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Wednesday April 23, 2014
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The Great Train Station Debate



eleven-member council--and that's counting the mayor's own.

Consigned to a minority, Hieftje might've sidelined or at least scaled backed his latest initiative: replacing the current Amtrak station on Depot St. with an all-new train station cum transit center, most likely located on Fuller Rd. next to the U-M Medical Center.

But when asked what's next on his agenda, the seven-term mayor replies without hesitating. "The transit center. It's such a good idea, the public will demand it!"

Looking ahead, Hieftje sees more Ann Arborites riding the rails. The federal government, he points out, has bought the track between Detroit and Chicago and is upgrading it to permit much faster intercity train travel. And that's just the beginning. "Imagine a train that's going to pull people out to the airport," Hieftje continues. "Imagine a [commuter] train like they use on the East Coast, with double-decker cars and Wi-Fi. That's how young people want to get to work. They don't want to drive!"

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