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After years of delays and controversy, Troy Transit Center makes its debut

After years of delays caused by political infighting and real estate disputes, the Troy Transit Center is finally open for business.

The $6.3 million center will serve primarily as a much-improved Oakland County stop for Amtrak’s popular Wolverine Line.

That line, which connects Pontiac and Chicago, serves 500,000 riders annually. According to Amtrak, about 20,000 of them get on or off at the Troy stop.

Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said the new center is a big improvement over the old stop, which he described as a “modest, inadequate concrete platform.”

“Today, riders are safe, secure and warm inside this 2000 square foot transportation center behind me,” Patterson said.

The transit center is also “multi-modal,” with connections to suburban Detroit’s regional SMART bus system, taxi service, and improved parking.

Kirk Steudle, director Michigan Department of Transportation, said this and other improvements to transportation infrastructure statewide present a “tremendous economic opportunity.”

Steudle claimed the Troy center alone will generate an immediate $2.8 million in “economic payback.”

“That adds 2.8 million dollars of economic activity today—not even what we’re expecting it to grow into,” Steudle said. “That’s $47 per person.”

Amtrak officials say this is just one of several improvements coming online. New stations are expected to open in Dearborn and Grand Rapids before the end of the year.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Public in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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