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wolverine

U of M's Mass Transit

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Every day I take the commuter buses to class up at North Campus. There's a whole bunch of stops on Central Campus where the majority of people get on to commute. But by the time the busses get to the Couzens Hall stop (where I live) or the Victor Vaughn, or Kresge stops at the medical center, they are ridiculously overcrowded. I had 5 buses pass me and 15 other people at a single stop because they were full. I was leaving for class nearly 20 minutes early, yet I was still late. It's not really the university's fault since they guarantee a commuter bus at every stop in five minutes or less. But it's just the fact that so many students are using the system, that it still would not work to just add more vehicles. I'm getting tired of being smashed near the exit doors, or awkward positions just to barely squeeze in to get a ride.

I'm wondering, for anyone that kind of knows mass transit better than I do, is it possible for A2, or more specifically the university to go a step up above a bus system, like local light rail or something? It seems the ONLY way to go since more and more people are commuting up to North Campus each year. Not to mention, parking has drastically shrunk in the past few years and there is no longer space to build any more garages or lots.

Seriously, the people mover may not be all that effective in Detroit, but having something like that here in A2 would be a godsend.

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It's possible. Something like this was done in the college town of Morgantown, WVa which serves Univ of WVa and parts of the town. It is a fully automated system which keeps the costs of the system down. It should be noted the University owns and operates the line.

More here information on the system can be seen here. Would something like this work?

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This is almost exactly what I was thinking of, except with larger passanger cars. I'm invisioning an automated system also paid for by semester fees. Although U of M's system is "free" it's actually paid for by our tuition. The route in which our current transit system runs on seems like it could be accommodating for an elevated or ground level track system. The running times of the system could be easily regulated depending on peak usages, instead of having to put more drivers on the road.

That's why I'm wondering if anyone knows exactly why a system like this would not be considered when I think it should be. It makes so much sense for a campus community that has overcrowded mass transit. The university has a lot of money, but not enough space to deal with more parking. A local system like this just stretching 2-3 miles seems like the best option for the future.

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Systems like this has been in consideration many times by Umich. Something like this comes up almost every year. I recall at least 2 different attempts at getting something like it off the ground by various parties while I attended Umich. I don't know what held them up, though.

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Wolverine, I know what your complaining about...though on a different scale. MSU uses the local CATA system for bussing on and around campus, and i'm always being passed by full busses or being pushed nearly out the door.

MSU is looking at a long range plan that may include a monorail system. If MSU is looking into implementing such a system by 2020, UofM should be years ahead on that...you guys need it much more badly.

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I don't know, Statedude. I wouldn't say MUCH more badly. The MSU campus is huge and spread out with many commuters. I would think that since it is so much larger and spread out, a rail line or two would be needed more. But, I don't want to get off topic any further.

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Where would the line run? On Huron and cutting over to Fuller via Glen? Maybe another line that starts on Washtenaw? Extending the lines further west on Huron and further east on Washtenaw could get regular Ann Arbor residents online with such a thing too.

Then again, why wouldn't more busses help? How about articulated busses for peak hours?

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The streets you mentioned would likely be in such plan. At least, from what I would see happening.

As far as adding more busses, you can only put so many busses on the road before the whole system becomes overloaded and innefficent. It's funny when five to six busses arrive at the stop at the same time, yet all of them are still overcrowded.

Today, I wished I had a car jere this year more than ever. I had to take a huge load of architecture supplies up to the school, but all the busses were filled and I needed room to put the bin. I had to wait in the rain for 20 minutes before I could find a half empty one.

A recent survey showed that student parking was in a dire situation at the moment... (well it's always been in A2). Students who resorted to taking a car instead of the busses were desperate enough to illegally park in permit lots and accept the $20 fine. With the major decrease in parking due to construction, Ann Arbor has some really tough choices to make.

It's unbelievable how much a blue lot space costs. Over $400 for just two weeks! That's 3 times more than I paid to temporarily have my car parked when I was living in Manhattan.

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Wolverine, have you considered joining the A2 Car-sharing Co-op? I'm not sure how well developed it is but it may be an option for days like that, rather than having a car full-time. Of course, renting a car for a day is also possible.. compared to owning a car full time.

Five, six busses stacked behind one another all full, wow, that is crazy. Make the university build more student housing by North Campus?

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It's possible. Something like this was done in the college town of Morgantown, WVa which serves Univ of WVa and parts of the town. It is a fully automated system which keeps the costs of the system down. It should be noted the University owns and operates the line.

More here information on the system can be seen here. Would something like this work?

The Morgantown is not "true" PRT -- Personal Rapid Transit. It is usually considered "group rapid transit" since the vehicles can carry up to 21 people. It does prove that a fully automated transit system can be successful.

A draft proposal for a system at the University of Washington is here.

How many stations do you think would be needed for such a system to be effective at the U of M?

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