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GRDadof3

Transit Updates for Greater Grand Rapids

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23 hours ago, x99 said:

But how well can it pick up an EV which has a far lower heat signature?  I'm assuming they thought of that?

I'm sure they thought of it .. for about 10 seconds.  Missing 1 of 200 still means 199 more caught than without it. 

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The Federal Transit Administration, MDOT, Grand Rapids, Kentwood, and Wyoming are funding a nearly $1mm study to figure out ways to stimulate development along the Silverline route south of Wealthy.   The FTA is handing over nearly $700k of the funds.   Waste of tax dollars or a good idea?

https://www.ridetherapid.org/articles/federal-grant-to-help-spur-economic-development-along-the-rapids-silver-line-route

https://mibiz.com/sections/economic-development/finding-momentum-the-rapid-secures-nearly-1-million-to-study-ways-to-spur-growth-along-silver-line-route

 

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DASH ridership is strong, the new RAPID#19 hit 1,100 riders a day almost immediately.
People will ride, all you need to do is provide a quality service.


I heard yesterday that the main issue with the #19 now is that The Rapid does not have enough busses to ideally handle all the riders during peak times


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4 hours ago, uncus said:

 


I heard yesterday that the main issue with the #19 now is that The Rapid does not have enough busses to ideally handle all the riders during peak times


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

Sounds like a good problem to have.  I see the riders in front of the hospital usually form a nice line.  It reminds me of Hong Kong.  

It would be nice if Spectrum had lots N/W/S of DT 

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I have noticed a lot more people along Michigan street waiting for the #19 as well which is nice to see. I've heard of several employees who now take other bus routes to work, who never really knew the option exsisted before the #19 became their mandatory mode of transport to the parking lot. 

Regarding having lost on the westside, I won't be surprised to see this happen once the Laker line takes shape. 

Edited by jonrapley
Grammar
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15 hours ago, uncus said:

 


I heard yesterday that the main issue with the #19 now is that The Rapid does not have enough busses to ideally handle all the riders during peak times


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

And don't forget it's free to riders. I think one of the biggest hurdles for new riders is not knowing how to pay to ride. Does the Rapid have an app where you can buy monthly passes and then just swipe your phone when you board? 

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2 minutes ago, GRDadof3 said:

And don't forget it's free to riders. I think one of the biggest hurdles for new riders is not knowing how to pay to ride. Does the Rapid have an app where you can buy monthly passes and then just swipe your phone when you board? 

According the the Rapid's site, they will be releasing a phone app 'soon' for the new wave cards that allows tap to pay. The cool thing about the new wave cards is that you don't need to pay for a monthly pass, just pay single fares until you hit the monthly amount and it stops charging you.

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10 minutes ago, Kinkema said:

According the the Rapid's site, they will be releasing a phone app 'soon' for the new wave cards that allows tap to pay. The cool thing about the new wave cards is that you don't need to pay for a monthly pass, just pay single fares until you hit the monthly amount and it stops charging you.

I use the wave card now and it is awesome.  It's so quick to board and I don't have to worry about having exact change.   

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11 hours ago, jonrapley said:

I have noticed a lot more people along Michigan street waiting for the #19 as well which is nice to see. I've heard of several employees who now take other bus routes to work, who never really knew the option exsisted before the #19 became their mandatory mode of transport to the parking lot. 

Regarding having lost on the westside, I won't be surprised to see this happen once the Laker line takes shape. 

I see people waiting, getting on/off in front of the Little Meijer on Bridge St. Seems to be really popular route. 

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On 1/25/2019 at 8:13 AM, GRDadof3 said:

Does the Rapid have an app where you can buy monthly passes and then just swipe your phone when you board?

The WAVE card eliminates the pass-management issue.  https://wave.ridetherapid.org/help/

On 1/24/2019 at 5:05 PM, uncus said:

I heard yesterday that the main issue with the #19 now is that The Rapid does not have enough busses to ideally handle all the riders during peak time

They may be stretched thin but they have new CNG buses arriving regularly.  Also new DASH buses - longer with two doors - are being added to the fleet.  Of course some of the older buses get cycled out as well.  The RAPID has a strong focus on fleet management.

On 1/25/2019 at 9:06 AM, thebeerqueer said:

I see people waiting, getting on/off in front of the Little Meijer on Bridge St. Seems to be really popular route.

Yep.  I head down there 1 - 2 time a week, the Bridge St. Market is definitely contributes to ridership.  Looking forward to improvements to the DASH/19 stop in front of the fire-department.  In the evenings, previously, I was frequently there alone;  there are always other riders waiting with me now - the winter winds down Bridge St. can be something else.

On 1/25/2019 at 8:30 AM, GRJohn said:

I use the wave card now and it is awesome.

YES!  It takes all the hassle out of riding the bus.

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The Rapid has received $1 Million from the FTA to study why development hasn't occurred along the South Division/Silver Line corridor. 

https://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/2019/01/1m-grant-aims-to-jump-start-economic-development-along-silver-line-route.html

Remember when the Silver Line route was announced and there was a big collective groan on UP? :P  We may have been a bit prescient. 

 

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I feel like spending $1million bucks to study why the silver line hasn’t spurred redevelopment is uneccessary.  I will do it for a big bottle of Goose and save them $999,936.  

They spent $30 million dollars to upgrade a bus corridor and put in a “diet bus”.  The amount of convenience it actually adds is negligible.  They inconsistently enforce the diamond lanes, people are often blocking the bus right of way.  They did this in the least desirable corridor in the region.  On top of that they have offered little to no incentive to developers to go in and invest.  Not to mention to most desirable part of the corridor is so overwhelmed with homeless people and other transients, private investors don’t want to take a chance on big projects.  

IMO the only way BRT would actually make an impact on that corridor is if they were to give the busses their own fixed guideway that was uninterrupted by other traffic and intersections.  That’s what BRT means in other countries, what we call BRT in Grand Rapids is what other places just call “the bus”.   If they were to do that it would be a game changer.  There’s no way this region would pony up the billions it would take to implement.

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I seriously needed a stiff drink reading that article. The amount of cluelessness from people dancing around the reasons for the lack of development was just frustrating.

Economic development does not chase after poor people, broke people, or homeless people. You keep packing in more and more low-income housing developments you will not get any business outside of check-cashing shops, hair salons, a stray fast food restaurant, cheap cellphone store, and a Family Dollar.

No developer is going to invest millions to make a nice mixed-use building just because. Let alone because of the Silver line. It is going to be an ugly and cheap building, paid for with a lot of tax subsidies, rebates, and credits.

 

Quote

...Monoyios said large-scale redevelopment hasn’t occurred because there was no unified effort to make it happen. “We didn’t know how to proceed,” he said. “There was no road map.”

This person seriously thinks that is the reason?

 

Quote

“So, let’s have some investments, let’s get some of those things in there. But in a way that doesn’t push people out.”

Yeah, that's not a thing. You dont get Bridge Street Market in a place where people are living in subsidized apartments, on state assistance, or can barely afford the rent no matter how much you wish.

 

If S. Division is going to advance, then sorry to say this, you will have to break up the low-income utopia vision that people in the article seem to cling to for dear life, and get real.

- You are going to have to see some marginal business that cater to low-income people replaced with something more mainstream.

- You will have to insist on better aesthetic standards, and no one gets grandfathered in. Doesn't matter if it is a big industrial site or a tiny auto repair joint. And the standards will be serious.

- It has been said before, but the homeless services will need to be scattered down Division, and zoning laws changed so that no two places can be within a certain distance. The shelters will need a license, and meet certain standards in security and upkeep. 

- Tax incentives for developments that are 90% market-rate, 10% low-income. Build the development at the street, and have retail on the lower floor, and you will get even more generous tax incentives. Build it within a certain distance of a Silver Line stop, and you will unlock God Mode in terms of what you can apply for. The retail space will be the only ones taxed normally depending on the type. The more economically significant the better tax rate.

- If you have to demolish some non-historical older buildings, then the city will work with you to quickly reach something reasonable and realistic.

- Stop giving free rides on the Silverline, and upgrade the look of the buses.

-Fit in some new parks and a couple of nicely-designed traffic circles (MDOT hopefully will agree), along the route south of Hall, and put in some median trees.

 

The point is that money chases money into nice-looking places. You put butts in living spaces that have a disposable income, you will get business that will want to be near those people. Make the Siverline feel and look like a top-tier ride, and people will take it.

 

Keep thinking that wasting a million dollars, in hopes that group hugs and new festive lamp post banners are all you are going to need, and watch as S. Division looks exactly the same 10 years from now.

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49 minutes ago, GR_Urbanist said:

I seriously needed a stiff drink reading that article. The amount of cluelessness from people dancing around the reasons for the lack of development was just frustrating.

Economic development does not chase after poor people, broke people, or homeless people. You keep packing in more and more low-income housing developments you will not get any business outside of check-cashing shops, hair salons, a stray fast food restaurant, cheap cellphone store, and a Family Dollar.

No developer is going to invest millions to make a nice mixed-use building just because. Let alone because of the Silver line. It is going to be an ugly and cheap building, paid for with a lot of tax subsidies, rebates, and credits.

 

This person seriously thinks that is the reason?

 

Yeah, that's not a thing. You dont get Bridge Street Market in a place where people are living in subsidized apartments, on state assistance, or can barely afford the rent no matter how much you wish.

 

If S. Division is going to advance, then sorry to say this, you will have to break up the low-income utopia vision that people in the article seem to cling to for dear life, and get real.

- You are going to have to see some marginal business that cater to low-income people replaced with something more mainstream.

- You will have to insist on better aesthetic standards, and no one gets grandfathered in. Doesn't matter if it is a big industrial site or a tiny auto repair joint. And the standards will be serious.

- It has been said before, but the homeless services will need to be scattered down Division, and zoning laws changed so that no two places can be within a certain distance. The shelters will need a license, and meet certain standards in security and upkeep. 

- Tax incentives for developments that are 90% market-rate, 10% low-income. Build the development at the street, and have retail on the lower floor, and you will get even more generous tax incentives. Build it within a certain distance of a Silver Line stop, and you will unlock God Mode in terms of what you can apply for. The retail space will be the only ones taxed normally depending on the type. The more economically significant the better tax rate.

- If you have to demolish some non-historical older buildings, then the city will work with you to quickly reach something reasonable and realistic.

- Stop giving free rides on the Silverline, and upgrade the look of the buses.

-Fit in some new parks and a couple of nicely-designed traffic circles (MDOT hopefully will agree), along the route south of Hall, and put in some median trees.

 

The point is that money chases money into nice-looking places. You put butts in living spaces that have a disposable income, you will get business that will want to be near those people. Make the Siverline feel and look like a top-tier ride, and people will take it.

 

Keep thinking that wasting a million dollars, in hopes that group hugs and new festive lamp post banners are all you are going to need, and watch as S. Division looks exactly the same 10 years from now.

And there will be yet another $1 Million thrown down a hole on studies that we'll never get back. Imagine if you gave that $1 Million to all the homeless on Division. They'd turn right around and spend it locallys, instead of it going to yet another study/consulting firm.

In all seriousness though, who cares if development happens along the Silver Line? If the goal is to get more ridership, tear a bunch of that shit down, build secure park-n-ride lots, remove half of the stops along the route effectively doubling the speed, and boom ridership would probably double. 

In all honesty, what is the goal here? Circumvent the market? Artificially create a market? 

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I think they ate up mass transit enthusiast exaggerations and propaganda thinking the Silver Line would be some sort of magical wand that would transform the corridor. There could be plenty of different reasons one can point to, and there may be value in determining which ones have bigger impact over others which a study would be useful for. But is 1 million really worth that? I'm not so sure. Because that million isn't going to be the end of it. It's going to be followed up with recommendations for more spending to -maybe- achieve the desired results and perhaps fail just like the Silver Line already has in spurring development. Expensive studies can be worth the cost when there's a real problem to solve, but is the lack of development in the corridor really a problem? The corridor isn't in decline. It's not stagnant, either. It is improving albeit very slowly. I'd say of any problems, it's very low-priority. Corridor appeal or not, the development is going to happen somewhere in the city. The Silver Line doesn't bring increased development to the metro, it will only steal it from other parts of the city. Maybe worth it to Wyoming or Kentwood, but they're not exactly hurting for development either. I just think it'd be better if we just wrote the Silver Line off as having been underwhelming, count our losses, and move on. Put that million (plus additional millions likely coming after) towards something of greater value, like the streetcar that keeps being kicked down the road, or additional connections at Amtrak, or getting a commuter train, or many other possibilities.

Edited by tSlater
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16 hours ago, tSlater said:

I think they ate up mass transit enthusiast exaggerations and propaganda thinking the Silver Line would be some sort of magical wand that would transform the corridor. There could be plenty of different reasons one can point to, and there may be value in determining which ones have bigger impact over others which a study would be useful for. But is 1 million really worth that? I'm not so sure. Because that million isn't going to be the end of it. It's going to be followed up with recommendations for more spending to -maybe- achieve the desired results and perhaps fail just like the Silver Line already has in spurring development. Expensive studies can be worth the cost when there's a real problem to solve, but is the lack of development in the corridor really a problem? The corridor isn't in decline. It's not stagnant, either. It is improving albeit very slowly. I'd say of any problems, it's very low-priority. Corridor appeal or not, the development is going to happen somewhere in the city. The Silver Line doesn't bring increased development to the metro, it will only steal it from other parts of the city. Maybe worth it to Wyoming or Kentwood, but they're not exactly hurting for development either. I just think it'd be better if we just wrote the Silver Line off as having been underwhelming, count our losses, and move on. Put that million (plus additional millions likely coming after) towards something of greater value, like the streetcar that keeps being kicked down the road, or additional connections at Amtrak, or getting a commuter train, or many other possibilities.

Well said tslater. 

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Division still has a pretty negative perception by most in the Metro GR area.  That corridor needs more than the Silver Line to spur development.  They really need to start downtown, ie, mobing the homeless shelters.  Division is mostly industrial, abandoned, or low income housing/retail up until Burton.  Burton Heights has a lot of potential, but would probably be very low on a list of desirable neighborhoods.  

A $1,000,000 study is a waste of time and money.  Just invest that in the Laker Line.  I think there will be a lot more development down LMD once the Laker Line is up and running.

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I agree with the above comments that this is a waste of time and money.  

If it was my money to spend, I would use the $1,000,000 towards further growth and redevelopment in Burton Heights.  That neighborhood seems to be benefiting from increased development recently, and returning it to a desirable neighborhood would go a long way towards improving the Silver Line.  

I think the Laker Line will do much better, with proven destinations at both ends of the line.

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42 minutes ago, cutlervillegr said:

think the Laker Line will do much better, with proven destinations at both ends of the line.

I have always viewed this as an issue for the Silver Line. I live in Midtown and work downtown, there is nothing at the other end of the Silver Line worth riding for.

I have jumped on it a few times while getting around downtown and enjoyed that convenient aspect of it.

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It comes across naive IMO if they truly thought adding fancy bus stops, and buses that had their own lanes for a couple hours a day, would  cause a development surge in that corridor.  The Silver Line is not true BRT and does not add real and measurable value to someones commute.  If they had put in an actual form of rapid transit with dedicated lanes, and right of way at traffic lights, it may have created demand for people wanting to live near the line.  Obviously the amount of capital needed for that type of infrastructure would never be supported by the tax payers in this area.  

As was stated in a previous post you need to spend money to attract investment.  The amount of money spent on this line was tantamount to putting lipstick on a piggy.  They truly thought it was going to be transformational along that route??

 

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I think the Laker line will be a bigger indicator to see if BRT works here. Are they already working with developers to try to help spur development?

i almost feel like they should use that $1M on the Laker line, figure out how to get developers involved, then revisit the Silver Line with those learnings.

Joe

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The LL already wins from having DT GR on one end, GVSU on the other, and Standale in the middle.

Walker could really cement in a significant number of students and GVSU workers living there with a dense complex of apartments and townhouses behind the Standale Meijer, as well as other residential at strategic points going back to the GR border.

Add in some pedestrian bridges, and make the area a little more walkable. Walker could really win big time with this. The GVSU buses already has solid ridership, so this isnt going to be a gamble like the Silverline.

 

The only thing I confused on is if this is going to be any more of a true BRT than the SL is. M-45 doesn't have room for a dedicated lane, and if you eliminate that center turn lane, you will have a riot from drivers. But it may not matter since M-45 is a pretty swift-moving street, and doesn't get that congested that often.

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3 hours ago, GR_Urbanist said:

The only thing I confused on is if this is going to be any more of a true BRT than the SL is. M-45 doesn't have room for a dedicated lane, and if you eliminate that center turn lane, you will have a riot from drivers. But it may not matter since M-45 is a pretty swift-moving street, and doesn't get that congested that often.

LMD (M-45) carries as many vehicles on average daily as 28th st does in some points.  I think it flows better because it’s less commercially developed and more of a commuter thoroughfare.  There are certain choke points on it, namely at Wilson, and at that awkward curve where Bridge St ends into it.  If one lane each way gets restricted during rush times it will back up from Polish Hollywood into the Westside via both Fulton and LMD.  Standale will be “Standstill” at 5pm.

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There appears to be some serious confusion regarding the origin of the funding for the study. The bulk of the money comes from the FTA’s Pilot Program for Transit-Oriented Development Planning https://www.transit.dot.gov/TODPilot , which is a competitive funding source for implementing TOD across the country. The rest of it comes from the required state and local matches for projects like these. Thus, the money being invested is for the sole purpose of studying TOD, and the idea as some have suggested that the money could be used on other things in the region is akin to a child being sent to the store with money to buy milk and thinking it would be okay to spend it on candy instead. This is a situation where you either get $1 million to spend on one particular thing or you don’t get the money at all, so The Rapid saw an opportunity to gain some additional funding and went for it.

Now granted, it does raise the question at the national level if this program is a wise use of FTA funds, but that’s another discussion for another day.

Edited by VectorPrime
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