mgman

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About mgman

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    Whistle-Stop
  1. mgman

    Transit Updates for Greater Grand Rapids

    I believe the Electo-Motive Division was a profitable part of GM even up until the time that they sold it and that GM sold it to continue financing car operations. I never understood the mentality of getting rid of every part of GM that was profitable to focus solely on making cars/trucks which was not profitable. I guess now they have run out of things to offer at the fire sale. I doubt that it is very efficient to turn the car plants into rail plants as opposed to just increasing existing facilities at current rail companies. Not to mention where are they going to get the plans, would they have to start development from scratch or are we talking about producing other companies designs at GM's plants. But if Congress can guarantee that there would be a market for the products, Congress's fault there is no market, why the heck not. My hope in supporting this would be that this would lead to greater economies of scale and more mass production of rail/bus vehicles decreasing the costs to transit companies and making transit projects more palatable. Of course there is the large possibility that it would be a colossal waste of time and money.
  2. mgman

    GVSU Downtown Development

    So how does this compare with the current library. I assume that it will have much more access to technology, but the building does not look that big. The article says 180,000 sq. ft. and 800,000 volumes. What are the numbers for Zumberge.
  3. mgman

    Chicago Spire

    Today the developer announced that they had sold 30 percent of the units in the building. That is a total of 352 units which is not to shabby. However, I am still saving up the $750,000 for a studio unit so I will have to wait to pre-order. here is a link: 30% of unites sold in Chicago spire
  4. mgman

    Transit Updates for Greater Grand Rapids

    The switch over for New Buffalo from the Pere Marquette to the Wolverine/Blue Water is a mixed blessing at best. The best part is there will be four stops daily at New Buffalo. Theoretically it would take an hour and 15 minutes to Chicago from New Buffalo but the high speed track is only to Porter on the other side of Michigan City and then the Wolverine/Blue Water has to travel on freight lines. This means that the average delay (Mid-April to Mid-May) on the two lines is: westbound 53 minutes with on time percentage of 9 percent, eastbound 37 minutes with 11 percent on time. This includes 9 trains over the last month that were more than 2 hours late in arriving at Chicago. I thought I could find the past month performance for the Pere Marquette but I cannot so here is the past week. On time average, eastbound 22.5 minutes and on time percentage of 17 percent. Westbound 28 minutes and on time percentage of 0. (no on time "cushion" was used on the delays, only scheduled times for all the trains). This means that the switch over will be to a line that has a faster scheduled time and more trains per day but has more delays because it is on a busier freight route and is longer. Meanwhile, the South Shore costs $7.85 and takes about 1 hour and 40 minutes with delays usually less than 20 minutes and if you want, you can get off before Randolph and save a few extra minutes too. If I have to deal with huge delays and less scheduled trains, I should not have to pay so much money. Until that happens, I will ride the South Shore. It just makes sense to me that instead of taking a huge step towards improving rail transit, by spending tens of millions to hundreds of million dollars on new services, we can fully fund the already operating Pere Marquette and lower prices bringing newer people to train transit and then expand into new services. (I left of New Buffalo in the original post because of the switch)
  5. mgman

    Transit Updates for Greater Grand Rapids

    Let me ask a question that I do not really understand about the Pere Marquette Amtrak service and the State subsidy. The state subsidy is around 6.1-7.2 million dollars per year for both the GR-CHI and PH-CHI lines. I do not know what the split is between those two lines but lets say it is 50/50. That means the GR-CHI recieves between 3 million and 3.6 million dollars per year to operate. Other money comes from ticket revenue and federal subsidies. Ticket revenue for the Pere Marquette was $2,666,416 for fiscal year 2007. So the combined costs to the people of Michigan for operating the line is $5.6-$6.2 million dollars per year. For full price weekday tickets the day before, I understand that you can find cheaper tickets but let us just use these numbers, the price per station one way is: Grand Rapids $32.00 Holland $29.00 Bangor $25.00 St. Joseph $23.00 To me this is outrageous. I can pay $7.85 one way from Michigan City, IN and it has a better on time performance. So my question is this, why does the State or at least the areas serviced pay more subsidies to lower the ticket prices, at least on weekdays. The County populations that are served (Kent, Ottawa, Van Buren, and Berrien) is 1,051,365 in 2000. That means, we all would have to pay $2.53 per year to completely subsidize the route, I am not smart enough or have the time to do it as a property tax and that is the extreme. How about cutting the prices in half, $32 for a trip to Chicago from Grand Rapids not too bad if you ask me. So I guess there is no real question here besides why not.
  6. mgman

    Southwest Michigan Photos

    Found these photos as I was transfering my AA photos and thought I would post him here and tell people they should go to Warren Dunes, which is where these photos were taken. That is yours truely running down the dunes.
  7. mgman

    Chicago Spire

    That thing looks like the sarlacc pit of Chicago in that pic.
  8. mgman

    Ann Arbor Off-Topic

    Well the income tax was defeated, so I guess it does not matter anymore. Considering that I do not live there, I did not care. The real reason I am posting though is to suggest a new restaurant. Last time I was in AA visiting my GF we went to Caf
  9. mgman

    GVSU Downtown Development

    Division III enrollment numbers vary so much because division III is created for those schools that do not want to give out athletic scholarships. Therefore, both small and large schools with that goal belong to Division III. That is why there is such a large disparity between the large schools and the smaller ones. GVSU could move up, it probably could have moved up years ago when I was there but the coaches and admin. people that I spoke to did not want the larger investment responsibilities and were happy to continue to win in Division II. I cannot blame them but eventually it will become necessary to move to DI in order to bring greater attention to the school. Even when I was there a new library was sorely needed. It was not worthy of such a great school and I can only hope that funding gets allocated so that it can be enlarged.
  10. mgman

    GVSU Downtown Development

    GVSU has long since reached Division 1 numbers and has left Division II in the dust. The average enrollment for a D II school is 3,400 students and there are 7 schools in Division II with higher than 15,000. Meanwhile, DIAA or whatever they want to call it now has average enrollment of 6,828 for undergrads. But I also have heard that lots of people want to stay in DII but that was a few years ago. I do not know if the mood has changed. Eventually it will need to happen though. DII stats
  11. mgman

    Ann Arbor Photo of the Day

    It is great that the guy was around when I am learning about Free Speech in class everyday.