In a November 15, 2016 MLive story, Ryan Stanton reports that the latest study of the long fantasized Ann Arbor to Howell rail line estimates its construction cost at as high as $122 Millon.  Potential annual running costs could exceed $13 Million. 

Stanton: "As for potential funding sources for the capital costs, estimates show 75 percent could come from state and federal sources, with a 25 percent local match.

For the full-service option, that includes $91.8 million in state and federal funds, and $30.6 million in local funds."

On Tuesday night, November 15, the results of the study will be presented to interested (or worried) taxpayers at a 6:30-8:30 p.m. Community meeting, held at Slauson Middle School, 1019 W. Washington Street in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  This is the last of three Community meetings staged by the North-South Commuter Rail group.  The first was held last week at the Northfield Township Hall.  The second was held November 14 in Howell.


The cost estimates are vastly greater than the original promises.  Northfield Township Manager Howard Fink is a member of the North-South Commuter Rail (WALLY) working group.  One is forced to wonder if the outrageous costs influenced the fact that the 'Northfield Township' 'Newsletter' issued no public notice of the November 9th WALLY Community Meeting until three hours before the meeting's staging at the Northfield Township Hall.

According to James C. Walker of the National Motorists Association (n.b. a lobbying group advocating traffic laws based on safety, not revenue)

Using the middle scenario of $65.2 million in capital costs and $7 million/year operating costs, here is what that might mean.  If the $65.2 million in capital costs is amortized over 20 years, that = $3.26 million per year amortization + $7 million operating costs = $10.26 million per year total costs, or $28,109.59 per day total costs.  Divided by 835 users per day = $33.66 per day per user costs.

Naturally, we will be told that it will all be paid for with free money.