Jump to content

Transit Updates for Greater Grand Rapids


Recommended Posts


  • Replies 3.7k
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

All this talk about rail made me find these from the library

Fancy new Laker Line stop at the zoo!

Maybe they're going to be antiquated articulating buses....?  

Posted Images

All I know is that "streetcar" is a subset of the general term of "light rail." Light rail is one that makes frequent stops, lighter in weight, 'defined stops,' smaller curve radius, quick start, capable of inner city and suburban service, negotiate grade changes well, etc... So basically the only difference in traditional light rail and streetcars isn't cosmetic, design or logistics, but ROW type and station structure. :lol:

There are some other differences. Street cars are designed to replace city buses. That means they can be boarded from the street.

Light rail is a a less expensive form of dedicated heavy rail. They have stations, the cars are meant to be boarded from a loading platform, have higher capacities than streetcars and predictable service. It's the differences in implementation that are responsible for the differences. The best systems operate entirely in their on ROW completely seperated from the roadways. Most systems have some mixture of this to reduce costs. And a few like Houston operate completely in the road way, even though they only stop at stations.

Link to post
Share on other sites

There are some other differences. Street cars are designed to replace city buses. That means they can be boarded from the street.

Light rail is a a less expensive form of dedicated heavy rail. They have stations, the cars are meant to be boarded from a loading platform, have higher capacities than streetcars and predictable service. It's the differences in implementation that are responsible for the differences. The best systems operate entirely in their on ROW completely seperated from the roadways. Most systems have some mixture of this to reduce costs. And a few like Houston operate completely in the road way, even though they only stop at stations.

Is the San Diego Trolly a street car or Light rail or mixture? You definitely load from street level, even in the dedicated ROW sections the stations don't have platforms... difference seems a little like splitting hairs <_<

122684089_ba170d28d0_d.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

I live on Wealthy Street. I hate the idea of my long time residence being encroached or eliminated due to The Rapid's Airport Corridor. As the houses now exist, there is no room to widen the road to accomodate the light rail. That is where all the Brownstone conversations come into play. It would fit into everyone's plans. Raze the old homes on the road, build the brownstones higher and further off the road to allow the light rail system. Progress? I don't think so. Putting 2 lbs. of baloney in a 1 lb. bag is more like it. East Grand Rapids is NOT an urban area. It is a village. City on paper, but a village in reality.

Put the airport corridor somewhere that does not encroach upon existing homes.

I know that the Pig(Jade)wants Gaslight Village to be a destination but that's crap. No one who lives in this area wants Gaslight to become even more crowded - light rail or not. People outside the business area too often forget that three schools are all packed in the area. Too dangerous for all involved.

Mr. Scott

Link to post
Share on other sites

If we're all into the nostalgia of streetcar and reimplementing the concepts the following links might be of interest:

APTA Streetcar and Heritage Trolley Site

APTA -- BRING BACK THE STREETCARS! A Conservative Vision of Tomorrow's Urban Transportation

Both these sites serve as a general guide for planning, funding, and implementation of a streetcar system. The sites read like a "how to guide" in some instances. The sites touch on subjects of funding through private/public/business partnerships :thumbsup: (when that federal funding issue gets in the way) and a guide to doing in inexpensively.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The biggest problem with these things is they do take money to build yet the end up amounting to little more than amusement rides. They don't have the bandwidth to handle much traffic.

Here are some photos that I took of the one in Charlotte that opened a couple of years ago. It was built completely with local funds and a lot of volunteer effort. The car in those photos was one from the 1930s trolley that used to be here. However this line has already been shut down and is being replaced by the light rail project. Despite those photos from close to opening day, it never gained much ridership.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The biggest problem with these things is they do take money to build yet the end up amounting to little more than amusement rides. They don't have the bandwidth to handle much traffic.

Here are some photos that I took of the one in Charlotte that opened a couple of years ago. It was built completely with local funds and a lot of volunteer effort. The car in those photos was one from the 1930s trolley that used to be here. However this line has already been shut down and is being replaced by the light rail project. Despite those photos from close to opening day, it never gained much ridership.

I was concentrating on the idea of funding outlets rather than the actual streetcars. I don't see why the links above can't apply to our situation. ITP is looking at streetcar and brt, they might not be the best modes, but why should we spend top dollar on everything.

Edited by Rizzo
Link to post
Share on other sites

I live on Wealthy Street. I hate the idea of my long time residence being encroached or eliminated due to The Rapid's Airport Corridor. As the houses now exist, there is no room to widen the road to accomodate the light rail. That is where all the Brownstone conversations come into play. It would fit into everyone's plans. Raze the old homes on the road, build the brownstones higher and further off the road to allow the light rail system. Progress? I don't think so. Putting 2 lbs. of baloney in a 1 lb. bag is more like it. East Grand Rapids is NOT an urban area. It is a village. City on paper, but a village in reality.

Put the airport corridor somewhere that does not encroach upon existing homes.

I know that the Pig(Jade)wants Gaslight Village to be a destination but that's crap. No one who lives in this area wants Gaslight to become even more crowded - light rail or not. People outside the business area too often forget that three schools are all packed in the area. Too dangerous for all involved.

Mr. Scott

N I M B Y ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! :D

Link to post
Share on other sites

I live on Wealthy Street. I hate the idea of my long time residence being encroached or eliminated due to The Rapid's Airport Corridor. As the houses now exist, there is no room to widen the road to accomodate the light rail. That is where all the Brownstone conversations come into play. It would fit into everyone's plans. Raze the old homes on the road, build the brownstones higher and further off the road to allow the light rail system. Progress? I don't think so. Putting 2 lbs. of baloney in a 1 lb. bag is more like it. East Grand Rapids is NOT an urban area. It is a village. City on paper, but a village in reality.

Put the airport corridor somewhere that does not encroach upon existing homes.

I know that the Pig(Jade)wants Gaslight Village to be a destination but that's crap. No one who lives in this area wants Gaslight to become even more crowded - light rail or not. People outside the business area too often forget that three schools are all packed in the area. Too dangerous for all involved.

Mr. Scott

Good point, you would not want all of those people from Heritage Hill, Up Town, and the other neighborhoods riding onto East Grand Rapids to spend their money when they could just go downtown or keep their money within their own neighborhoods.

I may be wrong, but wasn

Link to post
Share on other sites

Good point, you would not want all of those people from Heritage Hill, Up Town, and the other neighborhoods riding onto East Grand Rapids to spend their money when they could just go downtown or keep their money within their own neighborhoods.

I may be wrong, but wasn

Link to post
Share on other sites

I took my 7yr old son for a ride on the Coopersville/Marne rail ride today. Big fun for my son and gave me an impromptu chance to chat a bit with the volunteer conductor. He says they tried to get the GR Press to let them deliver paper and ink to the new printing facility but the Press declined. Oddly enough, paper and ink travel by rail to Muskegon where they are loaded onto trucks for delivery to the new printing facility (too bad, eh?) Sidebar: I'm about to move out of my downtown office which for the past 22 years has been right along the tracks that used to serve the downtown Press bldg.

The other interesting tidbit of info was that the C&M rails are approx 100 years old on that section (no surprise) and as such are in pretty bad shape. Conductor said the really odd thing is that one side of the rail has expanded nearly a full rail length more than the other side over its history - a mystery to nearly everyone involved.

Another thing worth noting: the C&M Railway runs just about all the way to north end of downtown GR. They do not however have any line west of Coopersville. Interesting if we ponder interurban some day. Although, again, Coopersville seems a great hub for commuter traffic. They certainly have great depot infrastructure in place right in their village core!

Last note: the engine shed and misc old cars in Coopersville are really pretty cool. That little town has actually invested a fair amount of energy in celebrating rail - very cool.

First of all let me tell you a little about myself. I

Edited by Raildudes dad
Link to post
Share on other sites

The folks on the GVMC yahoo group are now on here admiring Rizzo's photo mocks.

Here in Houston, my bro calls their new line "the train to nowhere." Will go snag some pics.

Weslin's cost per passenger trip can be calculated as follows: $2,000,000 annual cost divided by 1,500 daily passengers divided by 255 weekdays of operation equal $5.23 per trip. Since I do not have the actual numbers from the report, this number is reasonably close to the $5.39 per passenegrs figure quoted in the Executive SUmmary. I do not understand your comment about the "corresponding reduction in capital costs". What reduction in capital costs?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Weslin's cost per passenger trip can be calculated as follows: $2,000,000 annual cost divided by 1,500 daily passengers divided by 255 weekdays of operation equal $5.23 per trip. Since I do not have the actual numbers from the report, this number is reasonably close to the $5.39 per passenegrs figure quoted in the Executive SUmmary. I do not understand your comment about the "corresponding reduction in capital costs". What reduction in capital costs?

Actually in that calculation, the math works. However, I can't determine where the $2,264,032 Operating cost comes from. Everyone is entitled to a mistake but this report is filled with them. They state a cost or fact and document it. Then, elsewhere in the report they use a totally different cost or fact. The capital costs for locomotives were estimated at 10 times the going rate at the time. It just goes on and on.

It's strange that the report has no author()s, resumes or references. Then again, if I authored the report, I wouldn't put my name on it either :D

Edited by Raildudes dad
Link to post
Share on other sites

You can get a good working F40PH and some Pullman Standards to have a complete set to play with. :lol: I put in a word to the groups that used the Weslin report as a reference to see if they have the study on file. Maybe someone at WMEAC's study group can help in that regard, you know who you are...

Edited by Rizzo
Link to post
Share on other sites

You can get a good working F40PH and some Pullman Standards to have a complete set to play with. :lol: I put in a word to the groups that used the Weslin report as a reference to see if they have the study on file. Maybe someone at WMEAC's study group can help in that regard, you know who you are...

I'll work on getting an unedited report this weekend :) Maybe we can meet at one of the local UP openhouses. I'd like to tour some of the redevelopment projects. :)

Edited by Raildudes dad
Link to post
Share on other sites

.....

It's strange that the report has no author()s, resumes or references. Then again, if I authored the report, I wouldn't put my name on it either :D

Most likely it was a report that set out to discredit the project before they did any research on it. There are plenty of them out there put out by anti-transit people. Unfortunately all too often these people also hold public office and latch on to these types of studies as the reason for rejecting any plans to do something besides building a highway.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Let us not get in the assertion mood until there can be categorical rebuttals to evidence provided by the study. Here's the author of the study:

http://weslin.net/

They appear to be a very successful consulting group. Look at all their projects and their locations!

Consultants don't hold themselves to the same rigorous scientific requirements as say, medical researchers. In essence, a few "wink wink nudge nudge's" and they can produce a report that pretty much leans the way you want it to lean. I seem to remember back in 2000 a lot of editorials in the paper blasting the report when it came out. I wasn't nearly as interested back then though.

Great info RD's Dad. I can't wait to see the unedited report. If anything, a fresh look might get some fresh numbers in front of GVMC, the RAPID and the new Kent County transportation task-force so that there is another option to look at.

What a thorough and informative website!

:rofl::rofl: Actually, with all the services they list on that page, I could claim the same thing by my posts here on UrbanPlanet. :rofl: but I wouldn't go around charging people for my "services".

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.