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AMTRAK, Ypsilanti to Detroit

You Asked…

I have a very real concern in regard to the train depot and speculation as to AMTRAK expanding their services from Ypsilanti to Detroit. I am NOT A FAN of providing mass transit of Detroiters to Ypsilanti/Ann Arbor. Sorry, but we have enough crime of our own and I think it naive to think that the drug and crime problems in Detroit would not ride along on those trains. Bad idea.

Our Response…

Amtrak is expected to begin commuter service, on a pilot basis, 4 trips daily in 2015.  Whether or not that occurs is not a subject for debate in this process, but how the train station could affect the nearby area is.  One of the milestones for the grant funding this project is to draft a transit oriented design plan for Depot Town, which will have a crime prevention component.  We encourage you to come to the charrettes, share your concerns and work with our urban designers to find solutions.  Thank you for your continued participation

7 Responses to AMTRAK, Ypsilanti to Detroit

  1. Richard Murphy says:

    Speaking as a resident of the Riverside neighborhood (between campus and Depot Town), I found the prospect of future commuter rail service as a big positive for buying our home in that location. I understand the concern about crime, but experience in other communities is that regional transit stations don’t increase crime, and in some cases have been shown to decrease crime in the surrounding area.

    The primary reason for this is that good transit service draws more economic activity to an area. Long-term, this can decrease crime by improving economic activity. Even in the short term, though, bringing more people and businesses to an area creates more “eyes on the street”, reducing opportunities for crime.

    Practically speaking, I think our very own homegrown crime, which we do have, and the stuff that comes in by car is much more significant than any future rail-driven crime. (Besides, a commuter train that only comes a few times a day makes a terrible getaway vehicle.)

  2. Cheryl Weber says:

    I agree with Richard. Trains are lousy get-a-way vehicles. Plus using transit buses or trains puts your image on security video and among many people who may be able to identify you later. I do not think we had any problem with this when the train stop was active. Friends used to commute from here to attend Wayne State U and to work too. Several people I know travel into Detroit daily or often . I would like to also, I do not drive so the train would be a wonderful expansion of my world and others.

  3. Tyler Weston says:

    From a real estate and community perspective commuter trains will only add more good things to our community and region. The way that proximity to to a commuter rail can add real estate value can be a major benefit to our Ypsi. Not only can this help our immediate real estate values and help to add new business to the city tax rolls, but we can also keep up with the progression of young professionals to move to cities that offer quick and swift public transport.

    Additionally, if we were to add a stop on this rail that would transport to the Metro Airport we would be adding an additional benefit to Ypsilanti residents current and future. I mean who likes paying $50.00 for a taxi or paying $70 to leave your car in the lot? I would much prefer to pay $5.00 to get a ride on the train that I could walk to from my house.

    Here are a couple of articles that brought me to this perspective that offer a fair view on the situation

    http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20120728/ISSUE03/307289990/the-young-and-the-carless

    http://publictransport.about.com/od/Transit_Projects/a/Rail-Transit-And-Property-Values.htm

  4. Aaron B. says:

    I live in the depot town area and am VERY excited about the prospect of a rail stop in depot town. Hopefully it actually comes to be!

  5. Lynne says:

    I love trains. I love them so much that I bought a house so close to the tracks that the trains shake it when they go by. I really want that commuter train. It would mean that I could have beers with my friends in Detroit instead of club soda because I have to drive home to Ypsilanti.

  6. Michael P says:

    Having commuter service in Ypsilanti would be a boon for the city. There may be those who work in Detroit who would consider living in Ypsilanti rather than the Detroit suburbs if they have a reliable transit option. Anyway, what’s the point of having a Depot Town without a functioning depot?

  7. Rich says:

    I think having an Amtrak line from Detroit to Ypsi would be a great idea. I grew up and lived in the south suburbs of Chicago and recently relocated to Michigan for school at EMU. As a kid, teenager, and still to this day when I visit relatives, I always take the Metra train from the south suburbs to downtown Chicago as a main way of transportation. It was easy, simple, and cheap! Didn’t have to worry about driving, looking for a parking spot, or paying ridiculous parking fees. $5.00 round-trip ticket and maybe $15 in cab fees to navigate the city was way better than $20 in gas and $40 in parking.

    This would potentially bring more crowds and businesses to the Depot Town area. It makes the city for accessible by visitors, and allows easy transportation to Detroit for work or entertainment.

    Additionally, I think the stop to Ypsilanti will bring more attention to our town over Ann Arbor. This will also be quite convenient when Ann Arbor decides to build a new $44.5 million Amtrak station for some short-term benefits.