some awesome robots. It promises to be a fun day. http://troy.patch.com/blog_posts/first-lego-league-2012-senior-solutions


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