Posts Tagged ‘East Lansing Amtrak station’

East Lansing Agent Service Ends Monday

October 28, 2018

The Amtrak agent in East Lansing, Michigan, will be removed effective Oct. 29.

Amtrak said passengers boarding or people meeting detraining passengers from the Chicago-Port Huron, Michigan Blue Water will continue to have access to the station’s waiting area and restrooms each day.

The access for westbound Train 365 will begin at 7 a.m. while access for eastbound Train 364 will state at 8 p.m.


East Lansing Ticket Office Closing Oct. 29

October 19, 2018

Amtrak will remove its ticket agent from the East Lansing, Michigan, station on Oct. 29.

A caretaker will continue to open the waiting room at the station.

Passengers will be able to buy tickets from a self-serve kiosk at the station or make reservations at, on the Amtrak mobile app, or by phone at 800-872-7245.

East Lansing is served by the Chicago-Port Huron, Michigan, Blue Water. It also as connecting bus service to Amtrak’s Wolverine Service trains that operate between Chicago and Detroit.


Amtrak to Close East Lansing Ticket Office

September 7, 2018

Amtrak plans to close its ticket office in East Lansing, Michigan, as soon as it can work out arrangements with station owner Capital Area Transportation Authority.

The fourth-busiest Amtrak station in Michigan will join a list that includes Niles, Jackson and Flint where Amtrak has removed ticket agents.

The Amtrak ticket office in East Lansing is currently closed on Tuesday and Wednesday with only a caretaker paid for by the Michigan Department of Transportation overseeing the station.

MDOT Communications Manager Michael Frezell said the agency is working to hire a full-time caretaker for East Lansing.

The caretaker would open the stations before trains arrive. “With a vast majority of tickets being purchased online, having tickets purchased at the station has significantly reduced over the past year,” Frezell said.

Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari declined to comment on the closing of the ticket office in East Lansing, saying that the carrier posts notices of that intent on its website but it has yet to do so in the case of East Lansing.

Magliari also wouldn’t comment on what threshold of patronage that Amtrak uses when deciding to close a ticket office.

This year Amtrak has closed several ticket offices at stations that it said averaged fewer than 40 passenger boardings per day.

Trains magazine quoted an unnamed Amtrak source as saying the minimum threshold of 40,000 boardings per fiscal year is being used to review which ticket offices to keep open and which to close.

More than 68,000 passengers boarded trains at East Lansing in fiscal year 2017, almost was 10,000 more than the number who boarded at Detroit, which is retaining its ticket office.

Amtrak also continues to maintain ticket offices in Michigan in Dearborn, Ann Arbor and Kalamazoo, all of which had higher patronage than East Lansing in 2017, and at Battle Creek and Port Huron, both of which handled fewer passengers in 2017 than East Lansing.

East Lansing is served by Amtrak’s Chicago-Port Huron Blue Water.

Some Think Parking Too Pricey in East Lansing

December 23, 2016

Some Lansing, Michigan, region Amtrak passengers are grousing about the cost of parking at the East Lansing station.

Amtrak 4It used to be free to park there, but that has not been the case since Amtrak began using the new Capital Area Multimodal Gateway last January.

Capital Area Transportation Authority charges $10 a day with a $50 maximum charge per week. The facility also serves local and intercity buses.

A CATA spokesperson told the Lansing State Journal that the parking fees at the facility were similar to those of other Lansing area parking facilities.

The City of East Lansing charges $15 a day in garages and $20 in surface lots. The City of Lansing charges $10 a day in its parking garages and Capital Regional International Airport has a $12 a day fee in short-term parking lots and $10 a day in long-term lots.

But when compared with the cost of parking at other Amtrak stations in Michigan, East Lansing is pricey.

East Lansing is served by the Chicago-Port Huron, Michigan, Blue Water and parking is free at Amtrak stations on the route in Port Huron, Flint, Durand, Battle Creek, Dowagiac, Niles and New Buffalo.

There is no parking at the station in Lapeer and in Kalamazoo Amtrak passengers are directed to use a city lot that charges $9.70 a night on weekdays and $3 on Saturdays. Parking is free in the Kalamazoo city facility on Sunday.

On Amtrak’s Wolverine Service route in Michigan, parking is free in Dearborn and Ann Arbor.

Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said the passenger carrier is a tenant in East Lansing and has no say over parking fees at the station.

Magliari said it is not unusual for parking at or near Amtrak stations to come with a fee.

Although parking used to be free at the former East Lansing Amtrak station, problems arose when Michigan State University students who were not traveling would park there.

The CATA spokewoman said Amtrak passengers who don’t want to pay parking fees can ride a bus home or get a lift from a taxi or Uber driver. Passengers can even have friends drop them off or pick them up.

The parking rate in East Lansing, though, must seem like a bargain to Chicago residents who pay $26 a day to park at Chicago Union Station.

Self-Parking Lot Open in East Lansing

September 6, 2016

The East Lansing, Michigan, Amtrak station has a self-parking lot that is operated by the Capital Area Transit Authority.

michiganThe lot has 150 parking spaces and can be used for short and long-term parking.

Cash and credit cards are accepted to pay parking charges. The charges range from $1 for 30 minutes to $10 for day parking. A week pass is available for $50. Long-term parking passes are available on sliding scale that ranges to $110 for a 15-day pass.

Amtrak patrons may no longer park in an overflow parking lot on the campus of Michigan State University.

There is no charge to briefly park in front of the station to drop off or pick up passengers.

For more information on station parking, contact CATA at (517) 394-1000.

East Lansing is served by the daily Chicago-Port Huron, Michigan, Blue Water.

Amtrak Set to Use E. Lansing Intermodal Terminal

January 22, 2016

Amtrak will begin using a new East Lansing, Michigan, intermodal terminal on Jan. 25.

The Chicago-bound Blue Water will still use the current Amtrak station, but when the train returns that evening it will stop at the $6.3 million Capital Area Multimodal Gateway facility.

Amtrak 4Local and intercity bus routes have been using the facility since late last year.

Once Amtrak vacates its existing East Lansing station the building will be razed to make way for a parking lot for the intermodal terminal.

The intermodal terminal, built in large part with federal funds, is located at Harrison and Trowbridge roads.

It is three times larger than the nearby Amtrak station.

“We are so pleased to finally have Amtrak move into our new state-of-the-art facility,” CATA CEO Sandy Draggoo said in a statement. “The Gateway has been ready and waiting for Amtrak’s occupancy, which will complement intercity bus operations, provided by MegaBus, Greyhound and Indian Trails, along with taxi service.”

Amtrak ticket agents will be on duty daily in the intermodal terminal between 7 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

East Lansing is the fifth busiest station among the 28 that Amtrak serves in Michigan and handled more than 66,000 passengers in 2013.

Transfer of Telephone Lines Holding up Amtrak’s Move into East Lansing’s New Multimodal Hub

January 11, 2016

A new intermodal station in East Lansing, Michigan, is open for business, but Amtrak continues to stop at its previous station site.

The Capital Area Multimodal Gateway, which is operated by the Capital Area Transportation Authority, opened last November and local and intercity buses are using it.

Even though Amtrak about two weeks ago signed a lease to use the facility, CATA said it can’t raze the current Amtrak station until the passenger carrier moves into the new intermodal terminal.

And that is not going to be for a few more weeks, an Amtrak spokesman said because it will take that long to move ts telephones, computers and other data capabilities to the new building.

“We can’t move the ticket agent without moving the telephone,” said Marc Magliari, adding that that work involves several companies.

The new intermodal station, located at Harrison and Trowbridge roads, is three times larger than the current Amtrak station.

The new facility has bus bays with canopies and storage space for luggage and bicycles. There also is an overflow area for taxis and buses and parking for 150 vehicles.

The parking lot, though, has yet to be paved. CATA officials are waiting for the Amtrak station to be razed and then plan to do paving in one project.

The East Lansing intermodal station was funded with a $6.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

It is built on the site of the former Michigan State University Surplus Store and Printing Services buildings. Those were demolished in August 2014.

“We are eager to have the relocation take place in order to better accommodate Amtrak customers — as we have our intercity bus customers — and complete all phases of this project,” said CATA spokeswoman Laurie Robison. “The timing decision rests solely with Amtrak.”

Amtrak’s Chicago-Port Huron, Michigan, Blue Water serves East Lansing, which is the fifth busiest Amtrak station in Michigan serving more than 66,000 passengers annually.

Only Ann Arbor, Kalamazoo, Dearborn and Detroit board more Amtrak passengers and all of those stations are served by six daily Wolverine Service trains between Chicago and Detroit (Pontiac)

Also using the Capital Area Multimodal Gateway are MegaBus, Greyhound and Indian Trails bus companies.

E. Lansing Station Access Restricted

July 26, 2014

A six-week demolition project will result in the Amtrak station in East Lansing, Mich., being a pick-up and drop-off only starting July 28. Station parking will be limited. Passengers and others are asked to use caution as they must walk through the parking lot near the work area. East Lansing is served by the daily Chicago-Port Huron, Mich., Blue Water.

Amtrak Apologizes To East Lansing Passengers

January 16, 2014

Amtrak has apologized to passengers left stranded in East Lansing, Mich., last week when the Blue Water to Chicago failed to show up during severe winter weather that prompted the cancellation of several trains.

About 20 would-be passengers were affected and will be offered refunds or credits for future travel.

Making matters worse, neither of the Amtrak agents assigned to the East Lansing station showed up for work that day, with both calling in sick.

Amtrak said it has developed alternate plans to open the station if one or more ticket agents cannot open it as usual.

East Lansing to Get New Amtrak Station

October 12, 2013

Lansing and East Lansing, Mich., will be getting a new Amtrak station in early 2015.

A new $10.5 million transportation center will be built in East Lansing on a 9-acre site near Harrison and Trowbridge roads.

The current East Lansing Amtrak station, which serves the daily Chicago-Port Huron, Mich., Blue Water,  is expected to be demolished by the end of 2013.

The new transportation center will also serve intercity bus routes as well as local buses of the Capital Area Transportation Authority.

The bulk of the funding for the project is a $6.3 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration, a unit of the U.S. Department of Transportation. The project also includes $500,000 matching grants from MDOT and Amtrak.

Planners envision that the new facility will be between 6,000 and 9,000 square feet, with 140 to 150 parking spaces.

The site of the current Amtrak station is owned by Michigan State University, which leases the station to CATA for $1 annually. A 99-year lease was signed in January 2011.

The current station also serves Greyhound and Indian Trails buses. Both companies are expected to serve the new transportation center as is low-fare carrier Megabus.

Michigan Flyer has not decided if it will serve the new transportation. It’s buses currently stop in downtown East Lansing.

Construction of the new transportation center may begin in the spring. Work remains to be done on the new facility’s design.

MSU donated the property for the new transportation center, which was recently appraised at $2.5 million, an in-kind grant match. All but one of the five buildings at the site will be razed.