MDOT Head Kirk Steudle's Twitter Account:

NCST (National Center for Sustainable Transportation) twitter account:

APTA: 2/3rds of Americans likely to use high speed rail if it was available, September 24, 2015

Detroit News: MDOT to stop rail car payments, August 30, 2015

A Michigan official confirmed Sunday that the state has reached a tentative agreement to stop making lease payments on train cars that aren’t being used.  The lease payments, which are $3,000 a day, would end Sept. 30, The News had reported. The state will maintain a five-year option to reclaim the cars for use for a proposed commuter rail service in southeast Michigan.

MLive: Final draft of Ann Arbor train station study awaits state, federal review, Ryan Stanton, August 20, 2015

Detroit News, Grand Rapids, Detroit train idea taking shape, Leonard Fleming, July 21, 2015

The Detroit to Grand Rapids line isn’t the only one being explored. Preliminary discussions have been underway for months on establishing a rail connection from Ann Arbor to Traverse City. The Michigan Land Use Institute is pushing MDOT officials to study the feasibility of the route using existing freight rails with the hope that it could be operational by 2025.

MLive: MDOT seeks to cut payments on idle rail cars, launch Detroit-Ann Arbor commuter line by 2019, J. Oosting, June 1, 2015

"I think you need to cut your losses on this," state Rep. Tim Kelly, R-Saginaw, told MDOT officials last month during a committee hearing. "This is just large central planning that doesn't work. You don't have the bird in the hand here. We got caught in this, it didn't work out, and we need to extract ourselves."

Detroit News: Bill Ford: Automakers must embrace mobility changes, Michael Martinez, May 28, 2015

He said in the near future, transportation in cities will look vastly different than it does today. Cars, bicycles, subways and other systems will all be connected and communicate with each other, and city dwellers will have more options than ever with the continued rise of car-sharing services such as Uber, Lyft and Zipcar.

MLive: Ann Arbor officials say decision on new train station site coming soon, Ryan Stanton, May 13, 2015

Detroit News: Editorial: MDOT Bungles Rail Car Lease, May 5, 2015

MLive: City decision on new train station could alter riverfront development plans, April 30, 2015

Japan's maglev train sets new world speed record, 603 Kmh - April 21, 2015

Livingston Daily: Officials should review Ann Arbor-Livingston bus route - April 16th, 2015

"There's not much we've liked about the proposed Washtenaw and Livingston (WALLY) commuter train that would connect Howell and Ann Arbor.  So far, it's been a money pit.  However, talk about a bus line from Ann Arbor to southern Livingston County is something we believe makes sense."

Livingston Daily: MDOT says deals close to sublet idle railcars, Paul Egan, April 10, 2015

MLive: Will commuter rail service between Ann Arbor and Howell require a new tax? - Ryan Stanton, March 31, 2015

Livingston Daily: WALLY meeting gauges interest, answers to come - Wayne Peal, March 30, 2015

MLive: Discussion of commuter rail between Ann Arbor and Howell continues - Ryan Stanton, March 30, 2015

U.S. House, Senate Budgets Have Big Cuts in Transportation Infrastructure - David Reich, March 27, 2015

"Now that the House and Senate have both passed their budget plans, here’s one more problem with them: they’d cut highway construction and other transportation infrastructure funding over the next decade by 28 percent and 22 percent, respectively, below the cost of maintaining current funding levels.  The plans cite the Highway Trust Fund shortfall to justify these cuts."

MLive: Commuter bus service on U.S. 23 north of Ann Arbor could happen in 2017 - Ryan Stanton, March 20, 2015

MLive: AAATA treasurer leading review of agency's travel and meal expense policies - Ryan Stanton, March 20, 2015

MLive: Former Ann Arbor transit authority CEO spent $40K on taxpayer-funded meals - Ryan Stanton, March 15, 2015

March 12, March 16: North-South Commuter Rail Feasibility Study Community Meeting

WALLY's Facebook Page: The Washtenaw and Livingston Line

A2 Independent: EDITORIAL: Local Officials’ Roles in $12M “Debacle” - March 10, 2015

IN 2009, DAWN Gabay, then interim executive director of the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority (AATA) sent a letter to an MDOT official urging MDOT not to lease 23 outdated rail cars from a company owned by Louis Ferris, Jr. Ferris had purchased over 50 of the outdated double decker rail cars in 2006. That same year, John Hieftje, the city’s former mayor, announced a plan for a $27 million commuter rail service between Ann Arbor and Howell, the so-called “WALLY.” Ferris and Hieftje then began selling the proposed commuter line to the public. It has been revealed that MDOT paid a company headed by Louis Ferris, Jr. over $12 million for train cars that have never been used and are, by all accounts, unsuitable for commuter rail use.

A2 Independent: Ann Arbor—First Stop in $12 Million MDOT “Rail Debacle?” - March 10, 2015

As of 2014, close to $32 million in local, county, state and federal funding had been spent on the WALLY, including millions on commuter rail cars, track improvements, staff, consultants, studies, marketing and other ancillary costs for a commuter train that the public was told would launch in 2009 and 2011, respectively.

SEMCOG Survey asks for perspective on road conditions and Proposal 1 - March 6, 2015

MLive: AATA announces names of 3 finalists for CEO position, March 6, 2015

A2 Independent: EDITORIAL: Fire, Ready, Aim - March 2, 2015

THE AATA SPENT about $1.4 million on consultants, marketing and collateral materials to shape and pitch to Washtenaw County  residents a proposed $500 million regional transit plan. The amount spent did not include hundreds of hours of staff time or taxpayer dollars used by then AATA CEO Michael Ford to wine and dine county politicians. How would AATA fund the $500 million dollar proposed plan? The AATA Board conducted studies, employed consultants and allocated AATA staff hours before ever identifying a way to pay for the transit scheme. The proposal imploded when virtually every county municipality and township, after having been automatically opted in, withdrew from the regional transit group launched by a newly-formed AAATA.

MLive: AATA official urged MDOT not to lease railcars that are now costing state millions, February 25, 2015

In 2009, more than a year before MDOT signed a contract to lease and refurbish the double-decker railcars, which since have cost the state about $12 million, an Ann Arbor transit official told MDOT the cars were not suitable for proposed commuter rail services because they didn't meet federal requirements and tried to steer state officials toward other cars available for sale at a much lower price, the Free Press reported.   The AATA official who sent the letter to MDOT in March 2009 is Dawn Gabay, the agency's deputy CEO and chief operating officer.   (MLive story by Ryan Stanton)

Detroit News: MDOT director grilled on road warranties, rail cars - February 25, 2015

MLive: Officials voice big ambitions for Detroit's M-1 Rail system, regional transit - Matt Harding, February 24, 2015

Free Press: Auditor knocks MDOT on $12M unused rail car debacle, February 14, 2015

Detroit News: MDOT spent $9.5M to refurbish idle rail cars, February 13, 2015

"The Howell-to-Ann Arbor project, however, remains years away from becoming a reality. A 12- to 18-month feasibility study began last month on the project, and there is not complete buy-in from communities along the route to fund commuter train operations, said Michael Benham, a strategic planner at the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority."

Michigan Radio: Audit - MDOT rail program wasted millions, February 14, 2015

AATA/MDOT WALLY Listening Post - a place for your public comments

MDOT pays $1.1 million a year to lease for rail cars it can’t use, as the taxpayer tab for the project approaches $12 million. - MARP (Michigan Association of Railway Passengers) February 6, 2015

WDET News - Study to Evaluate Feasibility of Howell to Ann Arbor Rail, February 3, 2015

Free Press: Howell to Ann Arbor rail project gets feasibility study - Lisa Roose-Church, Feb.3, 2015

Pitched in 2007, where's WALLY? - Livingston Daily, February 1, 2015

MLive: Southeast Michigan mass transportation plans, strategies outlined at Detroit transit summit - Ian Thibodeau, Nov. 18, 2014

Free Press Op-Ed: Get corridor connections up and running in Michigan - Gillian Gainsley, Nov. 18, 2014

Ann Arbor News: 18-month study planned for Howell-to-Ann Arbor commuter rail.  October 15, 2014

MLive: AAATA CEO Michael Ford leaves to take over reins of Southeast Michigan Regional Transit Authority, pockets retroactive pay raise on the way out of town. 

WALLY group eyes diesel multiple-unit rail cars option.  June 9, 2014

MLive: AAATA CEO chosen to lead new Southeast Michigan Regional Transit Authority - Ryan Stanton, May 22, 2014

"The RTA was formed in 2012 to coordinate regional transit efforts in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb and Washtenaw counties.  The agency has received some initial funding from the state, and there are talks now of putting a regional tax for expanded bus services on the ballot in 2016."

MLive: Analysis: How the AAATA millage vote went in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township - Ryan Stanton, May 7, 2014

AATA Argues for U.S. 23 HOV Lanes, April 30, 2014

The Michigan Environmental Council's Concerns re U.S.-23 Project, April 30, 2014

WALLY Hitting the Wall?  Policy analysis by an Ann Arbor blogger and an excellent collection of links.

The curious, quiet project to widen seven miles of U.S. 23 between A2 and I-96, Tim Fisher, Michigan Environmental Council, November 26, 2013

Ann Arbor News: Officials eye 415 W. Washington for future downtown Ann Arbor train station, March 28, 2013

Ann Arbor News: New Ann Arbor railroad ownership could boost commuter rail plans, January 16, 2013

Ann Arbor News: SEMCOG says demonstration trains could start next year, November 12, 2012

MiRadio: $640,000 Federal grant boosts Ann Arbor/Livingston County commuter rail project, August 17, 2012

Ann Arbor News, October 29, 2006:

“Passenger rail idea has powerful advocate," part 1
“Passenger rail idea has powerful advocate," part 2

Ann Arbor News, Opinion; “Commuter train may be a way to unclog US-23”; June 26, 2006

Studies & Reports:

The North-South Commuter Rail Study

SEMCOG: Winter 2015 Update: WALLY, Ann Arbor-Detroit Regional Rail, FRA, FHWA, MDOT, FTA, GLCRR (PDF Download)

AATA: WALLY Current Efforts:

June 2014 Status Report

N-S Rail (WALLY) Feasibility Study - Work Plan

N-S Rail (WALLY) Commuter Railroad demonstration train in Howell, MI, August, 2014.

WALLY: Past Studies & Reports

Evaluation of Downtown Ann Arbor North-South Commuter Rail (WALLY) Station Sites; for Ann Arbor Transportation Area Authority, by Smith Group/JJR; July, 2014

North-South (WALLY) Commuter Rail Minimum Operational Configuration (MOC); Staff Concept Report for Discussion; June 2014

The Case for WALLY (2013 AATA Presentation, April, 2010 to September, 2013, latest revision)

AAATA: A Transit Vision for Washtenaw County, June, 2011. Click here to download the AAATA's infamous 500 million dollar plan, (a 14MB pdf).

The Case for WALLY (2009 AATA Presentation)

WALLY North South Commuter Rail Service Business Plan; Corridor Oversight Committee, Livingston and Washtenaw Counties; September, 2008

Washtenaw Livingston Rail Line (Wally) Technical Review; Final Report and Revised Draft Business Plan; R.L. Banks & Associates, Inc.; June 26, 2008

Mayor’s Model for Mobility; June 26, 2006 

Railroad Associations:

GLC: Great Lakes Central Railroad

MARP (Michigan Association of Railway Passengers

The Livonia based Michigan Association of Railroad Passengers, Inc. (MARP) was established in 1973 as a consumer advocacy group to improve intercity rail and bus passenger service and to improve local transit service.  Their website has dozens of stories covering WALLY, as well as a page full of links to Railroads, transit authorities, and projects.

Click here to download the official Michigan state rail plan. (external link to a pdf)

Midwest High Speed Rail Association, Michigan

Agencies, Advocates, Blogs, Lobbyists Masquerading as Activists:

Wake Up Washtenaw!

Friends of WALLY

WALLY Hitting the Wall?  Policy analysis by an Ann Arbor blogger and an excellent collection of links.

SEMCOG's News and Events Blog

The North-South Commuter Rail (WALLY) Study

Michigan Talk at - This talkboard has several WALLY threads.

Motor City Freedom Riders "Transportation is Freedom"

Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan

Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG)

SMART (Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation)

Transportation for Michigan

Transportation Riders United

Washtenaw Area Transit Study (WATS)