Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2007 Mass Transit? Previous Next
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Dj_tom_t
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Username: Dj_tom_t

Post Number: 5
Registered: 09-2005
Posted on Sunday, April 29, 2007 - 1:51 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

So...it increasingly looks like Quicken is coming downtown.

Gas prices are on the rise again.

The State's economy is in the crapper.



Maybe building a mass transit system would be the shot in the arm that Metro Detroit needs?

Your thoughts?
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Hans57
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Username: Hans57

Post Number: 106
Registered: 05-2006
Posted on Sunday, April 29, 2007 - 1:53 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

word.
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Buzzman0077
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Username: Buzzman0077

Post Number: 48
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Sunday, April 29, 2007 - 1:56 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It can't happen quickly enough. First we need a unified bus system that actually works. As well as some light rail along major corridors.
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Lukabottle
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Username: Lukabottle

Post Number: 40
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Sunday, April 29, 2007 - 2:40 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Call your congressmen
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Thejesus
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Username: Thejesus

Post Number: 1051
Registered: 06-2006
Posted on Sunday, April 29, 2007 - 3:01 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

state and city officials are way ahead of you...right now they're in the 2nd step of about a 5 step process required to secure federal funding from the FTA's News Starts program with which to build a transit system...

all indications are that they've identified Woodward as the primary corridor that a transit system would initially be built on, and later this year they are going to select a form of transit (lightrail, rapid bus, etc.)

if all goes well, construction could start by 2010...

TRU's website has some good info about all of this as well as recent news articles on the topic
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Buzzman0077
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Username: Buzzman0077

Post Number: 53
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Sunday, April 29, 2007 - 3:06 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I think Woodward is a great starter corridor. I think they really need a connecter between the Airport and downtown. That way conventioneers and other visitors could get downtown with out the drive.
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Thejesus
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Username: Thejesus

Post Number: 1053
Registered: 06-2006
Posted on Sunday, April 29, 2007 - 3:17 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Buzzman:

that's also in the works...SEMCOG is trying to get Amtrak to use existing rail lines for a Detroit-Ann Arbor line with a stop close to the airport...

the route would run a couple times in the morning and afternoon, once midday, and once in the evening...

Amtrak is on board with the idea but they have to work out a deal first with the freight companies that own the rail lines...

once a deal is worked out, Amtrak said it would take 6 months to get the service up and going, so we may see it sometime next year
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Buzzman0077
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Username: Buzzman0077

Post Number: 54
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Sunday, April 29, 2007 - 3:20 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Is it actually going to run to the airport or run through Dearborn and have a connecter to the Airport. I like the idea of using the AA to Det, line with a connecter to the airport.
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Thejesus
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Username: Thejesus

Post Number: 1054
Registered: 06-2006
Posted on Sunday, April 29, 2007 - 3:31 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

no the existing lines don't run through the airport....I think they are a couple miles north, so ideally there would eventually be a regular shuttle service that goes back and forth form the airport terminals to the train station...my guess is that at first this would probably be done with privately run taxi cab services
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Danindc
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Username: Danindc

Post Number: 2413
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Sunday, April 29, 2007 - 3:58 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

no the existing lines don't run through the airport....I think they are a couple miles north, so ideally there would eventually be a regular shuttle service that goes back and forth form the airport terminals to the train station...my guess is that at first this would probably be done with privately run taxi cab services



I don't think a shuttle service based on cabs is feasible.

1. It doesn't make sense to ride the train to the airport if the fare for the shuttle is going to cost more than the train ticket itself.

2. Cabs would be completely overwhelmed. You could have dozens of people disembarking the train at the same time--most with luggage.

More likely is a regular shuttle bus service operated by the airport. BWI has used this system successfully for about 25 years. The buses are identical to the buses used for long-term parking shuttles, and operate every 10 minutes between the airline terminals and the rail station, which is a comparable distance away as a DTW rail station would be.
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Parkguy
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Username: Parkguy

Post Number: 8
Registered: 04-2007
Posted on Sunday, April 29, 2007 - 4:00 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The current study is actually pretty interesting.
http://www.dtogs.com/main.html

The consulting company is URS, which is one of the world's most experienced transit consulting corporations.
http://www.urscorp.com/

I read an article in the last few months that suggested that the People Mover could easily and cheaply (well, cheap for a fix-route transit system) be extended up Woodward to the New Center and Henry Ford Hospital. This would really kick-start the already excellent development in Midtown, and link the major health care and other institutions all along the corridor. Reasoning: the PM was originally designed for single-car use, so the multiple car trains that are now in use could be split to handle the extra miles of elevated track. (Yes, it costs to build fixed route systems, but every square foot of highway is totally subsidized, too.)

I don't think it makes any difference that the PM would operate on the downtown loop and along the Woodward corridor only, with some other system, like light rail or Rapid Bus along other corridors. You'd have to change routes anyway to go from one line to another, so if you change from rail to PM, so what? The Pontiac/Royal Oak/Detroit/Dearborn/Airport/A nn Arbor system will certainly be heavy rail along the Amtrak route. Michigan Ave. should also be part of this line.
Based on ridership, the corridors rank like this: Woodward, Gratiot, Grand River, then Michigan & 8 Mile pretty close together. I think those rankings only count DOT riders, and do not include SMART or AMTRAK.
We'll still need a much-improved feeder bus system to serve the spaces in between the main corridors.
The site linked above has maps of each of the corridors.
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Thejesus
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Username: Thejesus

Post Number: 1055
Registered: 06-2006
Posted on Sunday, April 29, 2007 - 4:17 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Danindc:

I'm speaking of the short term...i.e., right after the rail system launches, before anyone is really aware of it and before anyone has an idea of how many people will ultimately use the train...might only be a matter of months, but whatever permanent system ends up in place there will likely look different that what's there at the beginning

(Message edited by thejesus on April 29, 2007)
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Rocket_city
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Username: Rocket_city

Post Number: 244
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Sunday, April 29, 2007 - 6:23 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'll second the dtogs study. I attended one of DDOT's dtog meetings and was impressed with the higher standards of their study.

GET INVOLVED, is my advice! :-)
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Scs100
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Username: Scs100

Post Number: 966
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Sunday, April 29, 2007 - 9:19 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Paging Trainman.
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E_hemingway
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Username: E_hemingway

Post Number: 1171
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Monday, April 30, 2007 - 10:46 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Look for the Detroit Ann Arbor line to be up and running this year. Then look for it to be extended into Oakland County next year. Those are what we can expect in the immediate future. The Woodward corridor line, probably light rail of some sort, is now a distinct possibility in the not-so-distant future. If that actually happens, development will boom along Woodward. So much so that it could perhaps even spark the gentrification of Highland Park. I wouldn't hold my breath on that prospect, but a light rail line would do a lot for it.

Trains to Planes Without Automobiles
http://modeldmedia.com/feature s/a2transit80.aspx

Getting Woodward on Tracks
http://modeldmedia.com/feature s/wtransit77.aspx
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Iheartthed
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Username: Iheartthed

Post Number: 677
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Monday, April 30, 2007 - 11:05 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It would be great if that Ann Arbor to Detroit train could be in place by Memorial Day...
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Thejesus
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Username: Thejesus

Post Number: 1056
Registered: 06-2006
Posted on Monday, April 30, 2007 - 11:10 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

E_Hemingway:

This article is a little more recent, from April...

It says that earliest we'll see a DET-AA train is early 2008

http://www.mlive.com/annarbor/ stories/index.ssf?/base/news-2 2/117552485465390.xml&coll=2
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Danindc
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Username: Danindc

Post Number: 2418
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Monday, April 30, 2007 - 11:18 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Has the light-rail proposal along Woodward and Michigan been scrapped? Without it, the AA-Detroit commuter rail line becomes a lot less useful, given the location of Detroit's train station.

At a minimum, I certainly hope the DTOGS study takes this into consideration.
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Thejesus
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Username: Thejesus

Post Number: 1057
Registered: 06-2006
Posted on Monday, April 30, 2007 - 11:20 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Danindc...

nothing has been scrapped...the process just started...see my first post in this thread and the DTOGS website for more info...
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Danindc
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Username: Danindc

Post Number: 2420
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Monday, April 30, 2007 - 11:22 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Just curious. The article linked above is under the impression that the light rail component has been eliminated from study.
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Thejesus
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Username: Thejesus

Post Number: 1058
Registered: 06-2006
Posted on Monday, April 30, 2007 - 11:49 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'm not sure which article you think you saw that in...but the private groups lobbying for a people mover expansion and the state rep touting a rapid bus system don't have anything to do with the DTOGS study that's following the guidelines to secure funding from the New Starts program...DDOT is the decision-maker for that project and from what I've read they seem to favor the idea of a light rail...

Here's an article that talks about how Norfolk, VA just secured New Starts funding for a light rail, and how Detroit has an even stronger case for one than Norfolk had...

http://www.detnews.com/apps/pb cs.dll/article?AID=/20070322/M ETRO01/703220370/1003/METRO
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E_hemingway
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Username: E_hemingway

Post Number: 1172
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Monday, April 30, 2007 - 12:06 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The Michigan/Woodward light rail option that TRU was pushing for has been eliminated for right now. They're still trying to figure out a feeder system for it last I heard. Hadn't seen that story Thejesus, but I'm not surprised by it.
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Jonnyfive
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Username: Jonnyfive

Post Number: 64
Registered: 03-2007
Posted on Monday, April 30, 2007 - 12:11 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"The Michigan/Woodward light rail option that TRU was pushing for has been eliminated for right now."

Where did you read this?
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Professorscott
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Username: Professorscott

Post Number: 306
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Monday, April 30, 2007 - 12:12 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Some of you are getting three things confused:

1. The study completed in late 2006 by Parsons Brinckerhoff on behalf of SEMCOG to study options for securing Federal New Starts funding on the Ann Arbor to Detroit corridor. This studied several options and determined none were feasible.

2. SEMCOG is currently working with Amtrak to develop a "starter service" that would be commuter rail like in the corridor. It will be much less than what Parsons envisioned but has the advantage that something may actually come of it. This is what people are talking about when they say something may happen in 2007 or 2008.

3. Detroit's DTOGS study is looking at transit improvements on several corridors within Detroit, HP, Hamtramck and Dearborn.

The Michigan or Woodward LRT was eliminated in the Parsons study, but everything was eliminated in that. SEMCOG's commuter-ish rail work with Amtrak does not include it either. The DTOGS study is likely to call for such an improvement IMVHO.
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Jonnyfive
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Username: Jonnyfive

Post Number: 65
Registered: 03-2007
Posted on Monday, April 30, 2007 - 12:17 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thank you Professor Scott. I was sensing there was a confusion of the many studies that have been conducted. How does everybody feel about the DTOGS study and it's likeliness to produce something real?
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Danindc
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Username: Danindc

Post Number: 2422
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Monday, April 30, 2007 - 12:45 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

The Michigan/Woodward light rail option that TRU was pushing for has been eliminated for right now. They're still trying to figure out a feeder system for it last I heard. Hadn't seen that story Thejesus, but I'm not surprised by it.



And that is exactly what is so damn frustrating about transit planning in Detroit. They study this crap to death, then they cheap out on it before the study is complete, and look at one small isolated component. How short-sighted can you be? Why is transportation planning never done holistically in Michigan?

Expect at least two more transit studies to gather dust real soon.
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Trainman
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Username: Trainman

Post Number: 385
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Saturday, May 05, 2007 - 10:23 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Coming Soon.

Physical evidence that SMART no longer qualifies for federal transit grants because of discrimination against the low income and minorities.
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Urbanize
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Username: Urbanize

Post Number: 1107
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Saturday, May 05, 2007 - 10:25 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"Paging Trainman."

There he is! Well we knew he would arrive eventually. Good Evening Trainman, we were expecting you.
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Jerome81
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Username: Jerome81

Post Number: 1407
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Saturday, May 05, 2007 - 11:50 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I still think we should use the radial streets for this system. That would be the best option.

Jefferson or Mack, Gratiot, Woodward, Grand River, Michigan and maybe Fort.

Compliment that with an AA-DTW-CBD line with the ability to stop at the airport and FoMoCo in Dearborn.

Maybe I'll see it before I'm dead...
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Urbanize
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Username: Urbanize

Post Number: 1113
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Saturday, May 05, 2007 - 11:55 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"Maybe I'll see it before I'm dead..."

You can such a positive post take that hard of a dive?
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Trainman
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Username: Trainman

Post Number: 397
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Tuesday, May 15, 2007 - 8:30 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

We already the best mass transit system in the entire world. It's right here today in southeast Michigan.

It's called the free enterprise system and it works like this. --- No money then no ride.

Every able bodied person pays for themselves and the handicapped or NO RIDE.

There are private companies that want to buy DDOT and both Woodward and Michigan Aves. to make a profit. It's done all over the world.

http://savethefueltax.tripod.c om/remain3.html
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Rb336
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Username: Rb336

Post Number: 60
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - 9:45 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

lovely, a link to a nice disinformation site -- so how, exactly, is DARTA illegal?

Has anyone ever compared public to private mass transit? As anyone who has lived in NYC can tell you, the city-owned transit is far more reliable, has safer equipment, and is better in any other reasonable measure to the privately owned lines that run in Queens.

Infrastructure is simply one thing government does far better than private industry ever could
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Upinottawa
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Username: Upinottawa

Post Number: 835
Registered: 09-2005
Posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - 9:53 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Good idea Trainman -- Detroit can sell Woodward and Michigan Ave to private companies. That will help the city....
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Focusonthed
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Username: Focusonthed

Post Number: 975
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - 12:15 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Trainman's ideas are always like reverse psychology. He advocates for the exact opposite position that he truthfully holds, trying to make a point. But 2 threads later, he'll advocate for the opposite, so all he does is confuse people. Not a very good rallying cry.
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Professorscott
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Username: Professorscott

Post Number: 371
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - 12:22 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Trainman's link to the "savethefueltax" site is interesting. That web site, among may other interesting things, endorses "SkyTran", one of the most pie-in-the-sky notions ever to come out of someone's brain.

SkyTran is "personal rapid transit", a type of system that exists only in the imaginations of its advocates. It is one of those things that works pretty well in computer simulations but has never actually been implemented successfully anywhere on Earth, even though the idea's been around at least 35 years.

And this is one of the "savethefueltax" guy's pet ideas. Just so you know where his head is at.
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Defendbrooklyn
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Username: Defendbrooklyn

Post Number: 162
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - 12:31 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

lets get the ball rolling...stop the chit chat and contact your rep...

http://www.visi.com/juan/congr ess/
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Mdoyle
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Username: Mdoyle

Post Number: 79
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - 3:13 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The thing I cant stand about mass transit is they study everything for years on end and then after all is said and none they say nothing is feasible... How the hell can NOTHING be feasible? DO SOMETHING... something has to work at least a little bit.
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Professorscott
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Username: Professorscott

Post Number: 377
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - 11:37 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I know SEMCOG is actively working on getting a starter service going between Ann Arbor and Detroit, to correct one of the inherent problems with the most recent study. The most recent thing I read said they may have something up and running early in 2008. That's not everything we need but it's a start.

I agree, though, the Parsons study was a disaster and they don't deserve whatever we paid them for it.
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Trainman
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Username: Trainman

Post Number: 405
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Monday, May 28, 2007 - 7:06 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Professorscott

You know you are right, Sky Train is likely just an imagination as I've never seen it work but I think any idea to improve mass transit is better then just driving all over.

It's stupid and not SMART to not have any mass transit at all.

In my website, I advocate multiple tax mechanisms more then anything else because this does work.

SMART is no longer funded by the Michigan Department of Transportation anymore and does not qualify for federal transit grants to serve our area as a region because we no longer use the tax on fuel to pay for any operation costs.

The property tax idea of SMART would work very well if they could actually control their budget.

But, the cost of medical insurance for the bus drivers now means high property taxes and a bunch of excuses of why our state is always broke.

The Livonia bus reduction is discrimination.
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Detroitrulez
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Username: Detroitrulez

Post Number: 257
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Wednesday, May 30, 2007 - 4:45 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

howsabout starting small and building your way up.....Cincinnati has a lot more density downtown, but there seems to be a lot of momentum at their City Hall for something along these lines....feed it into the People Mover.
quote:

Streetcar price tag: $100 million
Cincinnati officials hope for a report within a month that tells them what to do next in the push for a streetcar line and how they might pay for it.
Supporters of the proposal to install a streetcar line here packed City Council chambers this afternoon for a presentation by officials of HDR, the Omaha engineering firm that studied the feasibility. They estimate cost for the initial 3.9-mile phase of the line -- from the riverfront past Findlay Market to McMicken Avenue and back -- at about $100 million and predict about 4,600 people would ride it on an average day. Each car holds 125 people, mostly standing.
The planners also forecast the 10-year economic impact of a streetcar. Among their figures: 1,200 to 3,400 new housing units would crop up; $1.4 billion in redeveloped properties; and $34 million in new property tax income for the city.
And if each of those new residents spent $10 a day in retail stores along the line, that would add up to $17 million in new retail spending.

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Cdent
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Username: Cdent

Post Number: 9
Registered: 05-2007
Posted on Friday, June 01, 2007 - 12:31 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Im in no way a urban planner but it seems to me forget about the old train tracks, amtrak, bus's and routing people from the airport by taxi to the train tracks. and follow the simple but stupid theory of north meets south.. ie woodward.. it worked in the 1900s from Pontiac to detroit by elect. trolly. and put a tram type rail down the middle of I94 and take it straight into the new airport term. for a couple of bucks jump the D-line and take it straight downtown. east to west. ever been to Chicago O'Hare, and take the blueline to the city for a buck ? I have and i can tell you it works.
you can spend 100s of million dollars on studies or you can Just DO IT and GET IT DONE. the sooner the better.
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Arc312
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Username: Arc312

Post Number: 41
Registered: 01-2006
Posted on Friday, June 01, 2007 - 1:47 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

And the money? Just as the Feds practically subsidize developments in CA and TX, they should subsidize us in order to jump start us just as they did back when they called us the "Arsenal of Democracy".

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