Pontiac Transportation Center

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Pontiac Transportation Center
Amtrak inter-city rail station
Station statistics
Address 51000 Woodward Avenue
Pontiac, Michigan 48342[1]
Coordinates 42°37′58″N 83°17′33″W / 42.63278°N 83.29250°W / 42.63278; -83.29250Coordinates: 42°37′58″N 83°17′33″W / 42.63278°N 83.29250°W / 42.63278; -83.29250
Platforms 1 side platform
Tracks 3
Bus operators SMART (regional bus)
Greyhound Lines (intercity)
Parking 22 long term spaces[1]
Other information
Opened May 1983
Rebuilt 8 August 2011
Accessible Handicapped/disabled access
Station code PNT[1]
Owned by MDOT (station)
CN (tracks)[2]
Passengers (FY2013) 16,813[3] Increase 3.1%
Preceding station   BSicon LOGO Amtrak2.svg Amtrak   Following station
Since 2014
toward Chicago
Since 1994
toward Chicago
  Former services  
toward Pontiac
Silver Streak
Location of the Pontiac Transportation Center
Location of the Pontiac Transportation Center
Location within Michigan

The Pontiac Transportation Center is an intermodal station located in Pontiac, Michigan, United States that is served by Amtrak's (National Railroad Passenger Corporation) Michigan Services Wolverine, which runs thrice daily between Chicago, Illinois and this station (via Kalamazoo, Ann Arbor, and Detroit, Michigan).[Note 1] (The next westbound stop is in Royal Oak and the next eastbound stop, and terminus is in Pontiac.)[Note 2] The transportation center is also served by Greyhound Lines intercity bus service and Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART) regional bus service.


The current transportation center is located on the southern edge of downtown at 51000 Woodward Avenue (previously known as Wide Track Drive or Wide Track Circle).[1] [5] It is about 1,400 square feet (130 m2) and includes an indoor waiting room, restrooms, a payphonoe, and covered waiting areas for both trains and buses.[6] However, it does not have any ticketing services or baggage assistance (bags cannot be checked for trains at the transportation center). There are 22 long term parking spaces available and the station hours are from 5:15 am to 6:15 am and from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm daily.[1]

In addition to the three daily train departures, there are between two and eight daily Greyhound departures and local bus service SMART (stopping on Woodward Avenue).[7] The station is owned by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), but the track are owned by the Canadian National Railway.[2]

Of the 22 Michigan stations served by Amtrak, Pontiac was the 17th-busiest in fiscal year 2013, boarding or detraining an average of approximately 46 passengers daily.[3]


Since August 1931 the Grand Trunk Western Railroad (GTWR, a subsidiary of the Canadian National Railway) provided commuter rail service from Pontiac to Detroit.[8] By 1968 the railroad operated six daily commuter trains (three round-trips) between the two cities, with daily ridership averaging 2,812.[9] When Amtrak took over passenger rail service in 1971, the GTWR service was not initially affected since the takeover did not include commuter rail. However, by that time the GTWR began posting losses on the service. On 2 January 1974 the Southeastern Michigan Transportation Authority (SEMTA)[Note 3] took over the GTWR trains and operated them as the Silver Streak. The aging depot turned over by the GTWR was located about 2,500 feet (760 m) to the northwest of the current Pontiac Transportation Center. The GTWR depot was situated east of the tracks on the northwest corner of West Huron Street and Woodward Avenue[11] (known then as Wide Track Drive or Wide Track Circle).[5]

Original Transportation Center[edit]

Construction of the (original) Pontiac Transportation Center began in the late 1970s, funded by a US$3 million (equivalent to $9,700,000 in 2015) loan from the MDOT, and the new facility was opened in May 1983, serving both buses and a commuter rail service to Detroit.[12][13] The address provided by Amtrak for the facility was 1600 Wide Track Circle[14] (that street is now known as Woodward Avenue).[5] However, it was located at essentially the same site as the current transportation center.

The former transportation center building in 2002

The facility was a two story building, with the first story constructed of scored concrete and the second of brick veneer.[15] Original plans called for a restaurant to be built on the second floor.[12] A small glass-covered pavilion was also built into the structure.[15]

Upon completion the facility was initially served by SEMTA's Silver Streak with service to Detroit (with the next eastbound stop being in Bloomfield Hills). Within six months of completion, however, the SEMTA commuter rail service was canceled, leaving the transportation center to serve only three buses a day.[12] In addition, by 1985 structural deficiencies were already apparent, with interior surfaces showing water damage. In 1991, a pedestrian bridge between the transportation center and an office building across the street was opened, though it was closed within two years due to lack of use. Amtrak began serving the facility with its Wolverine service in 1994.[12]

In 2002, it was announced that the building suffered from substandard construction, and city officials said that it should be demolished.[13] In 2005, the city and the MDOT signed an agreement whereby the building would be transferred to the MDOT, which would take responsibility for demolishing it and constructing a replacement, and the construction loan, never paid back by the city, would be written off.[12] In summer 2008, demolition began on the station building, with the skywalk to follow; the demolition project, estimated to cost $400,000, was to be completed by the end of the year.[13] A temporary station was erected on site that served Amtrak customers for the next three years until the replacement transportation center was completed.[15]

Replacement Transportation Center[edit]

Construction of the new (current) transportation center began on 16 July 2010,[16] with an opening date just over year later on 8 August 2011. The opening ceremony was attended by US Representative Gary Peters and State Representative Tim Melton.[7] The new facility had a total cost of US$1.4 million and was funded via Michigan's Comprehensive Transportation Fund.[6] Unlike the former facility, which had been anticipated to be grand multi-use building, the new center was fairly simple and intended to address just the existing and new future transportation needs.


  1. ^ As of 27 October 2014, the Wolverine westbound trains (Trains 351, 353, and 355) are scheduled to leave at 5:45 am, 10:35 am, and 5:40 pm, respectively. The eastbound trains (Train 350, 352, and 354) are scheduled to arrive at 3:03 pm, 8:12 pm, and 1:19 am, respectively.[4]
  2. ^ Due to the route of the Wolverine the "westbound" trains actually head southeast from the transportation center toward Troy.
  3. ^ The Southeastern Michigan Transportation Authority (SEMTA), which eventually evolved into the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART), was created in 1967 to assume the operations and ownership of the fractured regional transit systems in Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, St. Clair, Washtenaw, and Wayne counties, including the City of Detroit.[10]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Pontiac, MI (PNT)". amtrak.com. Amtrak. Retrieved 3 Nov 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Great American Stations: Pontiac, MI (PNT)". amtrrak.com. Amtrak. Retrieved 3 Nov 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "Amtrak Fact Sheet, FY2013, State of Michigan" (PDF). Amtrak. Nov 2013. Retrieved 3 Nov 2014. 
  4. ^ "Wolvertine Service Blue Water and Pere Marquette" (PDF). amtrak.com. Amtrak. 27 Oct 2014. p. 2. Retrieved 3 Nov 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c "Map & Directions:" (PDF) (Map). sachswaldman.com (Sachs Waldman): 2. Retrieved 3 Nov 2014. 
  6. ^ a b "Pontiac's train station downsizes, but upgrades". The Detroit News. 13 Aug 2011. Archived from the original on 14 Aug 2011. Retrieved 15 Aug 2011. 
  7. ^ a b "Pontiac Transportation Center open for business WITH VIDEO". The Daily Tribune. 10 Aug 2011. Archived from the original on 14 Aug 2011. Retrieved 15 Aug 2011. 
  8. ^ Schramm, Jack E.; Henning, William H.; Andrews, Richard R. (1989). When eastern Michigan rode the rails 1. Glendale, California: Interurban Press. p. 212. ISBN 0916374866. OCLC 20098495. 
  9. ^ "Commuter Travel Increased". Argus-Press. The Associated Press. 25 Oct 1968. Retrieved 3 Nov 2014 – via google.com. 
  10. ^ Hogan, Jr., Henry M. (29 Sep 1977). "Will we ever see a rapid transit system?" (PDF). Canton Observer. 
  11. ^ "Pontiac Loop 1947" (Map). pointiac.mi.us. 1947. Retrieved 3 Nov 2014. 
  12. ^ a b c d e "Transpo Center dream ends". The Oakland Press (Pontiac, Michigan: 21st Century Media). 28 Jun 2005. Archived from the original on 15 Aug 2011. Retrieved 15 Aug 2011. 
  13. ^ a b c "Transpo demolition begins in Pontiac". The Oakland Press. Pontiac, Michigan: 21st Century Media. 9 Aug 2008. Archived from the original on 15 Aug 2011. Retrieved 15 Aug 2011. 
  14. ^ "Amtrak System Timetable: Fall 2006 - Winter 2007". timetables.org. 30 Oct 2006. p. 22. Retrieved 3 Nov 2014. 
  15. ^ a b c "Great American Stations: Pontiac, MI (PNT) [archive]". greatamericanstations.com. Amtrak. Archived from the original on 15 Aug 2011. Retrieved 3 Nov 2014. 
  16. ^ "Amtrak, MDOT break ground on Pontiac intermodal station". Progressive Railroading. 19 Jul 2010. Archived from the original on 14 August 2011. Retrieved 15 Aug 2011. 

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