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MJLO

People Mover

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I Love Detroit, just as much if not more than my hometown of Grand Rapids. I visit about twice a month, and I love riding the People Mover. All this talk about light rail has got me thinking. Detroit does have the start of light rail. Maybe i'm just ignorant, but didn't they originally plan to make the DPM bigger? Why haven't I heard any talk on the forums about this ? Is it even feasable to make the DPM a more global mass transit solution for the area?

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Yes, it was eventually "supposed" to tie into a great system, or so they say. One has to wondering if that truly is the case.

I believe the biggest problem with extending the people mover is the system just costs way too much to build and operate.

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I would love to see the people mover expand. When I think about it in my head, I think there are a few places that it should cover.

- E. Jefferson

- E. Lafayette

- Midtown/brush park/Cass Corridors

- Corktown

- New Center

I think that it would be awesome if there was a larger circuit that included the places above, but I also think it would be cool if New Center was some sort of hub for other rails too. For instance, a rail to Ann Arbor, a rail to Southfield, a rail to Troy/Royal Oak, and a rail to Mt. Clemens could all terminate into New Center, as well as the DPM, so that people can come in from the subburbs on those rails, and then take the DPM wherever they want downtown. Plus I think that would help New Center.

Me and my ideas...all wishful thinking

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I have long wondered why opperating costs are so high. To me, it would seem that it would be relativly inexpensive given that the cars are all automated. It basically all comes down to ridership and I suppose security.

If any of you doubt the people mover's technology, i'll ask you to think again. If we were to build said system to the burbs, it would be, without question, the highest tech system in the nation. Speaking with some guy who actully designed/ran the people mover after its installation was complete, I learned that the DPM can run single car trains at headways of 90 seconds. Could you imagine such a system?!?!

If you need some reference on the DPM's technology, look no further than Vancouver's sky train:

SKYTRAIN.JPG

skytrain_entering_main_station.jpg

http://www.rapidtransit.bc.ca/

and actually, detroit's technology is better... they can only run married pairs while we can run single units.

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Well, I think costs like running the escalators and public safety are probably more issues than actually running the trains. There isn't enough ridership to justify 24/7 escalator operations and though there are cameras, how much policing does the city pay for to patrol the stations?

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I'm all for Portland's system. no elevators, just hop on and get to where you need to be. Well, combined with the on time bus service. Remember, we're going to need efficient bus service criss-crossing for any of it to work. I do like BC's service having been and lived for weeks at times there because of friends. The people mover was a project like so many others where money was squandered yet it's touted as some kind of wonder in downtown detroit. Heck, we can walk the distances and be much more satisfied. One way trains? Come on. Figure out a way for the money to stay where its supposed to be and I'm all for it. Instead of taking trips to older cities where subways and old style transit systems are king, perhaps regional leadership should take some time and money to visit real and viable transit systems that would work well with the realities on the ground- whoops, forgive the military talk there! Cameras are basically a waste of money btw. They stop nothing except perhaps the crazy kid who's spraypainting murals.

PS, I only write here as DetroitBazaar because I was ignored when trying to have an admin delete it. I am now DetroitStylePride. In fact, the post where I announced my desire to cut ties with that business name was deleted for some reason. Anyone know why? Or is it possible to do it myself?

Anyway, thanks for being here and I look forward to learning from all of you and contributing under DetroitStylePride http://prideindetroit.blogspot.com or http://detroitstylepride.com

Peace to you and Peace to Detroit.

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PS, I only write here as DetroitBazaar because I was ignored when trying to have an admin delete it. I am now DetroitStylePride. In fact, the post where I announced my desire to cut ties with that business name was deleted for some reason. Anyone know why? Or is it possible to do it myself?

I did not see any such post, so it wasn't me that deleted it...it must've been one of the other mods. Generally we do not delete accounts, but you can have your account name changed. PM Neo or Metro.m and tell them what you'd like your name changed to.

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I think alot of the costs come from repairs and maintinance.

I wonder how much the people mover takes away from the street life.

I don't like the people mover much, those big grey columns get in the way of the beautiful buildings. It would be cool if they were more like this. With an iron cast top and molded cement column. Then it would be a landmark in itself, and a model for other cities. Even if the train ontop didn't go anywhere.

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I've found a lot of people like the concrete columns over other elevated systems which they find "messy" looking -- like Chicago's El System (which I personally find cool). I don't think it really takes away from street life all that much particularly because it isn't used as much. Also, the majority of downtown workers don't use it because they have parking right ouside their office.... now that's the real killer.

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Like Wolverine, I find the "tunnels" created by the El tracks in Chicago and NYC to be cool. I prefer them over the concrete columns of the DPM, but I'm sure that I am in the minority. That said, it's not the right look for downtown Detroit.

If the DPM extended up to the Cultural Center - i.e. went up Cass & returned downtown via John R - a lot more people would use it, making it a viable option for transportation. As it stands now though, it's faster to walk. I only take the DPM when it's too cold out to walk.

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The problem is that if the People Mover were extended into the surrounding neighborhoods it would have to operate in both directions.

BTW, here's my crappy idea of a People Mover expansion:

peoplemover.jpg

Each Loop would run independent, with the GCP station and the DIA station being transfer stations.

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That was the original plan as I remember("If the DPM extended up to the Cultural Center.") Bring the people mover up woodward to bring downtown and the cultural center together and have another line to 8 mile road. L. Brooks and his buddies didn't want to pay for anything that wouldn't benefit Oakland County in his opinion. I'd even settle for an on the ground track train that would go from Pontiac to Detroit- at least Royal Oak. Sometimes I wonder who's making these decisions. Would it not benefit the entire Woodward Corridor to have convenient transportation where you're not standing in six inch snow drifts waiting for a bus that may or may not decide to stop. Sure some people get along fine, but man, the research you have to do just to get around town on public transport is mind boggling to average folks. The thing about the people mover is that back in the 1970's hundreds of millions of dollars were given to the city and region to actually build something. Somehow the money was spent on other things. With the amounts of money (hundreds of millions) spent, they could have at least gone up to the State Fair. From there, it's a matter of community pride and pressure to extend it further. My oh my. I'll have to dig in some more for the true figures but there's no way the people mover could be anything but a "big bang" project for headlines. What's it going to take to get real rail or transit throuought the inner suburbs and city? My heart is still in it and will continue to be, I know there has to be an answer worth persuing in a realistic way. This will be my last post as DetroitBazaar, I'm moving on to DetroitStylePride since I did all of the posting with DetroitBazaar anyway. Thanks everybody. See you all in the new incarnation.

Peace to you and Peace to Detroit

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The problem is that if the People Mover were extended into the surrounding neighborhoods it would have to operate in both directions.

BTW, here's my crappy idea of a People Mover expansion:

peoplemover.jpg

Each Loop would run independent, with the GCP station and the DIA station being transfer stations.

I think that would be cool. The people mover would actually serve a purpose now, and how knows, maybe even be profitable.

If Detroit ever gets the money and wanted to dress up the people mover a bit they could put lighting under the concrete lip. It would look cool and turn its ugly concrete design into somewhat of a positive.

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I believe the DPM was meant to be a terminal downtown circulator for a larger, regional system, which was obviously never built. However, there is hope. Our Governor just signed the bill that will allow communities along Woodward Ave to tax themselves like a TIF like a collective DDA, with the money to be used for infrastructure such as transit. About a year ago, Transportation Riders United held a conference on just that - transit in the Woodward Corridor out of which the recommendation was light rail from downtown to Pontiac along Woodward. Also, the Woodward Avenue Action Association just did a Woodward Corridor study where the plan was basically that - transit serving member communities on Woodward. It's a no brainer that rail built on Woodward, even if it begun in Oakland County, would make its way downtown.

The other light at the end of the tunnel is the $100 million for the Ann Arbor to Detroit rapid transit study. TRU supports the option whereby Norfolk Southern's Michigan Line would be used to connect the two (Ann Arbor's Amtrak station and Detroit's in New Center) via commuter rail. Then something like light rail would bring commuters from New Center on downtown through Midtown.

The things holding us back are legal/constitutional barriers to regional cooperation -- and taxing. That's why the governor struck down the proposal to only allow, out of the whole state, for Grand Rapids to have regional transit authority. DARTA needs to be revived.

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I think those stops locations at Wayne State are good, since alot of students would be using the people mover.

The only thing I don't like about it (that I can tell from looking at the picture) is how it goes around GCP. That's one of my beefs with the people mover is that it covers the buildings up. Considering the benifits it's worth covering up a few buildings, but still. :angry:

I think that set up would really help out midtown.

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The People Mover was built as a demonstration project and as such it was completely paid for by the US Department of Transportation. A similar system was built in Miami, FL. It was indeed intended to be part of a larger transit system of light rail lines. Because the light rail was to be locally funded it was never built. Without the rail lines bringing people into downtown the PM never reached it projected ridership and has been bleeding money ever since. Unfortunately the city missed its chance to make the PM self sufficient. All they had to do was require the casinos to locate along the PM route. Ridership would have increased dramatically. It might even have started making money.

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Actually the Greektown stop is connected to the casino but we need at least one more so that casino patrons will travel between them. The way it is now there

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Why would anyone want to travel to more than one casino in one night? That also goes against every wish of any one casino. There is a reason they don't have windows or clocks on the casino floor, and they sure as heck don't want to create a direct link to another casino to offer easy access to the other. This works in Las Vegas with the tram because there are so many and concentrated on one strip, but not in Detroit, I wouldn't think. It's just my opinion, though.

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Even in Las Vegas most of the casinos that are connected are under the same ownership. It certainly would be difficult to convince any of the Detroit casinos to offer connections between each other.

edit: I deleted the rest of my post...I guess I don't pay enough attention to the people mover.

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When a gambler is losing (and most of them do) the first thing they want to do is try another casino in hopes that their luck will change. Studies show that revenues increase when casinos are grouped together. That

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