Michigan Senators Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow welcomed today a $6.3 million federal grant to help the Lansing area build a new bus and train station in East Lansing.
The grant will allow the Capital Area Transit Authority build a multimodal facility that will replace the area's small and outdated Amtrak passenger train terminal and include bus facilities.
"From state government to the auto industry to Michigan State University, the engines of Greater Lansing's economy depend on links to the Midwest and beyond," Levin said. "This grant award is a major step toward strengthening those links and helping the Lansing area grow."
"This is great news for families in the Greater Lansing area as well as students at Michigan State University," said Stabenow. "A strong public transportation system helps spur economic development so local businesses can create more jobs."
The Michigan delegation has supported the project for years, and helped win Senate approval of funding for the station in a spending bill for fiscal year 2011. That provision was later removed by a House-Senate conference committee.
CATA's plans include a new train and bus station, train passenger platform, parking lot, bus loading area and local traffic improvements. In support of the project, CATA has cited a 164 percent increase in Amtrak passenger traffic since 2003 and growing links between MSU and the Chicago area, including the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams now under construction on the MSU campus.
The grant was awarded by the Federal Transit Administration's Bus and Bus Facilities Livability Program, a competitive program that provides funding for local transit agencies to pay for buses and bus-related facilities.