New transit center in Pontiac welcomes train, bus commuters

A new transit center opened this week in Pontiac, giving residents and commuters a new, faster, more accessible and appealing way to travel, and the community an economic lift.

The 4,500-square-foot intermodal station at 51000 Woodward opened Aug. 8 and is a starting and stopping point for passengers on Amtrak trains, SMART buses and Greyhound bus lines. Passengers and crew members of the transportation providers now have a modern-designed lobby, indoor and outdoor seating for bus stops and under canopies and other conveniences and comforts.

The Pontiac stop is already showing that train travel is catching on in metro Detroit. Stats for 2010 train ridership in or out of Pontiac increased 10 percent from 2009, for a total of 16,000 riders using the station for train travel. Figures for 2011 are on pace to exceed 2010.

Michigan's state transportation director, Kirk T. Steudle, in a statement calls the station "an excellent example of why it's important for the state of Michigan to invest in safe, modern, accessible transit buildings…"

U.S. Rep. Gary Peters says in a statement announcing the opening that, "transit systems offer safe, affordable, accessible transportation options that benefit commuters, stimulate new business development within the community, and create jobs through the building and maintenance of critical infrastructure. We're making a commitment to the economic development of Pontiac, both today and in the future…"

State Rep. Tim Melton adds, "Not only will this instantly create good jobs for our residents, but this facility will also open numerous employment and economic opportunities for the citizens of Pontiac to access workplaces that, at one time may simply have been too far out of reach. I know that Pontiac is headed in the right direction and this is yet another indication of that progress."

Source: John Richard, Michigan Department of Transportation
Writer: Kim North Shine



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