The Great Train Station Debate
The Ann Arbor / Ypsilanti Chamber of Commerce supports the transit center, citing economic and environmental benefits. But the local Sierra Club, which often has been at odds with Hieftje, opposes the new station--at least on Fuller Rd. "Generally we're in support of rail transit," explains local chair Nancy Shiffler, "and it may be that there is a need for expanded or upgraded rail transit. In this case, our specific objection is to the repurposing of parkland. It doesn't make sense to have a station there. Our inclination is that the city [should] use the existing site, and we want to make sure that happens."
Shiffler allows that "the current station would need some upgrading with the waiting room space and things like that, and also find different ways to manage the parking." But, she contends, "flooding is not necessarily an issue. You could design a building that would account for that."
"It's really pretty straightforward," says Steve Kunselman. "Ridership has leveled out. We won't need an improved station until ridership shows signs of picking up."