Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2007 People Mover Previous Next
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French777
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Username: French777

Post Number: 51
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 7:37 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

is there any new info on the expansion to the NEW CENTER?
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Livernoisyard
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Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 2072
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 7:39 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yes. Expect it up and fully running by tomorrow, at the very earliest.
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French777
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Username: French777

Post Number: 52
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 7:41 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

what?????
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Mikeg
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Username: Mikeg

Post Number: 429
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 7:42 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Park expansion plans for the People Mover
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Livernoisyard
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Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 2073
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 7:47 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

A watched pot never boils...

The final two weeks of the year plus the first week are the slowest news weeks of the year--both for print and electronic media. The regular staffs take off, and lots of puff-piece "journalism" articles and stories appear from their stock footage.

The recent talk about rapid transit is but one example. Expect others to appear for the next few days until things and events return to normal.

This occurs like clockwork annually.
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Mikeydbn
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Username: Mikeydbn

Post Number: 331
Registered: 04-2004
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 7:54 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The DPM in all it's glory (Google Video)
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Mackinaw
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Username: Mackinaw

Post Number: 2303
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 8:25 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

What a terrible editorial. I don't think these newspaper people have any real grasp over the city. Do they know about midtown? How its population is growing and development is booming? Do they know about how TechTown is about to appear on the stage. Have they ever heard of the DMC and Wayne State? Obviously expanding DPM northward would be useful and make the system practical, yet they pass it off as nothing, as if there's nothing but abandoned lots from downtown to New Center, as if nobody lives or works there.

And with the impending possibility of Detroit-Ann Arbor commuter rail, the task of moving people from New Center to downtown comes to the forefront even more.
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Livernoisyard
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Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 2077
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 8:41 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I was inattentively listening to some PM or other transit accounts on WJR today, and it was pretty much of the regular fare--those raving in favor and those who believed that these would fail.

The biggest "kiss-of-death" for rapid transit is the clear absence of any serious support (meaning money in place) for it and very little political support (who well know that this would be expensive, taxwise). Those in favor suggested that the private sector foot much of the capital costs, as if they are rolling in cash...
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French777
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Username: French777

Post Number: 53
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 8:45 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I think getting their bus system " on Track " is easier and less money than 200 million dollars

but on the other side the article makes it seem like no one rides PM. When I would ride it, it was mostly full!!!
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Apbest
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Username: Apbest

Post Number: 388
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 8:53 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

and why don't people ride it? because it doesn't go anywhere

where will it go if extended to new center?

somewhere (or at least start to)...cover a major university, two major medical institutions, residential base, cultural and art centers, etc
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Livernoisyard
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Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 2078
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 8:55 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

One rap on the PM discussed today on WJR was that its ridership has some peak periods punctuated with lengthy lulls when few ride. Also the locations of its stops, its single-track one-way system, and the relatively low population density (for rail service) were said to be inadequate. The PM detractors said that the city's residents should create a demand first instead of expecting that a demand will be created just because it's there or getting bigger.
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Kilgore_south
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Username: Kilgore_south

Post Number: 210
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 8:57 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


quote:

What a terrible editorial. I don't think these newspaper people have any real grasp over the city.




Yeah what do you expect from the Det News? The proposed expansion would transform the DPM from a Train to Nowhere into a transit system that links important and growing parts of the city. That would give a lot of people a practical reason to ride it daily. I mean, people will use a train if it goes where they need it to. But I guess that hasn't dawned on the News.

Mikeydbn - dig the video!
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Kilgore_south
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Username: Kilgore_south

Post Number: 211
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 9:03 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

OK looks like a bunch of us were posting the same thoughts at the same time. Forgive my redundancy.

One last thing - not to derail the thread, but has there been much discussion around here about the Salt Lake City light rail system? Probably the most conservative, supposedly transit-hating city in the country, but their system has been continually expanding over the last few years and a ton of people ride it.

So why can't Detroit do it???
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Scs100
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Username: Scs100

Post Number: 104
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 9:22 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I heard about that system on Trainorders.com. Isn't it supposed to lighten congestion around I-25? And if they could extend it even more, maybe the Lodge fiasco wouldnt be so bad. Too bad it wont be rebuilt in 20 years.
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Kilgore_south
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Username: Kilgore_south

Post Number: 213
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 9:30 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'm sure it's helping the congestion on I-15, but probably has little, if any, effect on I-25 in Denver. :P

Salt Lake metro basically sprawls in a straight line southward from the city itself. So there's a main line paralleling I-15, with spur lines off of it that serve all the little suburbs on either side. Of course Metro Detroit is much more geographically complicated but I can see how a similar rail line up Woodward to Pontiac might work.

But back to the People Mover...
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Scs100
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Username: Scs100

Post Number: 107
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 10:09 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Read that thing about a month ago and I knew it had a "5" in it so I was close :-)
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1953
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Username: 1953

Post Number: 1234
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 11:01 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Buses are lame. I will never ride a bus. Build me a tram, a train, a monorail, or some other fixed system and I will ride it till the cows come home.
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Gistok
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Username: Gistok

Post Number: 3406
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 11:26 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

OK... did I miss something in that Op/Ed piece? What PARK (in the title) are they talking about?
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Scottr
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Username: Scottr

Post Number: 143
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 11:32 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

not park as in a place, park as in 'park a car', don't go forward with it. used as a verb. typical bad pun.
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Apbest
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Username: Apbest

Post Number: 390
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 11:33 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

they're suggesting we "park" the plans for extension, ie shelf or scrap them...its a little play on words
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Gistok
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Username: Gistok

Post Number: 3408
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 11:42 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks folks... you gotta admit it is rather poor choice of words since "park expansions" and "park contractions" (as in selling city land)... have been in the news in recent times! :-)
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Professorscott
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Username: Professorscott

Post Number: 6
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 11:42 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The People Mover expansion is an interesting idea but it is also quite expensive. Many transit advocates favor a light rail line along Woodward, from downtown Detroit to, let's say, Royal Oak, to give commuters and students a transportation choice and to spur redevelopment. To my thinking it would make even more sense to extend such a service eastward along East Jefferson where population density is reasonably high and redevelopment is taking place to some extent.

The light rail line in St. Louis, for one example, carries as many riders per day as all 101 of that city's bus routes combined.

No big city in North America, except Detroit, provides only buses and calls it a transit system. Our ridership is low because our service is not world class. Detroit built the modern freeway city of the 1950s; as a result we are perhaps the only city in the history of the world to go from 2+ million to under 1 million.

We have more lane-miles of freeway per capita than any large city on Earth; look how well it has worked for us.

Let's try to develop some reasonable, cost effective transit lines: modern light rail for City to inner-suburb, commuter rail for longer regional trips (such as to Ann Arbor) and perhaps Bus Rapid Transit for the suburb-to-suburb corridors where there's no obvious, broad street that can accommodate a light rail line. Link them together with modifications to existing bus service. Provide a system that is convenient and easy to use.

The elevated monorail extension only makes practical sense if private money is involved; otherwise it pulls too much money away that could be used for more cost effective things. We can implement and operate a lot of light rail (say) for what it would cost to do a couple more miles of elevated tramway.

Of course, that's just my opinion, and I could be wrong :-)

Cheers,
Professor Scott
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Livernoisyard
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Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 2083
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 11:50 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

If the Pacific Rim and the Europeans were still mired in the 1950 and 1960s, Detroit's freeways wouldn't be blamed for Detroit's demise. Because, it would most likely still be a Rust Belt City with operating plants, at least in the burbs.

All rapid transit provides is a slightly faster (but much more expensive for Detroit) trip. Today, it matters little how rapidly or slowly the unemployed or underemployed get to their dwindling factories for jobs that don't exist in any large numbers any longer.
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Professorscott
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Username: Professorscott

Post Number: 7
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Friday, January 05, 2007 - 12:04 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Sure, Livernoisyard, but the fact is, lots of cities in the US and Canada have had to replace their manufacturing economies over the past 40 years, from textiles in the southeast to computers in Massachusetts.

The new-era companies have choices where to locate; lots are locating in the US and Canada, but few in Detroit. So you look at the differences, one of which is that every other major urban area has better public transportation than we do. This was not true everywhere 30 years ago but it is today; many, many city regions have rebuilt their public transit since the early 1980s.

Denver has done this, Minneapolis, Atlanta, Cleveland, St. Louis, it goes on and on; and each of these cities is more successfully navigating the economic transformation than we are.

Is this the only reason? Certainly not. Is it one of the reasons? Absolutely.

If we keep doing what we've always done, we're going to keep getting the same results.

Incidentally, a full-featured transit system for metro Detroit would only cost as much as a couple of the long-proposed freeway widenings. Hundreds of millions of dollars were recently spent to create and extend the M-53 freeway from 19 Mile Road to 34 Mile Road in north Macomb County. Was that the best use of our region's scarce resources, or would a decent transit system to help create an impetus for redevelopment and new-economy jobs have been a better use of those same dollars?

Cheers,
Professor Scott
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Livernoisyard
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Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 2084
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Friday, January 05, 2007 - 12:26 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Michigan probably has the least educated of any northern Rust Belt state. (And those in SE MI who do allow themselves to become educated, just leave.) Just what could Detroit's dropouts aspire to in a service economy that is higher (not high, mind you) tech? There are only so many (meaning few) workers in those types of industrial plants to begin with, and only a few janitors are needed.

It requires about a decade and a half of schooling in order to become educated enough for today's workforce. Many Detroiters are "intellectual" dropouts as early as the fourth grade, where they simply attend school but actually do nothing. Both Detroit and New Orleans (the #1 and #2 offenders, respectively) have close to zero probability to find employment for a sizable chunk of their residents.

Yet, many won't leave Michigan or LA for ready employment elsewhere in a booming national economy. Could the current lack of terminating Michigan's welfare class have an active role here? Most probably. But that closure won't come into effect for at least another four/five years down the pike.

Businesses won't be coming here in any sufficient numbers.
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Professorscott
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Username: Professorscott

Post Number: 9
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Friday, January 05, 2007 - 12:34 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Ahh, LY, you are a fine clear-headed thinker but a bit of a pessimist. There are quite a few educated people in Detroit and its environs; mind you, not as many as in other places but they exist and many stay.

Your point is well taken though: one thing we must improve, quickly, is education. But I question your decade and a half: if you give me a school full of 8th grade students, no matter their current level of preparation, in four years I will have most of them very ready for University and in eight they will be ready to join the kind of workforce we need.

We have to restart the education/job spiral in an upward direction somehow. Probably education is the best place to start. But even with a poorly educated workforce, if that's what we now have, transforming our circumstances to attract job creators will help to reverse the spiral.

The statement you make - "Businesses won't be coming here in any sufficient numbers" - was equally true in Atlanta 30 years ago or most of New England 20 years ago or Denver when I lived there during the oil bust of the mid 1980s.

Any region can transform; the problem is that it has to want to. I don't see much of that from our current crop of political leaders, but despite that and middle age, I try to retain a sense of hope. Downtown Detroit, in particular, looked completely dead 15 years ago and looks much less dead today.

Though I do not completely agree with LY, I welcome his (her?) thoughtful comments and I'm glad to be able to participate in such a discussion.

Cheers,
Professor Scott
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Livernoisyard
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Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 2085
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Friday, January 05, 2007 - 12:41 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"But I question your decade and a half..."


K-12 plus two to four years of post-secondary education amounts to fourteen to sixteen years. Up to seventeen, if kindergarten is included. And even more for a post-graduate degree. Hint: A time span of 1 1/2 decades is equal to only fifteen years.
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Professorscott
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Username: Professorscott

Post Number: 10
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Friday, January 05, 2007 - 12:47 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

You miss my point: I don't need to start with kindergartners. I can take 8th graders from any public school you like, and in eight years they will have (most of them) a very good quality bachelor's degree from a good University. The 9th to 12th grade part is where improvement will do the most good. So I only need 8 years (which, I agree, is still a good bit of time), not 15.

Some of our Universities have very good precollege programs; the trick is to find qualified kids and get them into the system while we can do the most good.

Also, a bachelor's degree is quite sufficient for the vast majority of jobs in every region of North America. Very few Americans get higher degrees than that, anywhere (yet another long-term problem).

Too many of our schools are still training students for nonexistent factory jobs. You are arguing with me over one of the points on which I think we agree.

By the way, I know my calendar. We can have a good civil argument but don't patronize me; I may in fact be older than you are. (Let's see: I was born during the JFK admin. You?)

Professor Scott
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Livernoisyard
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Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 2086
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Friday, January 05, 2007 - 12:54 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

According to your contorted logic, I could train someone (by cheating as you do--with a college graduate) to a Masters degree in only one year. So, under your "system" you do not bother to even start counting until the eighth grade. I passed all four parts of the CPA exam eons ago, and your "accounting" scheme is considered to be "creative"--an euphemism for "crooked."
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Professorscott
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Username: Professorscott

Post Number: 13
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Friday, January 05, 2007 - 1:03 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Heavens! You are making much of little. My logic is this: if you have (or create, which is what I'm suggesting here) a very good high school, you can take a poorly prepared incoming 9th grade student, a graduate of eighth grade somewhere, and have him or her very reasonably ready for college in the alloted four years, then a bachelor's degree in another four.

There's no cheating; poorly prepared eighth graders exist today, and in vast numbers. Your counter-cheat won't work; there aren't sufficiently many college graduates. (That's the whole problem.)

I'm not accounting at all. That involves money; this does not. I'm not crooked at all, so far as you know. If you want to accuse me of some kind of dastardly deed, please at least be reasonably creative. I am, in fact, a son of a bitch, but you haven't correctly guessed what kind.

Chill out.

If you want to argue with me, I enjoy that, but please be reasonable as I am trying to be reasonable. This isn't real politics where we can pretend to solve problems by slandering each other :-)

Scott
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Livernoisyard
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Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 2087
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Friday, January 05, 2007 - 1:20 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

A simple fact of life: A large portion of Detroiters and their emulators in the burbs will remain unemployed as long as they remain unemployable. Their notoriety of being the highest urban illiterates wasn't bestowed upon them without knowledge of their "achievements." If a kid cannot read by the third or fourth grade, the chances of his ever learning to read and educate himself is nearly zilch.

DPS continually socially promotes a sizable percentage (perhaps, a majority) of its students, especially at the higher grades, until they drop out and fall off the radar screen.

It's not uncommon to have DPS kids who cannot (or won't) read. And they grow up illiterate as adults. This is no secret. Chrysler's HR department knew about that and was quoted about not hiring many Detroiters on that basis well before its merger with Daimler.
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Apbest
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Username: Apbest

Post Number: 391
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Friday, January 05, 2007 - 1:30 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Cleveland's vehicles for the silver line (BRT) look pretty cool on a sidenote...that might be an alternative to PM expansion

http://img450.imageshack.us/im g450/4301/jye0.jpg
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Saintme
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Username: Saintme

Post Number: 18
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Friday, January 05, 2007 - 1:42 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"I am, in fact, a son of a bitch, but you haven't correctly guessed what kind."

HAH! My kind of son of a bitch.
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Professorscott
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Username: Professorscott

Post Number: 16
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Friday, January 05, 2007 - 1:51 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

LY: Social promotion is and always has been a disaster, I agree. I don't agree that someone who is functionally illiterate by age 10 can't be helped; I have helped adults in their forties learn to read. The thing is, the teacher and the student both have to be serious and dedicated.

Employability can be earned at just about any age. But one has to want to earn it and agree to work on it.

Apbest: I agree (see above). LRT is part of the solution for Detroit (the region) as for so many other regions including Cleveland.

Have a great late-night! I'm going to bed.

Cheers,
Professor Scott
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Mayor_sekou
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Username: Mayor_sekou

Post Number: 372
Registered: 09-2006
Posted on Friday, January 05, 2007 - 2:55 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Wasnt there a thread recently that discussed the proposal of a mostly privately funded People Mover expansion up Woodward to Henry Ford hospital? What has happened with that?
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Corktownmark
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Username: Corktownmark

Post Number: 245
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Friday, January 05, 2007 - 3:31 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Good question Mr. Mayor. I think we turned to a rehash of every other thread that certain folks participate in. The loop through the cultural center, DMC, WSU, new center and HFHS connects well over 100K of workers and students to the downtown area. Clearly for the snews and other suburban media this is somewhat threatening.
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Professorscott
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Username: Professorscott

Post Number: 19
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Friday, January 05, 2007 - 12:00 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Corktownmark,

Threatening to suburban interests because as a region we have basically zero population growth and zero economic growth right now, so anyone or anything moving IN to the central city is probably moving FROM a suburb.

If we were able to generate new businesses then this would no longer be a zero-sum game and Detroit could revitalize without cannibalizing off the suburbs (which of course grew by cannibalizing off Detroit).

One of the perspective gaps we have as a region is that we seem to be married to big projects, whereas most regional economic growth (in regions that have it) has more to do with attracting lots of small businesses, some of which then get big. The best thing we could do as a region is figure out how to encourage and foster small-business entrepreneurship and make the region accessible and friendly to small businesspersons who are looking to relocate.

How do we do this? I don't know but we have lots of brainpower in these forums :-) Better transit would certainly be a small part of the answer.

Professor Scott
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Dougw
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Username: Dougw

Post Number: 1507
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Friday, January 05, 2007 - 12:53 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


quote:

If the Pacific Rim and the Europeans were still mired in the 1950 and 1960s, Detroit's freeways wouldn't be blamed for Detroit's demise.



I think they could, actually. That's an excellent question. In that scenario, I'd guess the city of Detroit would only be slightly better off than it is today. You would certainly have more overall wealth throughout metro Detroit if the Big 3 still had 90% market share instead of 50%. But a bigger factor for the city was still the need for more space for new factories, so you'd still have new factories opening in the suburbs and other areas of the country, and closing in the city. And, you'd still have the '67 riots, block-busting, bloated unions, and massive growth in the suburbs due to the ease of freeway commuting and the lack of any quality fixed transit system to help stabilize city neighborhoods.

Also, if the Big 3/Detroit had no competiton from Japan/Europe, I'd have to imagine that some serious competition would eventually emerge from somewhere, maybe somewhere else in the U.S. or some other country.

So most likely, even if the Japanese automakers never existed, we'd still be talking about the problems of the city of Detroit and what went wrong.
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Scs100
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Username: Scs100

Post Number: 108
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Friday, January 05, 2007 - 2:34 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Scott, I live right by East Jefferson and with the exception of right along the road, it is not that densely populated. Now with all of the new developement going on around there that may change but Woodward is the better choice for expansion. There isnt much on the east side to lead to along East Jefferson with the exception of the Bud Plant and the Water Plant. For me though, if that were to happen, it would be easier than waiting an hour for a SMART bus.
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Dougw
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Username: Dougw

Post Number: 1508
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Friday, January 05, 2007 - 2:40 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Scs, you are right that Woodward is clearly the first choice for expansion of a transit line. (whether light rail or something else) You can make a good case that East Jefferson might be next in priority after that, though... Jefferson certainly has more density with its high-rises than something like Grand River or Gratiot.
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Scs100
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Username: Scs100

Post Number: 109
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Friday, January 05, 2007 - 2:43 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

That I would agree with. Besides, Grand River is all old factory lots while Gratiot is all strip clubs. So unless you want to head to a strip club, Gratiot is not a good priority to build on. What about Michigan Ave? It would be good to extend it down that way.
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French777
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Username: French777

Post Number: 55
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Saturday, January 06, 2007 - 12:27 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

what station do you think is used the least?? I was thinking Times Square station.
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Rbdetsport
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Username: Rbdetsport

Post Number: 206
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Saturday, January 06, 2007 - 2:47 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Have there been any thoughts of after say getting out of the Greater Downtown area, putting it in a street bed? For Gratiot leave it raised until Chene. For Michigan, leave it raised until just past Corktown. For Jefferson put it in the street bed right after St.Aubin. For Woodward have the rail come off of the New Center Transit Station and right away be in the street bed. Im sure it would be a lot less expensive if the system went into the street. Also, if the system got larger, wouldn't a larger and more centralized mechanical station be needed?
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Scs100
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Username: Scs100

Post Number: 114
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Saturday, January 06, 2007 - 5:11 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I don't know about a bed for Jefferson. If you were to extend it into Grosse Pointe, it would be a problem if it were in a road bed. Any ideas?
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Detroitplanner
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Username: Detroitplanner

Post Number: 696
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Saturday, January 06, 2007 - 10:54 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"That I would agree with. Besides, Grand River is all old factory lots while Gratiot is all strip clubs. So unless you want to head to a strip club, Gratiot is not a good priority to build on. What about Michigan Ave? It would be good to extend it down that way."

Is that bizarro Detroit? Grand River is mostly housing with very little industrial. Nudie bars on Gratiot???
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Scs100
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Username: Scs100

Post Number: 134
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Saturday, January 06, 2007 - 10:57 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

My bad. Grand River was not what I was thinking of. Gratiot however, does have some out by 94.
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French777
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Username: French777

Post Number: 60
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Sunday, January 07, 2007 - 12:26 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

why don't they raise the ticket price from 50cents to 1$ ?
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Michigansheik
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Username: Michigansheik

Post Number: 172
Registered: 09-2005
Posted on Monday, January 08, 2007 - 12:09 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

melbourne australia has trams in the downtown area that connect to the bus and train system. they are street bed trams and are very convenient, the people mover, if expanded to the new center, would finally be convenient and effective for those needing to be moved around downtown, all of our downtown which includes museums and universities.
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French777
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Username: French777

Post Number: 82
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 16, 2007 - 9:05 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

could they just make the PM run on the electric tracks it has under it and forget the cement sides and pillars ? wouldn't that save a lot of money.
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Danny
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Username: Danny

Post Number: 5417
Registered: 02-2004
Posted on Tuesday, January 16, 2007 - 9:28 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Lets get the Soul Train somewhere.
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Scs100
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Post Number: 259
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 16, 2007 - 9:33 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The problem would be putting it in the road bed/next to the road.
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French777
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Post Number: 83
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Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 - 7:04 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

how much do you think it would save though 100 million +/-
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Detroitrulez
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Username: Detroitrulez

Post Number: 117
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 - 9:29 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

why not try this? Seems to be working in other cities like Portland, with Cincinnati and Atlanta now exploring options....and certainly is not as expensive as light rail. Streetcars in Cincinnati. Probably functions better with more density, however, which is lacking in Detroit for the most part.
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Upinottawa
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Username: Upinottawa

Post Number: 704
Registered: 09-2005
Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 - 9:44 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Ummm, streetcars are light rail vehicles.
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Detroitrulez
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Username: Detroitrulez

Post Number: 119
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 - 12:24 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

whatever....feel free to change it to "heavy rail"....did you even read the article or couldn't you get past the nit-picking?
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Upinottawa
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Username: Upinottawa

Post Number: 707
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Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 - 4:19 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I did read the article. It is a bit bizarre that the article makes a distinction between light rail and streetcars considering streetcars are light rail vehicles. If the author was striving for great certainty the author could have distinguished light rail on city streets and grade separated light rail (or something to that extent).
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Danindc
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Username: Danindc

Post Number: 2050
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 - 4:34 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

No, there is a fine distinction between "light rail" and "streetcars". For example, Portland has its MAX light rail system, which is essentially a rapid transit mode, and then it has the downtown streetcar, which functions more like a permanently fixed-route bus.
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Detroitrulez
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Username: Detroitrulez

Post Number: 121
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Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 - 4:38 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

yes it is bizarre,although it is probably a distinction relevant only to denizens of www.lightrail.com and their ilk. Maybe they are just looking to distinguish between dedicated commuter-rail type projects (often a hot button third rail type issue with taxpayers) and share-the-road-with-a-rail streetcars (more palatable).
The point is streetcars. in the streets. on rails. Like Detroit used to have. Like Detroit had even recently(albeit on a worthless little-used unpublicized novelty line). Would love to see a streetcar system run up and down Woodward....there's certainly enough room for one.
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Livernoisyard
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Post Number: 2181
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Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 - 4:45 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Streetcars have a nasty problem whenever one breaks down. [In case one hasn't noticed, but on a typical day there could be thirty to forty broken-down SMART and DDOT buses at Kronk and Stecker at the private-sector repair facility for engine/powertrain work.] If a streetcar breaks down, there's no simply parking it along the curb and allowing the other streetcars to continue on their merry ways.
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Scs100
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Post Number: 268
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Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 - 4:46 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The same could be said with the people mover.
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Danindc
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Username: Danindc

Post Number: 2051
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 - 4:52 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

Streetcars have a nasty problem whenever one breaks down. [In case one hasn't noticed, but on a typical day there could be thirty to forty broken-down SMART and DDOT buses at Kronk and Stecker at the private-sector repair facility for engine/powertrain work.] If a streetcar breaks down, there's no simply parking it along the curb and allowing the other streetcars to continue on their merry ways.



And, pray tell, how would a streetcar break down? There are barely any moving parts aside from the wheels, and you certainly don't have thermal-induced stresses that diesel engines experience.

Don't you ever get tired of spreading false and baseless anti-transit propaganda?
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Scs100
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Post Number: 269
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Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 - 4:53 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Oh god. Here we go again.
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Danindc
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Post Number: 2052
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Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 - 5:02 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

^^^If Livernoisyard is going to try to scare the shit out of people as pertains to transit, he owes a thorough explanation. Otherwise, it's just scare tactics.
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Detroitrulez
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Username: Detroitrulez

Post Number: 122
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 - 5:05 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

is the streetcar breakdown dilemma a big issue with Portland's system (which these will most likely be loosely patterned after)? How do other systems deal with it? I'm not sure that is a deciding factor in any event.
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Scs100
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Post Number: 270
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Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 - 5:08 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Don't worry, I agree with you. I just can see this turning into what it was on the commuter thread.
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Danindc
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Post Number: 2054
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Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 - 5:10 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yes, it is possible for rail vehicles to break down--especially those heavily reliant on computers for operation. Typically, though, the designers of the system have enough foresight to provide switches and connectors every so often, such that vehicles can travel from one parallel track to another, and back again.

In this way, trains can single-track around a breakdown, or track repair operation, or suicide, or whatever. It's a real pain in the ass when it happens during rush hour, but it's nowhere near the disruption that a bad accident on an Interstate highway causes.
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Detroitrulez
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Post Number: 123
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Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 - 5:20 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

what kills me is that Minneapolis recently spent, what 675 to 700 million (?) for a pretty comprehensive light rail system....a streetcar system can modestly come out at a fraction of that, on an initial basis. But what is metroit talking about? widening 6.7 miles of I-94 in downtown at a cost of at least 1.3 BILLION. wow. think of what you could do with that....not to mention the 300 million (minimum) spent on parking structures downtown over the past 5 years....

but this is just preaching to the choir....I just kind of liked the streetcar idea, and when I heard atlanta and cinci were looking into it, my ears pricked up.
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French777
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Username: French777

Post Number: 85
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Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 - 5:32 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

but couldn't the people mover at the Grand circus park station just like head down a ramp onto woodward and have the stations at ground level that would save tons of money and then it would be one big system not 2 with streetcars and pm.
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Danindc
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Post Number: 2055
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Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 - 5:41 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

^I'm not sure if the DPM is able to negotiate a grade.

It's also not necessarily a given that a People Mover extension would be cheaper than building a light rail line. Remember--the DPM operates on obsolete 1970s technology that has very few vendors and support left in business. Replacement parts and additional vehicles would be extremely expensive, to say nothing of any software upgrades that might be required at the operations center.
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Upinottawa
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Post Number: 709
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Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 - 5:58 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Caveat: I really don't know much about this subject, so everything I saying below is speculation....

The Vancouver Skytrain uses the same technology as the PM. The Skytrain has both elevated and subway portions. The Skytrain is also in Vancouver -- a hilly city surrounded by mountains. The Skytrain even has its own bridge. Therefore, somewhere the train must negotiate a grade (although I have no idea what the steepest grade it must negotiate is).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S kyTrain_(Vancouver)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S kybridge_%28Vancouver%29
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Upinottawa
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Post Number: 711
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Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 10:38 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

An obvious issue with running the PM on city streets -- it is an automated system. There is no driver to stop the train if there is an obstruction (person, car, etc.) on the tracks.

I assume the above statement is correct. Or is Detroit's system operated differently from Vancouver's or Toronto's (i.e. there is a person "operating" the cars for purposes of emergencies)?
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Scs100
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Post Number: 271
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 11:10 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I would assume that the people mover would not run in the middle of the street. Either that or they block off of the tracks to traffic.
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Apbest
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Post Number: 401
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 11:24 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

also, it gets power from an electric line on the tack Im assuming since there's no overhead power wire like all other in-street light rail systems. Having an electrified PM line in the middle of woodward may present a problem for people trying to walk across the street :-)
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French777
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Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 11:36 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

then how do san fran trolley's run on people walk across those tracks
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Ndavies
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Username: Ndavies

Post Number: 2395
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Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 11:55 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The San Frans system is a cable car. The cars have no motors. There is a moving cable under the street that pulls them along. The cars just clamp and unclamp from the cable.

The people mover will never be expanded. It's too expensive. The Vancouver line is being expanded. It has an updated version of the people mover system using longer cars. They no longer make the short people mover cars. The longer ones used on the Vancouver line won't handle the tight turns of our people mover. Getting Bombardier to restart production of the shorter cars would be extremely expensive.
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Bob
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Post Number: 1300
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Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 12:28 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

They just did a major software upgrade of the DPM in the past couple years. That is why it does not come to a standstill during the auto show like it did in years past.
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French777
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Post Number: 90
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Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 12:38 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

what does he mean by standstill
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Scs100
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Post Number: 274
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 12:39 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Stopped running. It broke for a few hours a couple of years ago.
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Danindc
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Post Number: 2057
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Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 12:59 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

DC used to have an ordinance that forbid overhead catenary wires for the streetcar systems (this was pre-1964, when Congress operated the local government). Those systems basically ran with a groove through the roadbed, down the centerline of the tracks. A collector projected down through the groove to pick up current running in a conduit embedded in the roadway.

The current DC streetcar plan will have overhead catenary wires.
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93typhoon
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Post Number: 10
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 1:03 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I keep reading how expensive it would be to expand the PM, because it is an elevated system. But could the track be transitioned to be ground level? Then have these ground level tracks follow existing right of way on existing highways / expressways? I would guess there would be traffic concerns that the elevated system would not need to deal with but cost of elevating the system would be removed and existing PM cars could be used? I am not sure if this is technically possible.
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Scs100
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Post Number: 279
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Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 1:08 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The problem is not so much lowering the track, it is the street system. They would literally have to move all buildings backwards to expand the street in order to be able to put that thing on the ground. It would be almost impossible to pull that off.

That is why streetcars would work better. The roads are already configured for them, so it would work out a lot better.
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Danindc
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Post Number: 2058
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Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 1:15 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The major expense with the PM is not the guideway--it's the technology.
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Ndavies
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Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 1:18 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

How would you protect the people from the electrified track If you put it at ground level? How would the automated trains avoid people and other vehicles if it were at ground level? The people mover's driver is a computer. And not a very sophisticated computer.

The people mover trains need to be separated from people and cars. You would not be able to do this at ground level without cutting out a large swath exclusively for the people mover. This would be a large barrier to both pedestrian and vehicle traffic flow.

The people mover also uses linear induction motors. Part of the motor is built into the track. This part of the motor cannot be covered by typical road surfaces. It cannot be crossed by other vehicles. The track system for the people mover is not compatible with the streets. The two cannot co-exist.
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Scs100
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Post Number: 281
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Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 1:19 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

That's also true.
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Johnlodge
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Post Number: 27
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Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 1:20 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

My personal opinion is that the people mover, or some sort of people mover tie-in that reaches up to midtown is the best option for a transit investment that would have immediate short-term benefits. Fox Town is even a bit far from the nearest station. That gets tied in, the Magic Stick/Garden Bowl/Union Street/Whitney area gets tied in, then of course Midtown. When I was at C.C.S., there was nothing I wanted more sometimes than a Tiramisu from Greektown. But who wants to drive for a Tiramisu? As far as going down Michigan Ave or Jefferson, I dunno. It's nice to say, well we put the transit in and now the area can more easily develop. More likely areas will need to develop BEFORE anybody is willing to spend the money on tying them in.

(Message edited by johnlodge on January 18, 2007)
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93typhoon
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Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 1:21 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

thanks - now i know
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Professorscott
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Username: Professorscott

Post Number: 66
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 3:57 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Johnlodge,

In many cities that have implemented improved infrastructure-based transit, where you build something permanent like a railroad track, a great deal of reinvestment happens near the stations. Looking at the cities that have made transit improvements since 1975, we find these reinvestments happen very frequently at light rail stations, less so with commuter rail, and barely at all with buses.

So in fact, you build transit along a reasonable corridor where redevelopment is possible, and it tends to happen if you build wisely.

Not sure why some of the details above are what they are, but that's what the results have been.
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French777
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Post Number: 92
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Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 4:15 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

So this was my idea to come to downtown detroit from either Pontiac Birmingham or Royal Oak

1.) Take the amtrac train to the New Center

2.) run a trolley system from the New Center station to the Grand Circus Park area.

3.) get on the PM


would this work?
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Ndavies
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Post Number: 2397
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Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 4:32 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Wouldn't taking bus SMART bus 465 be simpler and probably faster? It would definitely be cheaper and more frequent than the amtrac train.
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Scs100
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Post Number: 291
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Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 4:44 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Amtrac? :-)

Anyways, Ndavies is right, unless they run a direct rail line (light or heavy) through any of those cities, it would be easier to take the bus.
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French777
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Post Number: 94
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Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 4:53 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

they do ... I took the Foxtown Party Train and it went through all of those cities
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Scs100
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Post Number: 293
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 4:56 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'm talking about the people mover or streetcars. (That is, if you were talking to me.)

(Message edited by SCS100 on January 18, 2007)
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Johnlodge
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Post Number: 36
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Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 4:58 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

What's the "Foxtown Party Train"? Sounds frightening.
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Scs100
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Post Number: 294
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Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 4:59 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It was a train that took people from Pontiac down to Tiger's afternoon games over the summer. Turned out to be a huge success for the city and Amtrak.
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French777
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Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 6:04 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

yeah it was GREAT 30 dollars per person

you got

1.) train ride to New Center from either Pontiac Birmingham or Royal Oak

2.) Food vouchers for a slice of pizza and a pop

3.) your own ticket gate

4.) free food/ soveniers at the train stations

5.) great seats lower level right by first bace

6.) free food at night at new center station


for 30 $$$$$
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Ndavies
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Post Number: 2398
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Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 6:05 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Why would you want to pay amtrak $26 roundtrip when the bus will be under $5 roundtrip? Makes no sense. The train will take longer and cost at least 5 times as much.

The tiger train was a special deal cut with the tigers. There is no way you'll get that pricing for a trip by yourself.

(Message edited by ndavies on January 18, 2007)
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Jsmyers
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Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 6:13 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

You are right NDavies, but I think a lot of people are imagining a future where a commuter rail system can do it more frequently and at less cost than Amtrak currently does.

The state and region should be looking to cut Amtrak off at Detroit and replace it with a commuter rail system, and use the extra Amtrak service hours/miles for additional runs to Chicago (or runs to Toledo/Cleveland).
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Professorscott
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Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 6:35 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Amtrak, providing commuter rail service under contract, will have a fare structure much different than Amtrak providing intercity transportation on its own. The deal Atanas & co. made with NPRC (the corporation that operates Amtrak) is exactly the kind of thing SEMCOG is trying to work out (but without the ball game tie-in).

Commuter rail is never as frequent as bus service on a high-priority corridor, but it's faster. Also, there are people who will ride a train but won't ride a bus, for some reason.

Troy, incidentally, has some interesting ideas to take advantage of nearby rapid transit as part of a plan to rethink development in the Big Beaver corridor.

One of the big questions with a Woodward corridor commuter rail service, just like the Ann Arbor corridor, is how do you get people the rest of the way downtown. I've heard several ideas.
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Ndavies
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Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 6:56 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

frenchh777 asked if it was feasible. Right now it will cost you 5 times as much as the bus. The only plan for commuter rail is from AA to Detroit, not Pontiac to Detroit. My take is how it is now. If commuter rail gets put in between Pontiac and Detroit the rules would obviously change.
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Detroitplanner
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Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 8:47 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Actually the Tiger Train used existing train trips. Amtrak needs something to fill seats at the end of the run, as most folks get off or board the train W of this point to Chicago.

The dammed thing is genius if you ask me. Fills up the Amtrak Route for its trip up Woodward (previously near empty) and gives the Tigers PR, helps Caesers sell pizza.

As the Guiness guys say... Brilliant!
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Jsmyers
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Posted on Friday, January 19, 2007 - 11:33 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I agree Detroitplanner.

However, I wonder how much it would help Amtrak (and Amtrak travelers) if we had a commuter rail system that eliminated the need for Amtrak to go all the way to Pontiac and stop in Dearborn (sometimes twice).

Commuter rail from AA (or Chelsea) to Mt. Clemens and also from Pontiac to Monroe would give travelers more destinations and allow them to connect to the Chicago train in Detroit or Ann Arbor.

It also be a huge benefit if a good way of working out the rail routing and customs issues could be figured out and the 4 VIA rail trains a day could cross the border.

BTW - I posted this in the other 2 current transit threads, so it might as well go here as well:

For those of you who have an interest in Metro Detroit Transit, I encourage you to attend TRU's meeting on Monday 1/22/07 at 6:30 in the Guardian Building. More information is at their website:

http://www.detroittransit.org/ meetings.php

Here is a freep brief about it:

http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs .dll/article?AID=/20070117/NEW S02/701170416/1004
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Detroitplanner
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Posted on Friday, January 19, 2007 - 11:51 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Amtrak is set up to use Chicago much like Northwest Airlines uses metro. It is all based on what is the best time for trains to leave the hub. Now the new proposal will keep some trains in the Detroit area full time for use on this intercity route.
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Danindc
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Post Number: 2070
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Posted on Friday, January 19, 2007 - 3:36 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

^I don't think they're going to use the intercity equipment. For one, Amtrak doesn't have a whole lot in the way of spare equipment. Second, commuter rail cars, especially double-deckers, have much higher capacity than Amfleet coaches. And I'm not sure you would need a cafe car for the Ann Arbor - Detroit run. More likely, SEMCOG will negotiate to buy or lease a couple locomotives and some passenger cars from an existing commuter rail system.

Most importantly, if this trial is going to be used to gauge ridership of a commuter rail system, it needs to be under nearly identical conditions to a commuter rail system. Simply running a short Amtrak route between Ann Arbor and Detroit isn't going to tell you anything meaningful.
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Bob
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Post Number: 1303
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Posted on Friday, January 19, 2007 - 3:39 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yes, Amtrak has pointed out in the meetings (at least reported by the media) that equipment is a problem, they do not have lots of spare equipment.
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Upinottawa
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Posted on Friday, January 19, 2007 - 3:48 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

What is the parking situation at the various Amtrak stations, i.e. AA, Dearborn, etc. Do they have "park and ride" capacity at reasonable rates?
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Jsmyers
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Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Friday, January 19, 2007 - 4:19 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Parking in AA is free, but it is usually basically full from Amtrak passengers storing their cars. There is some opportunity for street parking in the area, but not right at the station except at meters. In the longer term, I can think of a few possibilities for creating expanded parking in the area.

AA (and Ypsi) have pretty well used and effective bus service. I'm sure it would be reconfigured somewhat to provide additional connections to the station. UofM also has a very busy free bus service, and they would likely route a bus to the station as well. AA will do everything they can to make it work, especially for people taking the train into AA.

Ypsi probably has more room. They don't have existing Amtrak service, so there are no cars stored in the area. But this is also dense place with transit supportive land use (Depot town) squeezing a large amount of car storage in will be a challenge.

The existing Dearborn station I believe has a lot of potential room, since it is located with the civic center that doesn't get a lot of use during the day.

You can see it here:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f= q&hl=en&q=detroit&ie=UTF8&z=16 &ll=42.312703,-83.200493&spn=0 .007156,0.021629&t=h&om=1

Amtrak also currently stops at greenfield village (for group travel only now), it seems that this would be a popular stop to connect tourists.

A stop near the airport might be a park and ride challenge to keep airport users from storing their cars at the train station. The stop would most likely be located somewhere near here:

http://maps.google.com/maps?f= q&hl=en&q=detroit&ie=UTF8&om=1 &z=16&ll=42.284088,-83.348916& spn=0.00716,0.021629&t=h

There is little there now, but there is probably room.

Looking more long-term. There might be opportunity for park and ride oriented stations near US-23 or I-275 where they cross the tracks. I know Wayne wants a stop, and maybe Inkster too. There might be other opportunities.

But the more important thing is useful transit connections at the stops.
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Danindc
Member
Username: Danindc

Post Number: 2071
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Friday, January 19, 2007 - 4:40 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Jsmyers, I agree with what you say. Note, however, that the busy BWI Airport rail station has a large parking garage adjacent. There is a fee to park there (it *is* airport property after all), but it can be used by train commuters or airport users, or whomever--they don't make a distinction.

Granted, I know that in the short-term, parking garages wouldn't be in the cards for Detroit. I think, though, that parking at a DTW station would probably not be as bad as one might think.
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Scs100
Member
Username: Scs100

Post Number: 306
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Friday, January 19, 2007 - 5:18 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Amtrak does have spare equipment, believe it or not. Just not a lot of it. A couple of weeks ago, the Lake Shore Limited rammed a bean truck in Ohio. This caused the set on that train to not be used because they wouldn't have enough time to clean it. Instead, they hastily assembled some extra Superliners and sent that off to New York. Now if they could get Beech Grove to finish work on all of the cars down there, they might have some to use.

I forgot to mention that they are cutting off the transition sleepers on the Long Distance Trains out west. If it were possible (not likely), they could convert them to coaches and use them for that.

Also, Amtrak is in the middle of trying to replaces the Amfleet cars, so that could create some extra equipment.

(Message edited by SCS100 on January 19, 2007)

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