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Old 08-27-2016, 02:15 PM
 
Location: Southeast Michigan
2,852 posts, read 1,856,267 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usroute10 View Post
The main features of the RTA's plan are:

1. Ann Arbor to Detroit commuter rail - this route's purpose is get people from the vicinities of Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Dearborn, and downtown Detroit to the airport in a fast manner using existing rail infrastructure

2. 3 Rapid Transit Bus Lines down Woodward, Michigan Avenue, and Gratiot; the purpose is to get Detroit residents out to the suburbs in a fast manner, and TO GET SUBURBAN PROFESSIONALS TO THEIR JOBS IN MIDTOWN AND DOWNTOWN DETROIT IN A FAST MANNER. Transit stops will be at every mile road, so just like with Park-n-Ride buses, suburbanites will park at a parking lot at the station (or be dropped off by their spouses), and take the rapid bus downtown.

3. Express buses from different suburban areas to the airport - the purpose is to get suburbanites from areas of Macomb and Oakland to the airport in a fast manner


THE MAIN PURPOSE OF THE RTA IS NOT A HAVE A BUS ON EVERY SINGLE MILE ROAD STOPPING AT EVERY SINGLE SUBURBAN SUBDIVISION. IT IS TO GET PEOPLE TO/FROM DOWNTOWN AND TO/FROM THE AIRPORT, as well as to provide a reasonable amount of service to get to/from high-employment centers like Troy, and to initiate service on select commercial roads that should have service, like Ryan Road through Warren.

THE RTA IS GEARED TOWARD SUBURBANITES
Not from what you described.

From what you described, it's geared toward Downtown yuppies. Who will only be paying for a small fraction of the cost. And less fortunate Detroit residents. Who won't be paying outside of the heavily subsidized ticket price.

If I live in Walled Lake or Plymouth or Lake Orion and work at GM Tech Center or Ford or Chrysler or Lear it does zero for me. And the vast majority of suburban residents work in other suburbs.

If I work in Detroit but live in Lake Orion or Fenton it does little for me. I still have to park somewhere and get on that bus, at which point it's far easier to just drive.

As I said from the start, the majority of people who'd end up paying for that system won't use it.

What we use daily is the roads, and they are falling apart, and any politician that votes to spend $5 bln on RTA while I have to navigate the lunar landscape on my daily drive to and from work will have a huge target on his name the next time election comes. This is likely why the proposal failed, and until people like you realize that they are not dealing with some redneck backward retrogrades, but with tax paying citizens who have genuine needs and concerns that are different from your goals, this won't go anywhere.
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Old 08-27-2016, 02:21 PM
 
3,483 posts, read 3,426,454 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ummagumma View Post
No they won't. The majority of people could move to Detroit today without having any mass transit. I have plenty of friends working downtown and they have no problems commuting daily. Detroit is not LA or NYC, if was pretty much built with cars in mind from the 1920s. It's not like trying to leave Manhattan in a rush hour when you may as well just stay till the night. It's a very drivable car friendly city.

Just because you make it convenient to get there won't all of a sudden make it attractive. Before you create the economic pressure forcing the druggies to move out because the entire streets are being bought up and rebuilt, you need to reach a critical point where the people can feel safe sleeping at their homes at night. Providing a transit system will not do that. You said yourself that St Louis has a far better transit system, yet they have major problems with blight and crime.

I am not at all opposed to having a mass transit system, but it's not the key to making crime infested ghettos livable. It's time will come when the city is already on the way up, people are moving in, and the need for public transportation starts manifest itself to those actually capable of supporting it financially. Until then, it will always be seen as yet another white elephant project that does not address the immediate needs of the people whose taxes are paying the bill for it.

Here's a street view of a random part of the city. It didn't take me even 3 minutes to find this great property surrounded by similarly great properties. These two houses are across the road from each other. And the road is in a tip top shape with no traffic, so getting there shouldn't be a problem even now. How, pray tell, would adding a bus line to this neighborhood all of a sudden make it so desirable that middle class families would all of a sudden trip over each other to relocate here ?

Attachment 174342

Attachment 174343

There are situations where developing public transportation would push a declining neighborhood back to prosperity, but it's not the case here. You have a patient in coma and you're proposing buying him a nice elliptical so that he could lose extra weight.
Sorry, you can't equate real estate or a city to a human being because the former can die and, yet, brought back to life. A rail line anywhere near these properties, maybe on a direct feeder bus line, would spark a property buying and development frenzy -- one of the great aspects of America. The great thing is that Detroit, in its second life, would develop (or redevelop actually from the early 1900s) as a transit-oriented, smart growth city.
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Old 08-27-2016, 02:32 PM
 
Location: Southeast Michigan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheProf View Post
Sorry, you can't equate real estate or a city to a human being because the former can die and, yet, brought back to life. A rail line anywhere near these properties, maybe on a direct feeder bus line, would spark a property buying and development frenzy -- one of the great aspects of America. The great thing is that Detroit, in its second life, would develop (or redevelop actually from the early 1900s) as a transit-oriented, smart growth city.
Why on earth would it ? I can see it being the case for a city with major traffic problems, but why would a feeder bus line entice someone to move to a drug and crime infested Detroit neighborhood with burned down abandoned homes when getting around had never been an issue here ? Why didn't the already existing bus system bring any of the bad hoods back to life ? Realize that recipes that worked for parts of LA may not work for Detroit, and vs versus.

I can get in my car and drive anywhere downtown in 40 minutes. Right now. Even when I get stuck in a post-game traffic, it's not that bad compared to the everyday traffic in downtown Chicago or parts of NYC. If I had a business downtown, I would have no problem doing truck deliveries. The problem is the criminals that would break into your home and rip copper piping off the walls. Not the lack of public transit.
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Old 08-27-2016, 03:23 PM
 
Location: Detroit
3,671 posts, read 4,940,222 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ummagumma View Post
So per your own post, the better transit system of St Louis didn't make it any more attractive for middle class families.

How would a better regional transit system make life in Detroit more attractive to the middle class when it still has so many crime and drugs infested neighborhoods ?

Nobody - and I repeat, nobody I know is using public transport here. I have never ever seen a SMART bus that was even half full. Most of the time, it's at most a handful of people riding it. We're already paying for a public transportation system that is largely unused, why should we spend a huge amount of money on expanding it when half of our roads are crumbling ?

I get it, you're young, live downtown, detest the need to have a car and pay for the most expensive insurance in the US, and want to have a hip city where you can just hop on the bus and go anywhere. But we're so far behind in making Detroit a livable city, there's so many problems and they are so expensive to fix, we must prioritize our spending. There's 4.3 million people in Metro area, only 700 thousands live in the city. That's around 16% of Metro population. Shouldn't we first concentrate on the roads that the remaining 74% (and the majority of these 16%) are using daily ? Shouldn't we concentrate on better policing the borderline neighborhoods so that they have a chance to improve and become more desirable ?

Let's face it - you're not going to turn drug dealers and gang thugs into model citizens. You have to squeeze them out so that the decent people who want to simply live their lives could get a chance to improve their neighborhood. This is the only way you can reverse Detroit's decline. And this too takes money, money, lots of money - tearing down abandoned buildings, hiring police, installing street lights, making these areas less desirable for the criminals and more desirable for a regular family. Shouldn't it also be a higher priority for that $5 bln ?

An expanded regional transit system is a great idea, but it's time hasn't come yet. Like it or not.
The time has came and passed, again and again and again 27 times in the past 40 years. Like it or not... this kind of attitude is what has been holding Detroit's transit back for so many years. Every argument you used for why this wouldn't work thus far has been proven wrong by other cities. But by your logic, Detroit should continue to have the worst transit in the country until it either has Manhattan traffic or have a bigger tax base in the city limits to pay for the entire region itself. We're going to have to agree to disagree here.

some of the other posters replied to your points already so I'll just say this. Why does this have to be one or the other with you? Because Detroit has bad roads it has to continue to have the worse transit system in the country? we can't work on improving roads and transit at the same time? most places seem to be doing just fine focusing on more than one issue at a time. STL and Chicago roads are nothing to write home about at all, but they still managed to improve their transit system. The RTA has absolutely nothing to do with state or local roads. Their not even ran by the same people. Detroit has a high crime rate, so let's ignore the public schools. Chicago has a gang problem, so let's ignore the blight on the south and westsides. Flint has a water problem, so let's ignore Flint's crime rate. Detroit still has a blight problem, so mayor Duggan should have just healed off on replacing all the broken street lights a few years ago. Even Detroit has been good at multitasking lately.

And because nobody you know uses PT then the hell with it huh? by your logic we might as well take away SMART and DDOT because "well I don't know no one who uses it". Guess what... I do. And they are just a small part of the other 44,000 people that use SMART daily. Despite how many people you see on the bus wherever you live, SMART is the 4th largest transportation system in Michigan. It used to be 2nd but lost ridership numbers after it cut service due to funding. Today it's neck and neck with 2 and 3... SMART has almost as much ridership as Grand Rapids and Lansing's only transit options. Most of those 44k people are using SMART because they have to. Imagine how many more people would be using SMART if they could get around the entire metro area without a car. It takes a SMART bus 2 hours to get from downtown to Pontiac, who in their right mind would ditch their car and rely on SMART to take them around the metro area? SMART barely even has service in half the metro area. But if SMART could connect people to something that could get them to their destination in a half hour instead of 2 hours like umm idk RAIL! Their ridership numbers would double if not triple (if they expanded service).

And I have talked to people about this, even most people who make good money and live in the suburbs said that they would have no problem paying a little extra in taxes if they could get rail service from downtown to the suburbs, as long as it isn't mismanaged (which seems to be the biggest concern and rightfully so). And most of them said that they would use it themselves especially if a commuter rail was only a few miles from their house. Of course the RTA plan isn't proposing commuter rail convenient for most people in the area which imo was the biggest mistake on their part.

As for the STL example, no it didn't make STL a world class city... I didn't say it did. Nor did I say Detroit having rail would make Detroit the richest city in the world again. But I'm very filmier with STL because I have a lot of family there and they will tell you themselves, Metrolink improved the QOL for most of the metro area. They have the 11st highest light rail ridership in the country and have been expanding and still plans to because of their success. And STL ranked top 10 in worst roads in the country.

Last edited by MS313; 08-27-2016 at 03:35 PM..
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Old 08-27-2016, 03:57 PM
 
1,916 posts, read 2,420,166 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ummagumma View Post
Not from what you described.

From what you described, it's geared toward Downtown yuppies. Who will only be paying for a small fraction of the cost. And less fortunate Detroit residents. Who won't be paying outside of the heavily subsidized ticket price.

If I live in Walled Lake or Plymouth or Lake Orion and work at GM Tech Center or Ford or Chrysler or Lear it does zero for me. And the vast majority of suburban residents work in other suburbs.

If I work in Detroit but live in Lake Orion or Fenton it does little for me. I still have to park somewhere and get on that bus, at which point it's far easier to just drive.

As I said from the start, the majority of people who'd end up paying for that system won't use it.

What we use daily is the roads, and they are falling apart, and any politician that votes to spend $5 bln on RTA while I have to navigate the lunar landscape on my daily drive to and from work will have a huge target on his name the next time election comes. This is likely why the proposal failed, and until people like you realize that they are not dealing with some redneck backward retrogrades, but with tax paying citizens who have genuine needs and concerns that are different from your goals, this won't go anywhere.
You are being purposefully obstinate.

I stated the RTA's main focus is:

-Use existing rail infrastructure to get people in the vicinities of Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Dearborn, and midtown/downtown Detroit to the airport

-Built 3 Rapid Bus lines for suburban commuters to get to downtown (and so save on gas, car maintenance, and downtown parking fees)

-Initiate express buses to get Macomb and Oakland County residents to the airport in a fast manner

-Improve bus service to large employment centers in the suburbs like Troy

-Initiate new service on major suburban commercial roads like Ryan Road

and you say these plans are geared toward downtown yuppies? How are the airport express buses geared toward downtown yuppies? How is getting people from Dearborn or Ypsilanti to the airport (thus avoiding having to pay for $50 Metrocar cab, or $13 a day parking, mind you) have to do with downtown yuppies?

About the costs: the costs will be $23 million/year spread across 20 years. It will build 4 rapid transit lines; the BRT lines are the cheapest form of rapid transit. Is $23 million a year spread across 5 million people and 4 counties - to establish a much needed service that will demonstrate that we are a forward-thinking big-city, world-class metro area that is working together to overcome our divisive past and make our region more prosperous and functional - is the cost THAT bad?

Bringing up London and NYC, really? Ain't nobody trying to justify building that level of rapid transit.

Last edited by usroute10; 08-27-2016 at 04:09 PM..
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Old 08-27-2016, 07:50 PM
 
Location: Metro Detroit
1,787 posts, read 2,036,562 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ummagumma View Post
...

There are situations where developing public transportation would push a declining neighborhood back to prosperity, but it's not the case here. You have a patient in coma and you're proposing buying him a nice elliptical so that he could lose extra weight.
Just because an analogy can be made, doesn't mean it's a good analogy.

Here's another part of the city. It's nothing special, just a random side street along the Woodward corridor. And here's another off Gratoit. And just for fun, here's another off Michigan.

Now none of these are especially desirable. Being in my 30's with a family and a decent income, I wouldn't want to move there, but they're reasonably stable for the people already living in them. You see houses that are lived in, cars that are driven, and some vacant lots/houses. Pretty typical of probably 80% of Detroit. These are neighborhoods which, given appropriate services such as safety and accessibility, become desirable to people like 22-Year-Old-Me. Young people who don't have a ton of money, but want a house to call their own, because newsflash - young people can't afford Birmingham. Hell, plenty of us can't even afford Ferndale because of wage stagnation and student debt. I'm barely to the point in life where I can afford to buy in Ferndale. The housing market hasn't been kind to people under 40.

But chances are this prospective resident doesn't work in the Detroit neighborhoods, because there's no work in them. He/she probably works in Downtown, or Warren, or Dearborn, or Troy. Now if they could just reliably hop on the train or BRT line and head into the office this would be a pretty good place to live, but they can't. They have to walk two miles, hop on an unreliable bus, and hope to get there on time - so it doesn't happen. Instead they move to an apartment in Warren, or Dearborn, or Troy - or they just don't move to Metro Detroit at all because there are plenty of other big cities with big-kid transportation systems.

Detroit won't be revitalized by middle-class families. It'll be revitalized by broke college grads and the people already living in there. Broke college grads and the people already living there want a way to get to work or expand the radius in which they can look for a job. Investment in a half-way decent transit system allows this.
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Old 08-28-2016, 07:17 AM
 
2,989 posts, read 4,482,718 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geo-Aggie View Post
Just because an analogy can be made, doesn't mean it's a good analogy.

Here's another part of the city. It's nothing special, just a random side street along the Woodward corridor. And here's another off Gratoit. And just for fun, here's another off Michigan.

Now none of these are especially desirable. Being in my 30's with a family and a decent income, I wouldn't want to move there, but they're reasonably stable for the people already living in them. You see houses that are lived in, cars that are driven, and some vacant lots/houses. Pretty typical of probably 80% of Detroit. These are neighborhoods which, given appropriate services such as safety and accessibility, become desirable to people like 22-Year-Old-Me. Young people who don't have a ton of money, but want a house to call their own, because newsflash - young people can't afford Birmingham. Hell, plenty of us can't even afford Ferndale because of wage stagnation and student debt. I'm barely to the point in life where I can afford to buy in Ferndale. The housing market hasn't been kind to people under 40.

But chances are this prospective resident doesn't work in the Detroit neighborhoods, because there's no work in them. He/she probably works in Downtown, or Warren, or Dearborn, or Troy. Now if they could just reliably hop on the train or BRT line and head into the office this would be a pretty good place to live, but they can't. They have to walk two miles, hop on an unreliable bus, and hope to get there on time - so it doesn't happen. Instead they move to an apartment in Warren, or Dearborn, or Troy - or they just don't move to Metro Detroit at all because there are plenty of other big cities with big-kid transportation systems.

Detroit won't be revitalized by middle-class families. It'll be revitalized by broke college grads and the people already living in there. Broke college grads and the people already living there want a way to get to work or expand the radius in which they can look for a job. Investment in a half-way decent transit system allows this.
That is the harsh reality a lot of people can't accept.

People waiting for the D to become an attractive place for middle class families to raise kids will be waiting until they're dead and probably until their great great great grandkids are dead.

In a best case scenario young people continue to revitalize the downtown areas and some neighborhoods while a small but important number of relatively middle class/affluent families who love being part of the city continue to live in the better neighborhoods while sending the kids to private school, like they always have. Of course it would be great if those numbers increased.

But people saying the revitalization won't be real until it's 1960 again or 50 percent of Detroit has the stability of Livonia are in for constant disappointment.

Such a thing hasn't taken place in any major American city and unfortunately Detroit is the farthest gone of them all.

There are bad but not abysmally terrible public schools in other big cities and would be transplants from the suburbs would just as soon send their kids there as shoot themselves. You are talking about neighborhoods and schools that would be shining beacons of functionality in current day Detroit.

How this relates to express buses I don't know. It seems people are weighting the arguments too heavy in either direction,

A few express buses are hardly going to save the city. Again, it is up to the developing authority to determine potential need. If they are competent, honest, and can present a truly compelling case that the buses will be used, sounds good. If they are working with imaginary numbers and feeding the beast like nearly every government agency and we are going to spend tax dollars to fulfill the pubescent dreams of a bunch of recently graduated U of M urban planners, throw it in the trash.
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Old 08-28-2016, 07:32 AM
 
Location: Southeast Michigan
2,852 posts, read 1,856,267 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geo-Aggie View Post
Just because an analogy can be made, doesn't mean it's a good analogy.

Here's another part of the city. It's nothing special, just a random side street along the Woodward corridor. And here's another off Gratoit. And just for fun, here's another off Michigan.

Now none of these are especially desirable. Being in my 30's with a family and a decent income, I wouldn't want to move there, but they're reasonably stable for the people already living in them. You see houses that are lived in, cars that are driven, and some vacant lots/houses. Pretty typical of probably 80% of Detroit. These are neighborhoods which, given appropriate services such as safety and accessibility, become desirable to people like 22-Year-Old-Me. Young people who don't have a ton of money, but want a house to call their own, because newsflash - young people can't afford Birmingham. Hell, plenty of us can't even afford Ferndale because of wage stagnation and student debt. I'm barely to the point in life where I can afford to buy in Ferndale. The housing market hasn't been kind to people under 40.

But chances are this prospective resident doesn't work in the Detroit neighborhoods, because there's no work in them. He/she probably works in Downtown, or Warren, or Dearborn, or Troy. Now if they could just reliably hop on the train or BRT line and head into the office this would be a pretty good place to live, but they can't. They have to walk two miles, hop on an unreliable bus, and hope to get there on time - so it doesn't happen. Instead they move to an apartment in Warren, or Dearborn, or Troy - or they just don't move to Metro Detroit at all because there are plenty of other big cities with big-kid transportation systems.

Detroit won't be revitalized by middle-class families. It'll be revitalized by broke college grads and the people already living in there. Broke college grads and the people already living there want a way to get to work or expand the radius in which they can look for a job. Investment in a half-way decent transit system allows this.

You just confirmed exactly what I said earlier.

The bus or rail system won't really work unless you quite literally put a stop every few blocks (see the part of your reply in green). The proposed RTA won't get you to your office, it simply won't have a stop close enough for the majority of customers.A bus / rail station on 12 and Warren may help you if you work at GM Tech center, but it won't do much for people working at Ryan and 14 Mile. You still have to get from that stop to your work. That's the same problem with a rail from RO or Troy to the airport. You still have to get to that stop, with your luggage and all, early enough to make that 6:05am flight, but now you have to worry about finding parking, waiting for that bus, loading up all of your luggage, then getting off at the airport, unloading all of your luggage, getting to the terminal from wherever that rail stops, etc. How in the world is it more convenient than just driving 45-50 min to the airport and parking in a long term lot and getting on a shuttle which will drop you off right at the terminal ? How is it going to be better going even from Oak Park to Royal Oak to get on that airport line, than driving straight to the airport ? Let alone from Livonia or Lake Orion or Fenton.

And the part of your reply in blue means you don't have the tax money to subsidize RTA; The people who have no use for it will end up paying for it.

Now that still may be money well spent - I wouldn't mind having my tax dollars go towards improving Detroit - but not while my pressing, everyday problems that affect my quality of life are left unaddressed.
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Old 08-28-2016, 07:43 AM
 
2,989 posts, read 4,482,718 times
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Originally Posted by Ummagumma View Post
You just confirmed exactly what I said earlier.

The bus or rail system won't really work unless you quite literally put a stop every few blocks (see the part of your reply in green). The proposed RTA won't get you to your office, it simply won't have a stop close enough for the majority of customers.A bus / rail station on 12 and Warren may help you if you work at GM Tech center, but it won't do much for people working at Ryan and 14 Mile. You still have to get from that stop to your work. That's the same problem with a rail from RO or Troy to the airport. You still have to get to that stop, with your luggage and all, early enough to make that 6:05am flight, but now you have to worry about finding parking, waiting for that bus, loading up all of your luggage, then getting off at the airport, unloading all of your luggage, getting to the terminal from wherever that rail stops, etc. How in the world is it more convenient than just driving 45-50 min to the airport and parking in a long term lot and getting on a shuttle which will drop you off right at the terminal ? How is it going to be better going even from Oak Park to Royal Oak to get on that airport line, than driving straight to the airport ? Let alone from Livonia or Lake Orion or Fenton.

And the part of your reply in blue means you don't have the tax money to subsidize RTA; The people who have no use for it will end up paying for it.

Now that still may be money well spent - I wouldn't mind having my tax dollars go towards improving Detroit - but not while my pressing, everyday problems that affect my quality of life are left unaddressed.
How do you know what's going to work or not going to work? Have you done extensive research?

Your socioeconomic bracket is not the only one.

While offhand I agree it doesn't seem likely that a bunch of white collar people in the western burbs are going to ditch their cars for an express bus downtown, the reality is you just don't know. Maybe some would like it.

I also disagree the bus needs to stop that much. Ninety percent of the people coming into the city are going to downtown or midtown.
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Old 08-28-2016, 07:56 AM
 
Location: Southeast Michigan
2,852 posts, read 1,856,267 times
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And for the record, I am not against a good public transportation system. I lived in Europe and used it daily. But the only good system is the one expansive enough where it can serve daily needs of the majority of people whose taxes support it. And this is hard enough to maintain in compact cities with high population density. It would be a massive, super expensive undertaking for Metro Detroit where 5 out of every 6 residents live in the suburban area that is 6 times bigger than London but with less than half of it's population. And most love the independence their cars give them, don't face major traffic congestion issues,and won't use that bus even if it stopped a block away from their home. Try making a weekly shopping trip for a family of four on a bus.

The way I see this - FWIW - first, you make Detroit livable and create businesses in Detroit for people living in Detroit. Then, the case for boosting Detroit's own public transportation will come. Then, as Detroit becomes more attractive and more people and businesses move in and the traffic inevitably becomes congested, you create feeder lines from major suburban areas - not for the broke 20 year old artists, but for the gainfully employed 40 year olds who now have the need for that bus. You don't even have to wait for the congestion, if D was booming and it was obvious the traffic would become an issue within a decade, I'd be the first calling for investments in public transport.

Until then, all we have are the people who want the rail with w couple of stops in the couple of suburbs just because they want it and believe it will create a miracle and fix urban blight, crime, world hunger and bad economic situation via it's mere existence. People who don't stop to look at Metro Detroit population density maps and income distribution maps and ponder the question of what part of these maps will that proposed system serve. People who live in the "hip" areas like RO or AA or B'Ham or Downtown and see the rest of the Metro area - the working, tax paying, voting, population majority rest - as an unwashed grey mass whose opinions are wrong by definition.
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