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Transit Updates for Greater Grand Rapids


GRDadof3

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I think they would have much better ridership if they targeted actual commuters.   Make it go down Michigan to a park and ride structure or something like that.  

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1 hour ago, arcturus said:

Development along the Silver Line remains slow.  If anyone can translate what exactly Nick Monoyios is saying I'm all eyes.

https://mibiz.com/item/25797-after-4-years,-development-still-slow-along-gr’s-silver-line-bus-route

I know Nick and I fundamentally disagree with him. Generally speaking when a government agency (say MDOT for instance) drops a ton of money into infrastructure improvements, private sector development DOES naturally occur nearby. The DDA used to produce an internal report that showed that every $1 Million improvement in downtown streets/streetscapes created quite a bit of spinoff development on that particular street, sometimes 4 to 5x ROI. 

If $40 Million in a new transit line has not created any spinoff private sector development, than it's fundamentally flawed to begin with.  I think we all know, and all expressed our doubts, when they chose South Division for this route (already served by a transit line). I even hoped that it might be a raging success but that hopy-changy has run out. The only plus-side is that it wasn't $140 Million like the Q-Line debacle. 

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42 minutes ago, GRDadof3 said:

I know Nick and I fundamentally disagree with him. Generally speaking when a government agency (say MDOT for instance) drops a ton of money into infrastructure improvements, private sector development DOES naturally occur nearby. The DDA used to produce an internal report that showed that every $1 Million improvement in downtown streets/streetscapes created quite a bit of spinoff development on that particular street, sometimes 4 to 5x ROI. 

If $40 Million in a new transit line has not created any spinoff private sector development, than it's fundamentally flawed to begin with.  I think we all know, and all expressed our doubts, when they chose South Division for this route (already served by a transit line). I even hoped that it might be a raging success but that hopy-changy has run out. The only plus-side is that it wasn't $140 Million like the Q-Line debacle. 

I agree.  I'm not a transit expert like a lot of people on here.  Really it seems like all they did was take an area that had "the bus",  and gave it the option for "slightly cooler bus".  From what I understand as BRT goes it's a bit loose of an interpretation to actually call it BRT.   I just don't think Grand Rapids is attracting enough of the type of people that value transit for the Silver Line  to bring the redevelopment/gentrification wave that far south yet.  To me the implementation of the Silver Line seemed gimmicky and short sighted, but again i'm not an expert and have little base of understanding to compare it to anything.  That  and we clearly haven't reached the threshold to cause enough commuters to mode shift.  I'm not sure another route outside of the Laker Line would do any better.  I'm bracing for the chaos that will bring to Lake Michigan Drive.  I drive it several times a week(instead of taking 96 in from the lakeshore), it's a lot busier than people realize.  

As for the Q-line, all they did was make another people mover, but in a straight line.  It shouldn't be surprising that there's still not enough people between Midtown and Downtown to see robust ridership.   If SE Michigan would get it's crap together and start functioning as a region, it would cost billions of dollars but they could actually implement a transit system that was actually usable to the population at large.  The state as a whole needs to change it's mindset, buckle down, and actually invest in infrastructure at every level.  These half ass attempts to catch up to our peer states are a waste of money and don't really move the needle.

Go big or go home :)

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8 minutes ago, MJLO said:

I agree.  I'm not a transit expert like a lot of people on here.  Really it seems like all they did was take an area that had "the bus",  and gave it the option for "slightly cooler bus".  From what I understand as BRT goes it's a bit loose of an interpretation to actually call it BRT.   I just don't think Grand Rapids is attracting enough of the type of people that value transit for the Silver Line  to bring the redevelopment/gentrification wave that far south yet.  To me the implementation of the Silver Line seemed gimmicky and short sighted, but again i'm not an expert and have little base of understanding to compare it to anything.  That  and we clearly haven't reached the threshold to cause enough commuters to mode shift.  I'm not sure another route outside of the Laker Line would do any better.  I'm bracing for the chaos that will bring to Lake Michigan Drive.  I drive it several times a week(instead of taking 96 in from the lakeshore), it's a lot busier than people realize.  

As for the Q-line, all they did was make another people mover, but in a straight line.  It shouldn't be surprising that there's still not enough people between Midtown and Downtown to see robust ridership.   If SE Michigan would get it's crap together and start functioning as a region, it would cost billions of dollars but they could actually implement a transit system that was actually usable to the population at large.  The state as a whole needs to change it's mindset, buckle down, and actually invest in infrastructure at every level.  These half ass attempts to catch up to our peer states are a waste of money and don't really move the needle.

Go big or go home :)

The Q-Line was a way for Detroit to say "We have light rail and Grand Rapids does not. Who's the bigger man now GR?!" :lol: 

I'm not joking. 

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  • 1 month later...

Not to be that guy, but I’m in Peru right now and their roads are better than ours. In Lima, in the Andes, in the desert... Just something that was very noticeable. At least we don’t have speed bumps every five feet like they do here.

6A357F8F-4F11-485D-8886-1D72C9064183.thumb.jpeg.3786e0bb06e83fbd360c9767f51ce1d8.jpegQuerococha, Huaraz, Peru

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We drove down Woodward Ave yesterday late afternoon to see the  Q-line.  The sidewalks were full of people and theres lots of new building and redevelopent going on along the route.  My daughter (who was with us) worked on some of the site civil for the Q said it is like night and day, the before and now.

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3 hours ago, Raildude's dad said:

We drove down Woodward Ave yesterday late afternoon to see the  Q-line.  The sidewalks were full of people and theres lots of new building and redevelopent going on along the route.  My daughter (who was with us) worked on some of the site civil for the Q said it is like night and day, the before and now.

I agree, Woodward is completely different from downtown to Midtown now than it was even 3 years ago. And to see major retailers as you get closer to Campus Martius is cool to see. Detroit is leaps and bounds over where it was 5 - 10 years ago. 

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3 hours ago, GRDadof3 said:

I agree, Woodward is completely different from downtown to Midtown now than it was even 3 years ago. And to see major retailers as you get closer to Campus Martius is cool to see. Detroit is leaps and bounds over where it was 5 - 10 years ago. 

I know they've got quite a boatload of big names coming onto Woodward very soon, ranging from H&M and Apple to some other more high-end names. It's pretty unreal and truthfully the quality of build-outs and exterior renovations are unreal.  I know there are some immense systemic issues that need to be addressed but at present I am just enjoying each baby step that is happening and finding inspiration each time I visit. There are also some really amazing hotels opening up along Woodward/starting ranging from West Elm Hotel to Siren, and Shinola. 

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Nice to see Detroit rebounding on what will be the 5 yr anniversary of its bankruptcy July 18 which provided the necessary bargaining leverage to get concessions from all parties, clean house, reassure investor confidence, helping the city emerge much more rapidly than anticipated 17 months later, with oversight ending late last year.  I hope the critics of these actions have the chance to walk the same streets while musing how they would of done it differently.

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On 6/25/2018 at 10:02 AM, arcturus said:

Nice to see Detroit rebounding on what will be the 5 yr anniversary of its bankruptcy July 18 which provided the necessary bargaining leverage to get concessions from all parties, clean house, reassure investor confidence, helping the city emerge much more rapidly than anticipated 17 months later, with oversight ending late last year.  I hope the critics of these actions have the chance to walk the same streets while musing how they would of done it differently.

Now they just need to slash property tax millage rates which are 70 mills and higher (twice as high as East Grand Rapids' rate, figure that one out). And since 50% of Detroit/Wayne County property owners don't even bother paying their property taxes (so many that the city and county have given up on chasing people down), maybe a reduced property tax rate would get at least some percentage more able to pay them. 

https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/detroit-city/2018/06/13/detroit-property-owners-tax-delinquency/700005002/

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  • 1 month later...
1 hour ago, ZAP! said:

Must say, the new Wave card looks quite spiffy.

IMG_20180814_142237-2976x1674.jpg

My wife and I have been in the Beta test group for about 9 months and we love the wave card.  It's so much easier than having to worry about loose change.  Plus we never overpay with the fare capping.  I highly recommend even if you don't travel a lot on the bus.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Michigan Association of Railroad Passengers [MARP], the only inter-city transportation advocacy group in the state of Michgian, is happy to present Elaine Wilson, the creator of "Charting the Wolverine" as a guest speaker in a unique fund raiser and networking event.

You can preview all of Ms. Wilson's work at https://www.elaineswilson.com/charting-the-wolverine/


This is a unique event bringing together art and the circital issue of our state's infrastructure. Enjoy the presentation, the lovely One Bourbon Lounge. some of the best cocktails in the city [cash bar], and meeting fellow art enthusiasts, transit wonks, rail fans, and history buffs.
Please consider a donation of at least $15 with your ticket.
FB: https://www.facebook.com/events/460998630974214/

40986015_2363266220380829_1758133820256681984_n.jpg

http://blog.ridetherapid.org/route-19-kickoff/

RAPID#19 and the Bridge St Market have certainly lived up to expectations.  I've already used this combination several times.  Very much looking forward to what opens up in Diamond Place.

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10 hours ago, LaMas said:

I noticed the new Hudsonville/Jamestown Meijer has a bus shelter (no signage). Is there a bus service that stops there or is it progressive, or wishful, thinking?

Nope, the shelter is just for Meijer employees to take their smoke breaks. Pretty much all of the Meijer's around have them. The one in Standale is especially confusing as the employee shelter is right next to the actual bus stop.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 9/19/2018 at 4:08 PM, GRDadof3 said:

Ottawa County has a pseudo transit sysytem. 

Don't you mean future pseudo transit system?

 

Dubbed the WMX Pilot Project, the West Michigan Express Project has been selected as one of the top 6 West Michigan Regional Prosperity Alliance grant projects for Region 4! As such it will be voted on by the public in a meeting on Wednesday, October10, 10am – Noon.

The meeting takes place in the Pepsi Stadium Club, located at center field, Fifth Third Ball Park, 4500 W River Dr NE, Comstock Park, MI 49321

Hudsonville City Manager Patrick Waterman has initiated an effort to determine the potential for light rail transportation service in West Michigan utilizing the existing CSX rail line. The service would offer a low cost, convenient transit option to residents, commuters and visitors to supplement existing surface transportation in the region. The proposed service would at minimum connect the cities of Holland and Grand Rapids with possible stops in Zeeland, Hudsonville, Jenison/Georgetown, and Grandville.

If you need assistance with transportation to the meeting contact me or the Michigan Association of Railroad Passengers.

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2 hours ago, elcelc said:

Don't you mean future pseudo transit system?

 

Dubbed the WMX Pilot Project, the West Michigan Express Project has been selected as one of the top 6 West Michigan Regional Prosperity Alliance grant projects for Region 4! As such it will be voted on by the public in a meeting on Wednesday, October10, 10am – Noon.

The meeting takes place in the Pepsi Stadium Club, located at center field, Fifth Third Ball Park, 4500 W River Dr NE, Comstock Park, MI 49321

Hudsonville City Manager Patrick Waterman has initiated an effort to determine the potential for light rail transportation service in West Michigan utilizing the existing CSX rail line. The service would offer a low cost, convenient transit option to residents, commuters and visitors to supplement existing surface transportation in the region. The proposed service would at minimum connect the cities of Holland and Grand Rapids with possible stops in Zeeland, Hudsonville, Jenison/Georgetown, and Grandville.

If you need assistance with transportation to the meeting contact me or the Michigan Association of Railroad Passengers.

Thanks elcelc.  I had to do some Googling to find out about the CSX rail lines in the area.  I found this website with an interactive map.  https://www.csx.com/index.cfm/customers/maps/csx-system-map/ 

Good luck!

I'll be curious to see what can be arranged for that route and it a partnership with CSX down the road might light up some more of their lines (including Ada, Lowell, Saranac, Sparta, etc.)

Edited by Sparty97
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50 minutes ago, Sparty97 said:

Thanks elcelc.  I had to do some Googling to find out about the CSX rail lines in the area.  I found this website with an interactive map.  https://www.csx.com/index.cfm/customers/maps/csx-system-map/ 

Good luck!

I'll be curious to see what can be arranged for that route and it a partnership with CSX down the road might light up some more of their lines (including Ada, Lowell, Saranac, Sparta, etc.)

I think a Holland / Grand Rapids Commuter would be great. I don't pretend to know if it would be viable (cost or riders), but I've turned down some pretty good jobs in Holland because I just couldn't bear the thought of driving out there in the winter (I'm probably a baby). I guess the only question / issue, is what is "there". Once you get to Holland, you'd still have to figure out how to get to that last mile (or 10). 

Maybe it would be a lot busier Holland > GR? 

Joe

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This seems like a pretty great idea to me.  

I'm not sure if it would be viable, but it would be neat to see it happen.  

Would they terminate at the Holland & Grand Rapids Amtrak stations?  

Additionally, are there preserved stations/shelters from when this line was previously used for passenger rail (I'm assuming all of these villages/towns previously had a rail stop)?  

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Oops. Didn't mean to copy/paste that last paragraph about "contact me".  This isn't my deal, just something I stumbled across recently.

In order to be effective as a commuter option, I think it would need additional bus routes to get you to your place of employment at the end of the train route. Plus maybe additional side tracks for the trains, new stations, maintenance facilities etc.  I wonder what size grant they're looking at?

Edited by elcelc
typo
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10 hours ago, elcelc said:

Oops. Didn't mean to copy/paste that last paragraph about "contact me".  This isn't my deal, just something I stumbled across recently.

In order to be effective as a commuter option, I think it would need additional bus routes to get you to your place of employment at the end of the train route. Plus maybe additional side tracks for the trains, new stations, maintenance facilities etc.  I wonder what size grant they're looking at?

I would think that some of the larger employers would consider a shuttle from the station to the workplace.  I live in GR but work in holland and would be very interested in a cheap option.

Does the current GR train station have enough parking resources?  What is the travel time?  It would need to be around an hour or less to make it viable.  Do the trains have wifi?  Does it cost less than the gas and wear and tear on my car?

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