Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2007 SEMCOG to buy Ford land for train station? Previous Next
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Parkguy
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Username: Parkguy

Post Number: 31
Registered: 04-2007
Posted on Monday, May 28, 2007 - 8:56 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The Detroit News reported that SEMCOG is interested in some land that Ford owns at Michigan at Merriman Rd. for a train station, which would be the transfer point for the airport. Here's a link to the story:

http://www.detnews.com/apps/pb cs.dll/article?AID=20077052503 31

This land would be the old Eloise Hospital farm south of Michigan Avenue, south of the tracks. Here's an idea: Ford should donate the land for the station, parking, etc., then develop the remaining part of their land as a Transit Village. We all get a train station, Ford Land cashes in, and everyone gets to see what a transit village can be like.
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Dougw
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Username: Dougw

Post Number: 1702
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Monday, May 28, 2007 - 9:23 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Seems like a logical place for the commuter rail transfer point to the airport. Hopefully Ford Land will donate or sell at a reasonable price.
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Ray
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Username: Ray

Post Number: 890
Registered: 06-2004
Posted on Monday, May 28, 2007 - 11:31 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Don't torture me with hope.
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Ray
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Username: Ray

Post Number: 891
Registered: 06-2004
Posted on Monday, May 28, 2007 - 11:37 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It looks really far out -- maybe 3-4 miles depending on the terminal. They need to have a rail link or forget it. By the time you slep out there on a bus (which if the Big Blue parking shuttle is any measure, will take FOREVER), you might as well take a taxi to wherever you are going.



http://maps.google.com/maps?f= q&hl=en&q=Merriman+and+Michiga n+Ave++&sll=45.000965,-86.2706 25&sspn=5.81047,10.217285&ie=U TF8&ll=42.249106,-83.346233&sp n=0.095047,0.159645&z=13&om=1
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Jeduncan
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Username: Jeduncan

Post Number: 99
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Tuesday, May 29, 2007 - 12:53 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

it's not really that far, only like a 5-10 minute drive tops.

I wonder if they plan on digging up or building OVER the several unmarked graves in the east side of that field from the forgotten patients at Eloise. Something to ponder.

(Message edited by jeduncan on May 29, 2007)
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Lmichigan
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Username: Lmichigan

Post Number: 5550
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Tuesday, May 29, 2007 - 1:01 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The site is fairly large; I can't imagine them using the whole thing (or even half of it) for a railroad station.
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Mackinaw
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Username: Mackinaw

Post Number: 2818
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Tuesday, May 29, 2007 - 1:16 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

This is a good sign. With the commuter rail, it's a matter of when and not if.
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Hairybackjoe
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Username: Hairybackjoe

Post Number: 19
Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Wednesday, May 30, 2007 - 2:16 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Remember Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.
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Professorscott
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Username: Professorscott

Post Number: 390
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Wednesday, May 30, 2007 - 2:59 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

A rail link would be quite costly, though I certainly hope it happens someday. Remember this is just a "demonstration project" and is part of the effort to get our hands on the $100 million "soft earmark" from the Fed.

If the train goes to Romulus, the bus will be sitting right there waiting for it, so it should work reasonably well. I've used the various off-airport parking lots, they use shuttle buses and it works just fine.

So now we just wait to see when they plan on actually starting the thing...
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Danindc
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Username: Danindc

Post Number: 2539
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, May 30, 2007 - 3:08 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

If the train goes to Romulus, the bus will be sitting right there waiting for it, so it should work reasonably well. I've used the various off-airport parking lots, they use shuttle buses and it works just fine.



It's been working fine at BWI for over 25 years.
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Dabirch
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Username: Dabirch

Post Number: 2301
Registered: 06-2004
Posted on Wednesday, May 30, 2007 - 3:40 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Dan -- it sucks at BWI.

It is annoying.

It takes nearly 2x to get to the airport.

Now going to National -- that's a good transit story.
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Danindc
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Username: Danindc

Post Number: 2542
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, May 30, 2007 - 3:42 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

^Worked just fine when I flew out of BWI two weeks ago, and it was certainly a lot cheaper than a $50 cab ride.

As sucky as transit to BWI may be, it's light years ahead of DTW's transit service.
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Dabirch
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Username: Dabirch

Post Number: 2302
Registered: 06-2004
Posted on Wednesday, May 30, 2007 - 4:06 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

As sucky as transit to BWI may be, it's light years ahead of DTW's transit service



Warning...Unpopular sentiment is about to be spewed:

I am still uncertain of the need for a commuter train to the airport.

Off-site parking is $7/day.

It is a 30 minute drive from downtown.

I cannot imagine why a resident would want to take a cab to a train station with all of their luggage, wait for a train, take a train ride up Michigan, then get off with all of your luggage and take a shuttle to a terminal.

As for visitors -- what is the % of business visitors that come to Detroit and do not rent a car? And if they are business visitors and do not want a car, clearly a $50 metro car, that is expensed, is much easier, more convenient, and nicer than shuttle and a train.

Seriously, who will really use this?
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Professorscott
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Username: Professorscott

Post Number: 391
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Wednesday, May 30, 2007 - 4:16 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Dabirch,

People without cars can't drive to the airport. The train is to Ann Arbor; the airport is just a stop. Students traveling between WSU and UM could use it; visitors who don't want the expense of renting a car (or who don't drive, or who prefer not to drive in an unfamiliar city) could use it; airport workers could use it.

When I travel on business, which is a few times a year, I never rent a car and I use cabs only when forced. I use the transit available wherever I go. Ninety percent of every place I go to, I can get from the airport to the city on a train and get around the city on light rail or subways.

I would simply not come to a convention or meeting in Detroit if I lived out of town, because Detroit obviously doesn't want my business. There may not be millions of people like me, but there are some.

Finally: if commuter service from a downtown to an airport is unimportant, why has almost every other big city on earth built such a service?
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Focusonthed
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Username: Focusonthed

Post Number: 1003
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Wednesday, May 30, 2007 - 4:29 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I take the Blue Line to O'Hare or Orange to Midway all the time, yes, with my luggage. If I can't carry my luggage on the train, I probably can't bring it with me on the plane either. You're traveling, not moving.

In fact, the other week, I flew to Minneapolis for business, and my business was downtown. I took their Light Rail. It was great. Unfortunately, when I go to Cleveland, my business is in the suburbs, so I cannot take their Red Line.
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Dabirch
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Username: Dabirch

Post Number: 2303
Registered: 06-2004
Posted on Wednesday, May 30, 2007 - 4:30 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I did not say it was unimportant. I said it was not necessary in Detroit.

How often do students travel between Ann Arbor and WSU?

How many people in Detroit who can afford to fly do not have a car?

How often will you use this service?

If you travel on business wouldn't you prefer to take a cab from the airport than waiting for a shuttle to a train station and then having to take a cab from wherever the train station is to your hotel?

I understand taking the train from O'Hare if you land at rush hour, but Detroit does not have the traffic problem that other cities do.


I am glad that you will use this possibly a couple times a year. But besides you and the 10k people who live downtown, and the 5% of business visitors who do not need a car and cannot get re-imbursed for a cab - who else will use it?
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Jjw
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Username: Jjw

Post Number: 318
Registered: 10-2005
Posted on Wednesday, May 30, 2007 - 4:34 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I fly out of BWI quite frequently via the light rail in Baltimore. Very easy and quick. Maybe DC to BWI may be a bit more tricky; but no prob. from this direction. ANY type of transit to get to metro is good news as far as I am concerned.
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Dabirch
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Username: Dabirch

Post Number: 2304
Registered: 06-2004
Posted on Wednesday, May 30, 2007 - 4:40 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

As I stated, I knew it would be unpopular sentiment.

But with limited federal and/or local funds available, I cannot see how a transit link from Downtown to Ann Arbor is the most pressing issue -- or the best use of potential funds -- that is facing this area.
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Professorscott
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Username: Professorscott

Post Number: 393
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Wednesday, May 30, 2007 - 4:42 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I live northeast; I would use a train from downtown to Mt. Clemens but that's another topic. I'm just making the point that other big cities provide this service and we do not. People use it elsewhere; one of the main categories of users of transit to any airport is people who work at the airport.

Also, if you provide people a convenient non-car way to get around (which metro Detroit has chosen not to do), people will use it. Go to Portland, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Toronto, Denver, heck go to just about any other decent-size city and you can see for yourself.

By the way when I travel on business I am spending my own money so I prefer to take a train downtown, shuttle or not, and I always stay at hotels near the train station. I would take a bus before I'd take a cab, again because I'm spending my own money. I haven't ridden in a cab since the 1970s; nothing against them, I just don't prefer to spend that kind of money to get around.

You are thinking like most Michigan folks who've never lived anywhere else, and you assume everyone on earth is just like we are. The fact is, since the 1980s, nearly every big city on this continent has rebuilt its transit into something decent and useful, and people use it. We have chosen, just metro Detroit and nobody else, to continue to insist everybody get around by car or bus.
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Susanarosa
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Username: Susanarosa

Post Number: 1510
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Wednesday, May 30, 2007 - 4:44 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

You are thinking like most Michigan folks who've never lived anywhere else, and you assume everyone on earth is just like we are.



Yeah Dabirch, why don't you get out of Michigan once in a while... geez...
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Professorscott
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Username: Professorscott

Post Number: 394
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Wednesday, May 30, 2007 - 4:44 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Dabirch,

Since your post came while I was typing - you are correct about one thing, it is not the best use of potential funds. There are better projects, even better transit projects. The downtown to Ann Arbor is priority one for now because of the $100 million the region is trying to capture, and that money can't be used in any other corridor or for any other purpose. As it is, we're lucky if we get it for this one.

Good discussion! These transit gabfests are usually advocates and one guy from Livonia; it's good to get input from both sides of any issue.
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Parkguy
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Username: Parkguy

Post Number: 33
Registered: 04-2007
Posted on Wednesday, May 30, 2007 - 4:45 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

These are the exact arguments people used against Dallas' light rail system, and as soon as it opened it was a hit. Dallas is just as sprawled out as the Detroit region, and it works there. We need to get moving, because in 20 years gasoline powered internal combustion automobiles will NOT be the way people get to work, and 20 years is not that long.
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Dabirch
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Username: Dabirch

Post Number: 2305
Registered: 06-2004
Posted on Wednesday, May 30, 2007 - 4:59 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

P.Scott --

As you live in Macomb, you would never use this transit link, correct? Or if you did, it would be not out of convenience or economics, correct? Nor would hardly anybody else in Macomb County. Nor would hardly anybody in Oakland County. Nor would the VAST majority of people in Wayne County.

Most visitors coming to Metro are not headed downtown. And as already discussed, most business travelers would take a cab over a train -- unless the train was extremely convenient, quick, and efficient.

So we are trying to get $100m in Federal funds to build a prototype/proof of concept for a regional transit system that will, most likely be underutilized, and ultimately prove to the doubters that Detroit will not support a mass transit system.

As such, any more funds or development will be shelved for a long time -- thus ending the dream of a useable regional system.

The correct answer is that Detroit will not support a flawed transit system - one that is not convenient, and does not serve a sizeable portion of the population.

But design a system that allows people in Oakland, Macomb, and Wayne to use it -- and one that is convenient for visitors,a nd we might be surprised at the results.

We will, however, never see that, because we are all jumping on the bandwagon of the flawed system because "when will we see $100m in federal funds again?"

And, by the way, I have in major cities on the East Coast, the Mid West and the West Coast, and not one of those folks that your condescending remark portrays.
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Mackinaw
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Username: Mackinaw

Post Number: 2830
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Wednesday, May 30, 2007 - 5:27 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Do you have a problem with Washtenaw County? Why don't you give them a chance? The University of Michigan has 10,000 out of state/international undergraduates alone, probably another 5,000 non-Michigan grad students. They spend too much on cab rides to DTW, and they would be all over the opportunity to take a train to the airport for 5 bucks. You also have tons of people wanting to go to shows and events in Detroit, but needing to find someone with a car to do so. Here, again, is more business for the commuter line.

Ann Arbor has over 100,000 people and is far more progressive and embracing of non-car travel than the rest of metro Detroit, as seen by there impeccable bus system. More than a few would take a train to Detroit.

So, obviously, we want multiple rapid transit lines for the big three counties, Dabirch, but you can't get it all at once. You have to start somewhere, and we're lucky that we are starting with Detroit-A2 because it has a much better chance of being used than all other routes, which should help us earn more federal funding.
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Professorscott
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Username: Professorscott

Post Number: 395
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Wednesday, May 30, 2007 - 5:30 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Sorry, I tend to go condescending mid-argument. Character flaw. Point out if it happens again.

If this was the only thing we were going to build, I would agree it would not be worth the trouble. If this is the first step in building a reasonably convenient transit system for the region, one that people might actually want to use, then I am all for it. It isn't what I'd have picked for "step one", but they didn't ask me :-)

Many visitors coming to Metro are headed to Detroit, Dearborn or Ann Arbor, and this will serve those places. Certainly, if you are headed for Warren or Farmington, it won't do you any good.

I agree, Detroit will not support a flawed system and neither would anyplace else. (Think: Buffalo subway.) But this is a reasonable starting point, and we have to start somewhere.
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Livernoisyard
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Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 3233
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Wednesday, May 30, 2007 - 5:59 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Have metro Detroit create the jobs first. No commuter rail between AA and Detroit will create any jobs of real numbers or significance. Besides, the students in AA or Ypsi are gone for some three months. So they won't be riding during any summers.

There is a Greyhound and Amtrak service connecting Detroit already. So, expending tight money for rail doesn't make much sense for the permanent Detroit residents, if transients at the two colleges are going to be occasional riders during occasional weekends.

Besides, that is not what the metropolitan area needs. Job creation is the only thing that matters. If sufficient jobs ever come, well only then should rail be reconsidered.
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6nois
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Username: 6nois

Post Number: 287
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Wednesday, May 30, 2007 - 6:31 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Rail is going to be an important factor in getting jobs to come to the metro D. Many businesses may be more likely to pick downtown over other locations because of this rail line. It is an incentive for growth. As for greyhound I wouldn't be caught dead on one, but a train yes I would ride that, it would be great to visit my friends in AA with out the nasty drive on a friday night. As for the one about not having traffic problems in Detroit thats a joke right? I think this is a great place to start. From this line, work can then be done to extend up to Oakland and Macomb counties, and then a second line to make a loop from Oakland County to AA. Sounds like a start of a regional system.
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Mackinaw
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Username: Mackinaw

Post Number: 2831
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Wednesday, May 30, 2007 - 6:53 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

LY, we don't always agree which is fine but I've never seen a post from you so riddled with factual errors.

"No commuter rail between AA and Detroit will create any jobs of real numbers or significance."

Besides the simple fact that the stations will need to hire more people, and there will be a new station in Romulus/Wayne, and there will be a new bus service to connect to DTW, some employers will be attracted to the area BECAUSE of the rail. This is the first step towards making SE Michigan somewhat closer to being a world class place...this will attract employers. Furthermore, there's no way that this would COST us any jobs. 6nois has it right above.

"Besides, the students in AA or Ypsi are gone for some three months."

Really, like me and the majority of my friends? Classes are in session, most apartments on my street are occupied, and students are indeed here. They travel alot though, going back home for long weeekends, often during open spaces in their work schedules (many aren't taking classes but are working), so a link to the airport is very valuable in the summer.

"There is a Greyhound and Amtrak service connecting Detroit already."

Only three times per day for each. Unacceptable. Almost every departure is late for both, because they are bogged down by delays in western MI/Chicago, or Oakland County. I've tried to make Amtrak work for a Detroit-A2 link, about half a dozen times. Normally I'm going out of my way for Amtrak though, and normally Amtrak is an hour late. It just doesn't work for commuting, plain and simple. Furthermore, both are $11-15/trip, and the commuter line will at least cut that in half.

(Message edited by mackinaw on May 30, 2007)
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Malcovemagnesia
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Username: Malcovemagnesia

Post Number: 33
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Wednesday, May 30, 2007 - 7:39 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Adding a Detroit Metro Airport stop on the rail line between Detroit and Ann Arbor would be *extremely* useful for U-M / WSU students and people coming from the Detroit area who don't want to park their car in the lots.

As for the cost or footprint of an airport station, it doesn't have to be high at all. Before San Francisco's BART subway system was sent down to SFO, I used to ride Caltrain commuter rail to a station close to the airport, and they had a free shuttle bus waiting at the station for people to jump on board. Very convenient.

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