MDOT and Amtrak Break Ground for New Station in Pontiac

PONTIAC, Mich. – Top officials with the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and Amtrak joined representatives of the city of Pontiac and Greyhound today to break ground for the new Pontiac Transportation Center, which will serve intercity rail and bus passengers.

The intermodal station project is funded with $1.4 million from the state’s Comprehensive Transportation Fund account. Located at 51000 Woodward Ave., the facility will serve as a hub for travel, including the six daily Amtrak Wolverine Service trains to and from Detroit and Chicago. More than 300,000 passengers have taken Wolverine Service trains this fiscal year.

“We believe that transit must be a strong component of economic development in Michigan. More transit means attracting more investment and more talent to Michigan,” said State Transportation Director Kirk T. Steudle, who pointed out a local transit stop on Woodward Avenue, just outside the station, with services provided by the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART).

“We need transit systems that will relieve congestion, conserve energy, reduce climate change, and create jobs and economic development. And to help support those transit systems, we need attractive facilities that are safe and accessible for all our citizens,” Steudle added.

“Stations are one of my great interests – and as a former mayor – I know they are engines of economic development,” said Thomas Carper, chairman of the Amtrak board of directors. “We look forward to working with Michigan to realize the economic potential of this rail corridor.”

When complete in the summer of 2011, this building will complete the replacement of the former “Pontiac Transpo Center,” which was demolished in 2008. Since then, Amtrak passengers and offices in Pontiac have been in housed in temporary facilities.