In late October the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority voted to become the authority responsible for WALLY—the “Washtenaw and Livingston Line” that may, someday, deliver commuters from Howell to Ann Arbor. Though some board members expressed concern about the commitment of money and time, the vote was unanimous—prompting chair David Nacht to announce, “Choo choo!” The step means the train’s promoters can now apply for federal funds. A $500,000 grant is already budgeted—but when it comes to trains, that’s small change: it’s estimated that WALLY will require $32 million in capital expenditures up front and then $7 million a year to operate. Since fares are projected to bring in only about $2 million a year, AATA may put a new countywide transit millage before voters as early as next August. In the meantime, it’s helping to fund a study for a connector system from a future WALLY station that might include a streetcar, and subsidizing some commuter bus routes to other parts of the county. Still unresolved: how to shield AATA from liability if the northbound train never materializes—because it if doesn’t, those federal grants will have to be repaid.