A request for proposals to evaluate intercity railroad passenger service between Ann Arbor and Traverse City has been issued by the Michigan Department of Transportation.
The feasibility study will cost $160,000 of which half comes from a federal transportation planning grant. The other half will be split between the state and local agencies.
The not-for-profit Traverse City Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities led the drive to raise the local matching funds for the study.
Work on the study is expected to get underway in May.
MDOT Director Kirk Steudle said in a statement that demand for passenger rail service is “increasing because of high energy costs and increased congestion of highways and air travel.”
The A2TC route would serve Petoskey, Cadillac, Mt. Pleasant, Alma, Owosso, Durand, Howell and Ann Arbor.
It would connect with Amtrak’s Chicago-Detroit corridor at Ann Arbor.
The feasibility study is established to take nine months, but some officials are hoping it will be completed by November.