Transfer of Telephone Lines Holding Up Amtrak’s Move into East Lansing’s New Multimodal Hub

A new intermodal station in East Lansing, Michigan, is open for business, but Amtrak continues to stop at its previous station site.

The Capital Area Multimodal Gateway, which is operated by the Capital Area Transportation Authority, opened last November and local and intercity buses are using it.

Even though Amtrak about two weeks ago signed a lease to use the facility, CATA said it can’t raze the current Amtrak station until the passenger carrier moves into the new intermodal terminal.

And that is not going to be for a few more weeks, an Amtrak spokesman said because it will take that long to move ts telephones, computers and other data capabilities to the new building.

“We can’t move the ticket agent without moving the telephone,” said Marc Magliari, adding that that work involves several companies.

The new intermodal station, located at Harrison and Trowbridge roads, is three times larger than the current Amtrak station.

The new facility has bus bays with canopies and storage space for luggage and bicycles. There also is an overflow area for taxis and buses and parking for 150 vehicles.

The parking lot, though, has yet to be paved. CATA officials are waiting for the Amtrak station to be razed and then plan to do paving in one project.

The East Lansing intermodal station was funded with a $6.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

It is built on the site of the former Michigan State University Surplus Store and Printing Services buildings. Those were demolished in August 2014.

“We are eager to have the relocation take place in order to better accommodate Amtrak customers — as we have our intercity bus customers — and complete all phases of this project,” said CATA spokeswoman Laurie Robison. “The timing decision rests solely with Amtrak.”

Amtrak’s Chicago-Port Huron, Michigan, Blue Water serves East Lansing, which is the fifth busiest Amtrak station in Michigan serving more than 66,000 passengers annually.

Only Ann Arbor, Kalamazoo, Dearborn and Detroit board more Amtrak passengers and all of those stations are served by six daily Wolverine Service trains between Chicago and Detroit (Pontiac)

Also using the Capital Area Multimodal Gateway are MegaBus, Greyhound and Indian Trails bus companies.

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