The Michigan Executive at Jackson in October 1978
|Service type||Commuter rail|
|First service||January 20, 1975|
|Last service||January 13, 1984|
|Stops||5 (3 after 1982)|
|Distance travelled||74 miles (119 km)|
|Average journey time||1 hour 35 minutes|
|Service frequency||2 trains daily (weekday)|
|Train number(s)||373, 374|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm)|
As Amtrak's mandate did not cover commuter operations, Penn Central continued to operate a weekday commuter service between Detroit and Ann Arbor, Michigan after Amtrak had assumed control of its intercity operations. By the mid-1970s Penn Central asked to discontinue the service, citing dwindling ridership and the aging Rail Diesel Cars it used. Amtrak and the U.S. state of Michigan agreed to step in, and the Michigan Executive made its first run on January 20, 1975, running between Detroit and Jackson (to the west of Ann Arbor).:196
In the summer of 1975, the westbound Friday Michigan Executive operated all the way to Chicago, returning the following Sunday.:195 Under Amtrak, ridership increased 50% and peaked at 96,573 in 1979. Chartered buses carried passengers from the Detroit station to downtown Detroit. Declining ridership due to the decline of downtown Detroit, a recession, and ticket price hikes led Amtrak to discontinue the westbound Michigan Executive on June 14, 1982 and eastbound service between Jackson and Detroit was truncated only running from Ann Arbor to Detroit. Returning commuters took the Chicago-Detroit Twilight Limited which was modified adding stops to accommodate former westbound Executive passengers. By 1983, annual ridership had fallen to 26,000.
Amtrak completely discontinued the remainder of the Michigan Executive on January 13, 1984, after Michigan withdrew its support citing low ridership.:197 State transportation officials estimated that the discontinuance would save $200,000/year, and daily ridership had dwindled below 60.
- Sanders, Craig (2006). Amtrak in the Heartland. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0-253-34705-3.
- Sanders, Craig. "Michigan Executive". Amtrak in the Heartland. Retrieved 18 August 2016.
- Pollack Design Associates (November 15, 1979). "The Ann Arbor Depot: A First Phase Investigation of Location Alternatives for Rail Passenger Facilities" (PDF). p. 15.
- "Several Options For Commuters". Argus-Press. December 20, 1983. Retrieved 2011-06-06.
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