The North-South Commuter Rail (WALLY) project is a proposed 27-mile long commuter rail service that would connect Ann Arbor and Howell, with intermediate stops along the way. It is being evaluated as an alternative to driving in the US-23 corridor and as a way to promote economic development, sound land use and job creation in the region.
The concept for a proposed North-South Commuter Rail service originated almost 10 years ago when communities affected by roadway and traffic conditions on I-96 and US-23 between Howell and Ann Arbor learned of the prospective cost and impact of construction projects within this corridor. With estimated highway construction costs nearing $500 million and predictions of multiple years of projects to improve capacity, a coalition of public and private entities developed a preliminary vision for rail service on existing state-owned track between Howell and the north side of Ann Arbor.
The North-South Commuter Rail Project is being investigated by a coalition of local public and private organizations in Washtenaw and Livingston counties to provide commuting options in a rapidly growing part of southeast Michigan. The coalition is facilitated by the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority (TheRide) serving as the designated authority.
North-South Commuter Rail Feasibility Study
The purpose of this study is to assess the overall feasibility of the North-South Commuter Rail project concept. This will be completed through a series of distinct phases and tasks that have been identified in conjunction with the Michigan Department of Transportation, the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration. The results of this assessment, which includes in-depth public and stakeholder involvement, will be used to determine if the project is feasible and, if so, as part of the documentation to prepare the project for future federal funding. The study will examine the feasibility of operating the service as well as options for funding and governance that will be acceptable to the affect communities.