Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2006 If Detroit Had Commuter Rail.... Previous Next
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Ltorivia485
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Username: Ltorivia485

Post Number: 2644
Registered: 08-2004
Posted From: 199.74.87.98
Posted on Monday, May 15, 2006 - 3:56 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

If the Detroit region supported commuter rail, there should be the following destinations (and vice versa):

Detroit to Ann Arbor
Detroit to Monroe (Toledo)
Detroit to Flint
Detroit to Port Huron
Detroit to Lansing

Of course, this will never happen in my lifetime, but this will certainly bring the entire southeast Michigan area working together. What distinguishes commuter rail from other types of transit is that it gets people in the suburbs to take public transit without too many stops in the city of Detroit. The Detroit to Flint stop may have, for example, 3 stops in Detroit (Downtown, Wayne State, New Center Area and the rest of the stops will be in the suburbs and continuing out to Flint). High-speed service witout having to wait in traffic, and it will benefit the city of Detroit. People will be able to get to their jobs, and businesses might relocate to Detroit since it will be a major mass transit hub. What does everyone think?
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Naturalsister
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Username: Naturalsister

Post Number: 637
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 68.30.251.135
Posted on Monday, May 15, 2006 - 4:12 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Why start a new thread?

Lowell, where's the Webbie Award for the forumer who starts the highest amount of redundant threads?

later - naturalsister
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Focusonthed
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Username: Focusonthed

Post Number: 159
Registered: 02-2006
Posted From: 209.220.229.254
Posted on Monday, May 15, 2006 - 12:23 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Your destination cities are too far out...diminishing returns.
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Ltorivia485
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Username: Ltorivia485

Post Number: 2646
Registered: 08-2004
Posted From: 129.105.234.61
Posted on Monday, May 15, 2006 - 1:06 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

How are they too far out? This is COMMUTER rail. Chicago has commuter rail destinations that go into Indiana, Southern Illinois and Wisconsin. I think 60 miles is the maximum. It's not like travelling to Kalamazoo. There are people in Port Huron, Toledo (or Monroe), etc. that work in the Detroit area and they take less than 60 minutes to drive. Of all the three cities, Lansing is probably the farthest (at 80 miles).
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Ltorivia485
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Username: Ltorivia485

Post Number: 2647
Registered: 08-2004
Posted From: 129.105.234.61
Posted on Monday, May 15, 2006 - 1:08 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

And the commuter rail in Chicago not only serve as destinations to other states, they also serve the surrounding suburbs near those lines. So for the Detroit-Flint line, that can serve the Oakland County suburbs. For the Detroit-Port Huron line, that can serve the Macomb County suburbs. The Detroit-Monroe (Toledo) serves Downriver suburbs.

Be creative.
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Detroitplanner
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Username: Detroitplanner

Post Number: 106
Registered: 04-2006
Posted From: 63.85.13.248
Posted on Monday, May 15, 2006 - 1:25 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

In addition, the commuter rail lines should integrate into end points where there is currently public transportation service. All towns mentioned have this service

AA = AATA
PH = Blue Water Transit
Monroe/Toledo = Lake Erie Transit/TARTA
Lansing = CATA
Flint = RTA.

This will help provide links similar to the old interurban. In addition these are all part of the SEMCOG Regional Transit Plan.
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Livernoisyard
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Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 686
Registered: 10-2004
Posted From: 69.242.223.42
Posted on Monday, May 15, 2006 - 1:33 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Be realistic, Chicago has a vibrant downtown where far more workers go. Shoppers can go to that city, if need be, to shop and not to the burbs. And there's over a dozen museums, etc.

Still, the longer commuter runs surely have to be subsidized. And since when is southern Illinois only some 60 miles from Chicago? Maybe you meant the "South Shore" instead. Did you pass that recent geography test of the National Geographic Society? You said you thought that the maximum run was some 60 miles.
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Jjaba
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Username: Jjaba

Post Number: 3822
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 67.160.138.107
Posted on Monday, May 15, 2006 - 1:38 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The Chicago and South Shore RR is an interurban service from Randolph Station, Chicago, to South Bend, Indiana. There are stops in Hammond, Gary, and the Indiana Dunes Recreation Area.

jjaba.
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Mackinaw
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Username: Mackinaw

Post Number: 1514
Registered: 02-2005
Posted From: 69.221.35.202
Posted on Monday, May 15, 2006 - 1:57 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'm with you, Lt, but it is such a infrastructural undertaking and will lead to so much buearucratic and political wrangling. It is the right thing to do, but not politically expedient in this region.

We would need a downtown or downtown-area hub-point, to start. We would need lines, with modern rail systems, and stations. We would need to decide where these tracks should be elevated, where they could utilize existing rail beds, where they would be alright to parallel existing roads, and whether or not putting them within or along major roads would hurt businesses along those corridors.

I think we need to start with the line we need the most, Ann Arbor to Detroit. It seems like such a logistical nightmare to try to derive a new track system and find a new spot for a station. Considering that the current Amtrak station is pretty well placed (within walking distance if you're north of the Diag, and reachable by bus if you are in the southern parts of A2), I would simply propose converting the current link between the A2 riverfront and New Center into a commuter link. It will be quite an undertaking to get the right-of-way for a frequent-service frequent-stop high speed train, and will probably require the building of new tracks or some legal action to take full control of the tracks currently used. For the most part this rail travels close to roads and populated areas, making the placement of stations rather straightfoward. A2...downtown Ypsilanti...perhaps Haggerty road (although I don't know what kind of support Canton would give to this)...Michigan @ Merriman in Wayne...Michigan @ Inkster...Michigan @ Oakwood near UM Dearborn...the current AMTRAK stop just before Greenfield...@ West Grand Blvd....@ New Center. ...and we can debate the merits of renovating the rails which continue in a SE direction from near Memorial Park to the old Central Depot, and perhaps running rails to the Depot on those tracks, or running them downtown Michigan Ave. to somewhere right downtown. I'm sure there is also a way to take them right down the west riverfront, to perhaps a terminus station integrated into the new and improved Cobo.

Basically, I see great user-friendly and do-able potential by starting with the existing AMTRAK line out of A2 and then running one route into the far west side, and then creating a fork with two routes into Detroit, one--the already exisiting one--to New Center, the other, to the SW corner of downtown.

Starting with A2 to Detroit connections would be so economically beneficial to the region. It would relieve the commuting middle class of the west side (at least those who commute to A2, Dearborn, or central Detroit) of the cost of fuel...and it would bring in plenty of money from Ann Arbor residents and students, many of whom are eager to spend time in Detroit but frustrated by the inability to get there. The payoffs from connecting the town which is home to a top-notch public university and Detroit would be huge.
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Focusonthed
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Username: Focusonthed

Post Number: 161
Registered: 02-2006
Posted From: 209.220.229.254
Posted on Monday, May 15, 2006 - 2:00 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

And the difference in Chicago is that people USE commuter rail by the hundreds of thousands, and it didn't just APPEAR one day.

Baby steps, baby steps...see how people take to the idea. Otherwise, you've thrown hundreds of millions of dollars into something no one wants.

(Message edited by focusonthed on May 15, 2006)
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1953
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Username: 1953

Post Number: 825
Registered: 12-2004
Posted From: 209.104.146.146
Posted on Monday, May 15, 2006 - 2:02 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Detroit to Mt. Clemens!
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Ltorivia485
Member
Username: Ltorivia485

Post Number: 2648
Registered: 08-2004
Posted From: 129.105.104.220
Posted on Monday, May 15, 2006 - 2:09 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Focus, as long as gas prices continue to increase, many folks will admit they will no longer afford to cash half their check toward gas. Sometimes, reality hurts. Businesses will want to relocate to the Detroit area if people have the means to get to the city with ease.

This will be the first step to make the region more urban-friendly. Right now, building a system that works only within Detroit does not make sense.

(Message edited by ltorivia485 on May 15, 2006)
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Mackinaw
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Username: Mackinaw

Post Number: 1515
Registered: 02-2005
Posted From: 69.221.35.202
Posted on Monday, May 15, 2006 - 2:13 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"Businesses will want to relocate to the Detroit area if people have the means to get to the city with ease."

Totally, and it will make the entire region more livable and appealing to employers. Right now we are so incredibly spread out, road-reliant, and in the end inefficient.
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Burnsie
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Username: Burnsie

Post Number: 414
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 141.216.1.4
Posted on Monday, May 15, 2006 - 2:18 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Commuter rail down Michigan Ave? That would have to be light rail instead. Commuter rail implies multiple-car trains, which are too unwieldy to mingle with autos and trucks.

And it's "Michigan Central Depot," named after the Michigan Central RR, not "Central Depot." I don't mean to be nitpicky, but I've seen that error tons of times on this board and I had to finally say something. Railroad workers traditionally have just called it the "MC Depot." The lack of a name inscribed anywhere on the exterior hasn't helped matters.
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Jjaba
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Username: Jjaba

Post Number: 3826
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 67.160.138.107
Posted on Monday, May 15, 2006 - 2:28 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

jjaba just got gas for under $2.00.
(Taco Bell)
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Toledolaw05
Member
Username: Toledolaw05

Post Number: 12
Registered: 04-2006
Posted From: 72.240.58.198
Posted on Monday, May 15, 2006 - 2:30 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

the only when you are going to get a regional tax to pay for it is to go that far out

I agree with all 5 of your destinations
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Livernoisyard
Member
Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 687
Registered: 10-2004
Posted From: 69.242.223.42
Posted on Monday, May 15, 2006 - 2:43 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

jjaba: Don't freely pass it around.
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Jams
Member
Username: Jams

Post Number: 3294
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 68.79.119.13
Posted on Monday, May 15, 2006 - 2:52 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Detroitplanner's comment:

quote:

In addition, the commuter rail lines should integrate into end points where there is currently public transportation service.




A single rail line will actually benefit few if there is not support transit included in the plan.

Simple scenerio, I live 3 miles from the pick-up point and work 2 miles from the nearest station that drops me off. What advantage is it for me to take commuter rail without other transit available?

A comprehensive regional plan is what is needed and is needed now. No one form of transport will resolve the needs it will have to be a mix.
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Mikeg
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Username: Mikeg

Post Number: 63
Registered: 12-2005
Posted From: 69.136.155.244
Posted on Monday, May 15, 2006 - 4:12 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The latest SEMCOG data (2000) indicates that there were 1,985,000 workers in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb and Washtenaw Counties. Their data shows only 23,000 workers commuting daily from Washtenaw to Wayne County and 25,000 from Wayne to Washtenaw County, for a total of 48,000 Washtenaw-Wayne inter-county commuters. There are twice as many Macomb-Wayne inter-county commuters (100,000), 2.8 times as many Oakland-Macomb inter-county commuters (136,000) and 4.8 times as many Oakland-Wayne inter-county commuters (230,000). There are only 15,000 Washtenaw-Oakland/Macomb inter-county commuters, so that means the remaining 1,455,000 workers commute within their county of residence.

The "build it and they will come" commuter/light rail mantra will only work long-term and only if you have a short-term, comprehensive regional transit plan that integrates the initial rail segment(s) with a functional bus system.

DDOT and SEMTA are the poster-children for the status quo.
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Apbest
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Username: Apbest

Post Number: 58
Registered: 03-2006
Posted From: 68.40.65.66
Posted on Monday, May 15, 2006 - 4:36 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

lets focus on the plausibly planned Detroit-Ann Arbor line and maybe evaluate that ridership (which would be intergrated with light rail/BRT probably) as grounds for garnering political support in northern suburbs (Oakland) and more metro commuter lines
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Ltorivia485
Member
Username: Ltorivia485

Post Number: 2649
Registered: 08-2004
Posted From: 199.74.87.98
Posted on Monday, May 15, 2006 - 7:58 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

To Livernois, who always makes asinine comments (are you sure you're not MetroDetGuy?), the METRA serves Wisconsin, Indiana, Southern and Western Illinois in TWELVE locations:

Metra Union Pacific North Line
Chicago to Kenosha Suburban Service

Metra North Central Service
Chicago to Antioch Suburban Service

Metra Milwaukee District North Line
Chicago to Fox Lake Suburban Service

Metra Union Pacific Northwest Line
Chicago to Harvard/McHenry Suburban Service

Metra Milwaukee District West Line
Chicago to Big Timber Road Suburban Service

Metra Union Pacific West Line
Chicago to Elburn Suburban Service

Metra BNSF Railway Line
Chicago to Aurora Suburban Service

Metra Heritage Corridor Line
Chicago to Joliet via The Heritage Corridor

Metra SouthWest Service
Chicago to Manhattan Suburban Service

Metra Rock Island District Line
Chicago to Joliet via The Rock Island District

Metra Electric Line
Chicago to University Park Suburban Service

Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District
Chicago to South Bend Service
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Metrodetguy
Member
Username: Metrodetguy

Post Number: 2549
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 69.221.79.150
Posted on Monday, May 15, 2006 - 8:01 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Ltorivia, did you ever actually look up the definition of the term "hearsay", so that you wouldn't grossly misuse it again? How about improving your debate skills? Perhaps you've improved your research skills.
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Ltorivia485
Member
Username: Ltorivia485

Post Number: 2650
Registered: 08-2004
Posted From: 199.74.87.98
Posted on Monday, May 15, 2006 - 8:06 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)




For the people who say a Detroit to Port Huron, Lansing, and Toledo line is too far, look at the distance between Chicago and say UP-NW (Harvard) and UP-N (Kenosha, WI). These train lines go through county lines. If Detroit would join this operation, I think 6-7 train lines will work for the region.
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Livernoisyard
Member
Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 693
Registered: 10-2004
Posted From: 69.242.223.42
Posted on Monday, May 15, 2006 - 8:09 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Just where is southern Illinois? Joliet?? Or maybe just a bit further south of Chicago? Somebody really needs to take some elementary or middle school geography classes...
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Busterwmu
Member
Username: Busterwmu

Post Number: 244
Registered: 09-2004
Posted From: 67.102.76.68
Posted on Monday, May 15, 2006 - 8:11 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Major Railroad lines extend away from the city to these locations and beyond, and I think these places would be sufficient endpoints for a first phase of commuter heavy rail:

Detroit-Trenton (Conrail or Grand Trunk Western)
Detroit-Romulus (Norfolk Southern)
Detroit-Ann Arbor (NS/CR)
Detroit-Plymouth (CSXT)
Detroit-Pontiac (GTW)
Detroit-Sterling Hts. or Utica (CR)
Detroit-Mt. Clemens (GTW)

Those would be the best bets as all of those lines are currently doubletrack or have thr right-of-way available already to make them doubletrack.
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River_rat
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Username: River_rat

Post Number: 120
Registered: 02-2006
Posted From: 71.126.175.26
Posted on Tuesday, May 16, 2006 - 9:50 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Why waste all this time on something that isn't going to happen? The political problems of Detroit (and MI) are so significant that mass transit is not a viable funding option. Concentrate on fixing corruption, incompetence and crime first.

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