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Old 03-29-2013, 11:54 AM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
8,885 posts, read 18,052,537 times
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Finally Michigan is on the "modern" transit map. Light rail for Detroit next?

Grand Rapids' new multi-million-dollar economic boon? The Silver Line BRT construction begins
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Old 07-02-2013, 11:10 PM
 
5 posts, read 9,656 times
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Sadly, this, too, will likely not be used to its full potential.
Grand Rapids just isn't large enough yet to make true mass transit work. It's too easy and quick for a person to use their own vehicle than to take a bus. Additionally, the routes are still too limited to make much of an impact on many dense population centers within the city. All the routes follow commercial arteries without much penetration into the residential neighborhoods and haven't been expanded anywhere near the suburbs (as residents in those cities/townships don't need buses and don't want to pay the extra taxes for them).
Until the city gets much larger, the buses in Grand Rapids will remain a system (largely) for the poor, indigent, disabled and students.

The best mass transit idea of Grand Rapids in the near term would be a rail line between GR and Detroit (with a stop in Lansing along the route). That would see at least as much ridership as the Pere Marquette line (GR-Chicago).
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Old 07-03-2013, 07:28 AM
 
447 posts, read 1,138,388 times
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lutherd is exactly right. This will probably get in the way more than help. Taking away lanes that cars use now (and bikes).
In the long term this is a good idea, but students are the ones who really need to adopt it for it to make any difference in traffic.
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Old 07-03-2013, 08:53 AM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
8,885 posts, read 18,052,537 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allbusiness View Post
lutherd is exactly right. This will probably get in the way more than help. Taking away lanes that cars use now (and bikes).
In the long term this is a good idea, but students are the ones who really need to adopt it for it to make any difference in traffic.
It will only "take away" lanes that cars use for a short period in the morning and in the afternoon. Cyclists will still be able to use the dedicated bus lane (and I don't really see a lot of cycling commuters on Division anyway, and I use it several times a day).

And in regard to lutherd..

Express commuter services are not meant to penetrate into the neighborhoods. That adds a lot of time, which takes away from the "express" concept. It's meant to draw people to stations via walking, biking or park-n-ride.

If you have ever ridden on light rail transit in big cities, it's the same concept, usually following heavily used commercial corridors.

Also lutherd, it goes all the way to 60th Street. If that's not suburbs, I don't know what is.

There are also plans to add BRT to other corridors, particularly out to Allendale/GVSU. But they are expensive and take time to plan, fund, build.

No one would ride a train from GR to Lansing. Maybe 6 people for a cost of hundreds of millions. The daily ticket price would be in the $100's of dollars. The people who travel to Lansing every day for business (sales, lobbyists) probably want to have a car there when they get there. How would you accommodate that?

Last edited by magellan; 07-03-2013 at 09:03 AM..
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Old 07-05-2013, 09:54 AM
 
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
109 posts, read 183,017 times
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Light rail is debatable between GR, Lansing and Chicago. If Greyhound is currently only needing 3 daily trips to/from Detroit chances are a daily run on Amtrak would not be worth the cost.

I believe the above poster has a point with the suburbs. Not that it is just an issue in Grand Rapids. Places like Plainfield, Cascade, Forest Hills, ect, Not to mention the Jenison region. It would take a demand from the public in each of these area however to get transit there. Over all, our system is more dependable and cheaper with decent hours more so than most other systems in the nation. Not that it is better per say, but for our size, it really does have some real highlights, though again, it would be nice to be able to include some townships and have a dial up for the rest of the county. Money probably would be better spent in my opinion in this regard.
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Old 07-06-2013, 08:47 PM
 
Location: Battle Creek, MI
494 posts, read 710,432 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fakkelsey View Post
Light rail is debatable between GR, Lansing and Chicago. If Greyhound is currently only needing 3 daily trips to/from Detroit chances are a daily run on Amtrak would not be worth the cost.

I believe the above poster has a point with the suburbs. Not that it is just an issue in Grand Rapids. Places like Plainfield, Cascade, Forest Hills, ect, Not to mention the Jenison region. It would take a demand from the public in each of these area however to get transit there. Over all, our system is more dependable and cheaper with decent hours more so than most other systems in the nation. Not that it is better per say, but for our size, it really does have some real highlights, though again, it would be nice to be able to include some townships and have a dial up for the rest of the county. Money probably would be better spent in my opinion in this regard.

Not complaining mind you ( i enjoy being on the line and know it's potential ) but i still scratch my head that they did not bring the high speed rail from Chicago to Detroit up through Grand Rapids, Lansing vs the route it will be going?
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Old 07-06-2013, 09:37 PM
 
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
109 posts, read 183,017 times
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^ I understand your question. The population count certainly would be higher. The only thing I can really come up with is the focus point is on Chicago and Detroit which of course, is much bigger in metro counts. That being said, it would require more time to bring high speed up to the secondary markets versing keeping the line south, thus adding time to the main focal cities. On the plus side, at least we have Mega bus now.
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Old 07-06-2013, 10:45 PM
 
Location: Battle Creek, MI
494 posts, read 710,432 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fakkelsey View Post
^ I understand your question. The population count certainly would be higher. The only thing I can really come up with is the focus point is on Chicago and Detroit which of course, is much bigger in metro counts. That being said, it would require more time to bring high speed up to the secondary markets versing keeping the line south, thus adding time to the main focal cities. On the plus side, at least we have Mega bus now.

Yeah your right. I forgot that moving the line to include those city's would defeat the purpose of getting to or from Chicago/Detroit quicker as it would take longer vs going straight across along i-94. The planning in this state ( with our city's ) sure has sucked. Grand Rapids location is probably the only thing that slows down the growth potential. Imagine if Grand Rapids was where Kalamazoo sits? I think decent rail ( be it high speed or local metro rail type thing ) is a must for any decent size city especially one that continues to wanna grow. For some odd reason though many in this state don't care for them. I see what Philly, DC, etc is doing and i wanna scream why doesn't the city's ( like Grand Rapids or Detroit ) follow suit? Heck Philly and DC have brought back the electric street cars which appear to be thriving ( cheaper to run, cleaner ) with further expansion plans. Michigan city's need to get on the ball. JMO

Sorry for going OT.
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Old 07-08-2013, 06:14 AM
 
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
109 posts, read 183,017 times
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^ A lot of it always boils down to the cost factor versing the need. I could be wrong but to my understanding in the Midwest there is only Cleveland, Chicago, and Minneapolis that have light rail and Amtrak in many Midwest cities are not that consistent or non existent, more so with the second market cities. The east coast population counts are very high and condensed. Cincinnati is struggling to bring their street car into play due to planned money disappearing. When you have time check the history of passenger rain of the state. It use to be very impressive back in the days of high use, with even a train trolley continually going from GR to Muskegon and Grand Haven as can be seen at the Coopersville museum. Street cars cost an unbelievable bundle unless tracks are already in place. Many cities have opted for gas trollies which is by far less expensive. Some cities, such as Dayton, has many electric buses running from above road power lines. Being that Michigan is full of small to mid size cities apart from Detroit metro I do not believe Grand Rapids will see any improvement with this any time soon. Unfortunately Detroit's public system has a very bad rep and the people mover while nice is almost useless for commuters.


Location can be a funny thing. Do you ever wonder why it was not Kalamazoo that was the next Grand Rapids? (not that their not a great city mind you) Big donations have made Grand Rapids what it is. Despite being "out of the way" Grand Rapids is doing quite nicely, but you are right in relation to the amount of economics it attracts due to location. Truly rail has to always be looked at in prospective of population need and the cost factor. The line from Grand Rapids to Chicago was almost shut down several times. I guess then it would be in question putting Amtrak to Detroit though it would be nice, and maybe successful.
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Old 07-11-2013, 01:33 AM
 
Location: Battle Creek, MI
494 posts, read 710,432 times
Reputation: 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by fakkelsey View Post
^ A lot of it always boils down to the cost factor versing the need. I could be wrong but to my understanding in the Midwest there is only Cleveland, Chicago, and Minneapolis that have light rail and Amtrak in many Midwest cities are not that consistent or non existent, more so with the second market cities. The east coast population counts are very high and condensed. Cincinnati is struggling to bring their street car into play due to planned money disappearing. When you have time check the history of passenger rain of the state. It use to be very impressive back in the days of high use, with even a train trolley continually going from GR to Muskegon and Grand Haven as can be seen at the Coopersville museum. Street cars cost an unbelievable bundle unless tracks are already in place. Many cities have opted for gas trollies which is by far less expensive. Some cities, such as Dayton, has many electric buses running from above road power lines. Being that Michigan is full of small to mid size cities apart from Detroit metro I do not believe Grand Rapids will see any improvement with this any time soon. Unfortunately Detroit's public system has a very bad rep and the people mover while nice is almost useless for commuters.


Location can be a funny thing. Do you ever wonder why it was not Kalamazoo that was the next Grand Rapids? (not that their not a great city mind you) Big donations have made Grand Rapids what it is. Despite being "out of the way" Grand Rapids is doing quite nicely, but you are right in relation to the amount of economics it attracts due to location. Truly rail has to always be looked at in prospective of population need and the cost factor. The line from Grand Rapids to Chicago was almost shut down several times. I guess then it would be in question putting Amtrak to Detroit though it would be nice, and maybe successful.

Had always wondered about that with trains/street cars etc across the rest of the state. I know at one time Battle Creek had the the electric street cars/rails. The public library here has a awesome website with old pictures and stuff going back to the 1800s. This place looked like it was ready to go big time ( per some of the pictures and stories they have ) till the 1960s arrived which interestingly was at about the same time the city did away with the electric street cars/rail and switched to the ole ugly buses. From some of the articles i have read about the Philly and DC electric street car/rail expansion they say the long term costs will far outweigh the short term expense and thus a huge plus and mind you they have been laying new track etc for them in both city's. But yeah i know the money has to be there first along with demand. I think the demand could be there considering it would be a huge novelty thing as they do lack in this region.

I have heard the same said about a few places that were supposed to be the next Grand Rapids or even the Big city ( not Detroit ) in the state and thus see Albion, Battle Creek, and Kalamazoo. As said though the whole planning of the city's etc along both I-96 and I-94 is just a real head scratch to me. That is amazing to hear about that Amtrak line but i heard that even down this way ridership had gotten pretty bad. Thing that i think did not help it was a matter of time and money. I often heard one could get to/from Chicago/Detroit quicker via driving which yeah would defeat the whole purpose. Heck i can see them from my house and usually they are crawling their way into the east side of BC to the train station BUT there is known issues with that part of the rails which they have just begun to work on for the highs speed service. I think with high speed coming in that time thing should change which should make train travel the better alternative which should encourage people to use it more. Thus i think if that goes off well then maybe they will look at doing the same up to Grand Rapids and or a line from Grand Rapids to Detroit via Lansing. Guess we'll see.
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