About Us

1230034_333642550104693_1803260983_nThe Friends of WALLY is an organization organized to educate the communities of Livingston and Washtenaw counties about the proposed commuter rail service between Howell and Ann Arbor, commonly known as “WALLY” or The North South Commuter Rail. We started as a group of neighbors in Livingston County who support the establishment of WALLY has grown to include folks from throughout the 27-mile rail corridor in both counties.  We look forward to network with new partners in order to reach more of our neighbors throughout the service area. Additionally we are eager to support related efforts to advance the connectivity and accessibility of our transportation system, as WALLY is one more piece in Michigan’s transportation puzzle.

wally_map-300x489For those unfamiliar with the proposed WALLY commuter rail service, the brief history starts in 2006 when it was put forth as new commute option in the US-23 corridor between Howell and Ann Arbor. Since then the project has been moving through planning phases. The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) purchased 23 passenger cars from the Chicago Metra. These cars have been refurbished by Great Lakes Central Railroad, a freight rail provider in the corridor. Currently, Great Lakes Central is in the process of installing restrooms and parking for wheelchairs and bicycles on the cars.

Installation of wheelchair and bicycle parking currently in progress on the refurbished Metra cars, at Great Lakes Central headquarters in Owosso, Michigan. Installation of wheelchair and bicycle parking currently in progress on the refurbished Metra cars, at Great Lakes Central headquarters in Owosso, Michigan. This year, an operational feasibility study of the rail corridor will be launched to assess exactly what infrastructure improvements will need to be made to the existing tracks to get the service running. The current plan is to have trains running between Howell and Ann Arbor each weekday morning and evening during rush hour travel times. The schedule would be set-up to best meet the needs of commuters. See map of the WALLY line, including potential station sites.

If you’re interested in joining the Friends of WALLY, send us an e-mail at friendsofwally@gmail.com and we will add you to our e-mail list for upcoming meeting information, volunteer opportunities, and notice of upcoming public planning meetings. Also, be sure to like us on Facebook to keep up with us via social media.