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How much mass transit would $1 Billion buy?


GRDadof3

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Considering how much was invested in the South Beltline, and what the proposed US-31 bypass is estimated to cost, how much light rail transit could be bought for $1 billion?

Consider that the Federal government also provides funding for mass transit, if the State provides funding. I don't know for sure, but I believe it's 20% local, 80% federal. But let's be conservative and say 60/40 match. Our $1 billion becomes $2.5 billion. I'm not a light rail funding expert, so others can probably enlighten us more.

At $70 million/mile, that's 35 miles of light rail. Enough to serve almost every quadrant of Metro GR, or at least a very good start.

http://www.fta.dot.gov/17861_17880_ENG_HTML.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light_rail

800px-Ireland_-_Dublin_-_Tram.jpg

MetroRail.jpg

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lrt.jpg

23-MinneapolisLightRail.jpg

And, a few station examples for those who LOVE the country life:

glennstationresized.jpg

Florence%20Light%20Rail%20Station2%2011-14-03.jpg

imgLRT1.jpg

gt_am_cul-de-sac.jpg

This thread's for you GaryP :D

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Im guessing you threw out that $70 Million/mile thinking that the LRT would be buried underground in the urban area somehow?

I think that going underground would be the easiest for Grand Rapids then going above grade in the downtown area. You could go above gorund in areas in the metro area e.g. building out to the suburbs of wyoming, walker, and kentwood.

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Im guessing you threw out that $70 Million/mile thinking that the LRT would be buried underground in the urban area somehow?

I think that going underground would be the easiest for Grand Rapids then going above grade.

No, I just took an average of ones I found on-line. Seattle's is high at about $150 million/mile because of a lot of elevated sections and some underground sections. Some are as low as $40 million/mile.

I think you need to be at-grade as much as possible. It's less expensive, more user-friendly and handicap-accessable, and cooler looking :shades:

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No, I just took an average of ones I found on-line. Seattle's is high at about $150 million/mile because of a lot of elevated sections and some underground sections. Some are as low as $40 million/mile.

ive heard it can be as cheap as $25 million/mile. But land is also cheaper here, even DT then in Seattle :P

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Considering how much was invested in the South Beltline, and what the proposed US-31 bypass is estimated to cost, how much light rail transit could be bought for $1 billion?

Consider that the Federal government also provides funding for mass transit, if the State provides funding. I don't know for sure, but I believe it's 20% local, 80% federal. But let's be conservative and say 60/40 match. Our $1 billion becomes $2.5 billion. I'm not a light rail funding expert, so others can probably enlighten us more.

At $70 million/mile, that's 35 miles of light rail. Enough to serve almost every quadrant of Metro GR, or at least a very good start.

This thread's for you GaryP :D

Thanks :w00t:

more from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light_rail

Many U.S. light rail lines have total land and construction costs of less than $25 million per mile. If tunnelling and elevated track are also required, aggregate costs rise to between $40 million and $65 million per mile. However, Seattle's new light rail system is projected to cost nearly $180 million per mile, involving multiple tunnels, elevated sections, and major upgrades to existing transit facilities. Rights of way can be expensive and, in dense urban areas, rights-of-way for rail may cost as much as $50 million per mile ($30 million/km). A typical on-street light-rail or trolley right-of-way is 25 feet wide for two tracks, and can be converted from normal automobile traffic to exclusive rail use. Grade separated rail and stations are wider.

Streets like South Division, Plainfield and Alpine could be easily modified to cut down on the number of lanes designated for auto traffic to accommodate rail lines, which would eliminate the extremely expensive ROW acquisition costs. I don

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maybe its my own personal bias, but if they ran the line down remembrance to the Walker City Hall, I'd be a happy camper :D But, one on Lake Michigan Drive say near the corner of Wilson and LMD would be just as appreciated, only a little farther to commute to the station.

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I understand it's more inexpensive, but I'm not impressed with at-grade LRT. It's not really "rapid" transit, it slows down automobile traffic, creates confusing streets, isn't any more pedestrian friendly than automobile traffic, and I don't think it's nearly as impressive looking as elevated rail.

If GR installed LRT it would need highly convenient, fast and have minimal impact on the current infrastructure.

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I understand it's more inexpensive, but I'm not impressed with at-grade LRT. It's not really "rapid" transit, it slows down automobile traffic, creates confusing streets, isn't any more pedestrian friendly than automobile traffic, and I don't think it's nearly as impressive looking as elevated rail.

If GR installed LRT it would need highly convenient, fast and have minimal impact on the current infrastructure.

THats why it should go below grade, at least in the downtown areas.

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THats why it should go below grade, at least in the downtown areas.

I'll take it. I'm not THAT picky. :D Just don't make dungeon-looking stations underground :sick:

However, I do prefer either at grade or elevated, so that you can have a view of the surroundings while travelling. I'm not a big fan of subways.

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I think a corridor running alongside 28th would work nicely because of the setbacks and wide lanes, but realistically would be a huge misuse of money.

Running LRT on 28th ST would be akin to blowing through Baghdad with a round of ammo and expecting to overthrow the government. It's going into the heart of the icon of auto usage... The street is pedestrian unfriendly, hell there is long stretchs of no sidewalk.

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Whoa! I just watched Fahrenheit 451 again the other night and this reminds me of that "futuristic" overhead rail system.

That's exactly what I thought of!

Of course the system in the movie was in such open areas there was no nead to elevate it in the first place, but I'm getting off topic.

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Who suspends a rail system over a river? What is that thing, the Iron Dragon? So stupid.

No, my thoughts on elevated rail are minimalist, like Las Vegas' monorail system. Simple, sleek and not scary.

Iron Dragon! :rofl: It was just a wild example I found. I shouldn't have posted it :blush:

Here's a good monorail vs. light rail discussion:

http://www.lightrailnow.org/features/f_monorail006.htm

Although, it's by lightrailnow, so it could be a little biased. :whistling:

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I'd think you'd want a route that connects the airport to downtown. From the airport, then up East Beltline past 28th Street. But how you get from there to downtown puzzles me. Follow west along 28th, then up Division? or follow the beltline up to Fulton and go into downtown that way?

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Iron Dragon! :rofl: It was just a wild example I found. I shouldn't have posted it :blush:

Here's a good monorail vs. light rail discussion:

http://www.lightrailnow.org/features/f_monorail006.htm

Although, it's by lightrailnow, so it could be a little biased. :whistling:

The light rail and monorail people don't seem to like each other very much :dontknow:

I don't really think there would be any difference between elevated light rail and monorail.

I'd think you'd want a route that connects the airport to downtown. From the airport, then up East Beltline past 28th Street. But how you get from there to downtown puzzles me. Follow west along 28th, then up Division? or follow the beltline up to Fulton and go into downtown that way?

I said lake drive and I think it was GRDad who said Wealthy.

I think every line needs to have a good mix of retail residential and office to be successful.

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On the one hand, the People Mover in Detroit is a joke, but on the other hand, it's a good start. In Detroit, I would like to see another loop that joins part of the current line, but moves throught the "Cultural Center" of Detroit, then pair off regular LRT with the two loops as the hub.

Baby steps.

Now, apply the same to GR. Seriously. I can envision some sort of "People Mover" (yes, monorail) that would loop through the Downtown area (Medical Hill, GRCC, Heartside, Bus/Amtrack stations, VAA, GVSU, Gus Lots, Bridgewater, North of GRFord Fwy, and back up the hill) with some sort of hub at the Gus lots. Then build a line to Gd Haven along LMD. Then one to the Airport. Then a line between Rockford & Byron Center.

Who knows ... perhaps someday a connector from Traverse City to St Joe.

I personally don't see it as a reality, but it's certianly plausible.

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There has already been a lot of work and public meetings regarding where the first light rail and BRT routes would go. A lot of the meetings happened last year.

http://www.ridetherapid.org/Main/Adobe_Acr...sletter_10r.pdf

The next step is securing a $14 million funding package that was SET ASIDE by the Federal Government, just for little ol us, to help pay for engineering studies and ROW research. If only the State legislature could think about the future instead of their current term limits.

http://www.urbanplanet.org/forums/index.ph...60entry359966

To me, it's like a 401K plan. How could you not support a transportation plan, that has been proven to be an effective growth and transportation tool in a growing number of cities, that receives 60% matching funds from the Federal Government?

Especially since Grand Rapids is the ONLY metro area in Michigan to qualify for the New Starts program by the FTA. Talk about stupidly missing a great opportunity. I think it stems from West Michigan residents not being exposed a great deal to mass transit :dontknow:

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A billion dollars in rapid transit would essentially be an investment. I remember reading that the ROI is somewhere near 50-200%??? I sure would like my tax dollars to be put into a system that can basically double my money.

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A billion dollars in rapid transit would essentially be an investment. I remember reading that the ROI is somewhere near 50-200%??? I sure would like my tax dollars to be put into a system that can basically double my money.

i recently read a study that found that $1 invested in public transit returns $5 to the community...i'll see if i can dig it up.

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There is a company out of Detroit that is promoting an elevated MagLev system that they say can built for $10 million per mile, it goes over 200 mph and can be integrated into a larger interstate system (as shown below). The rail can also be used to carry private vehicles, ferry cars, freight and any other way you can imagine. ITC Rail

Maglev-station%20render%20view1.jpg

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