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GRDadof3

Transit Updates for Greater Grand Rapids

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Ouch, pretty harsh words for a disabled woman. :huh: Not saying that she's in the right, because I don't know her circumstances.

There's an old silly (I mean city) ordinance against it. The city was actually discussing nixing it with the advent of the two new pedicab businesses. I say begone with that ordinance. Especially with the addition of more and more bars and restaurants downtown, easy access to cabs is pretty important.

Does anyone know what Grand Haven's Mayor is referring to?

Bergman also announced a plan to create a regional mass transit service for the Tri-Cities, Holland, Muskegon and Grand Rapids. He said West Michigan manufacturing leaders have requested the idea be pursued, and the mayors of Holland and Grand Rapids have already expressed support for it.

http://www.grandhaventribune.com/paid/302184142881566.bsp

Disabled or not she's in the wrong. If the Rapid made exceptions for every person who was just over the boundary line it would ruin their budget. She has known about this issue for three years and isn't facing up to the reality of the situation. If she wants relief, she should get her local government to join the Rapid. Or, move back into the service area.

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Yep, I think it's high time to nix it. We know parking is a sensitive issue around here ;), and we like to model up (e.g., Chicago), so...I'm just sayin' it would be pretty darned handy to be able to find that perfect parking spot, then hail a cab to get to where I want to be.

Case in point: Four of us went downtown for dinner Sunday. Got a great spot on Lyon near Monroe. We were planning on eating at Bull's Head. But, whoops...they were closed. So was the Chop House. And Mojo's.

We ended up at Churchill's (my new favorite restaurant!), but we had to move the car -- Mom was with us, so walking from Lyon and Monroe over to Ionia and Oakes wasn't an option. I would have loved to just hail a cab. Similar thing happened two weeks ago, on a Saturday.

I have done it a couple of times when we were walking home from dinner. Often it is some place close to the Arena.

I did not know that there was an ordinance against it. Whoops, guess they should not have picked me up!

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After meeting a fellow Planeteer today for the first time who currently resides in Lakewood, CO, in an area that will soon be served by the new RTD FasTracks light rail system in Denver, I did a little research and found this staggering status report about TOD's proposed at or near the new FasTracks stations:

http://www.rtd-fastracks.com/media/uploads...evisedphoto.pdf

:o

Obviously the market will dictate a lot of what will be built and what will remain as "proposed", but still, their new system seems to be drastically changing land use patterns in Denver, even well before it will be finished (2011/12 I believe).

Will GR be there 20 years from now?

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^^^

Great read Dad. Thanks for the link! I dont think GR will ever be like Denver, but it can certainly take some notes and apply the lessons learned to our own unique situation. On a side note, it will be interesting to see how the Stapleton development pans out in the next 10 to 15 years, especially considering the brownfield sites along the 131 corridor which could eventually be modeled after the former Denver airport.

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^^^

Great read Dad. Thanks for the link! I dont think GR will ever be like Denver, but it can certainly take some notes and apply the lessons learned to our own unique situation. On a side note, it will be interesting to see how the Stapleton development pans out in the next 10 to 15 years, especially considering the brownfield sites along the 131 corridor which could eventually be modeled after the former Denver airport.

A lot can happen in 20 years. Obviously we couldn't catch Denver's population anytime soon, but I was in Denver several times in the early to mid 80's and it was nothing like it is today. No light rail, no cleaned up Platte River, no mixed-use developments, and the downtown shut its doors after 5:00.

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Pedicabs were out today doing demonstration runs at Rivertown Mall, taking people from the rear entrance under Celebration Cinema/Cinemark to their cars and vice versa. The man I talked to operating one of the pedicabs says he expects to be in full service downtown sometime in February.

The Pedicabs themselves look quite nice. Padded leather seats, headlights, tail lights, and even turn signals. If I wasn't already excited before, seeing them in action really got me pumped. I can't wait for February!

Edit:

http://www.elitepedicabsllc.com/ Was printed on the rear of the Pedicabs.

Edited by tSlater

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Chris Knape asks a few questions about the BRT and potential for a streetcar system in his latest blog post. What do you think about bridging east and west opposed to north and south within the city? I think I agree with what he is saying, it takes little time to go north and south within the city, mostly because of being able to easily access 131. I agree with Knape, heading east to west can be time consuming at rush hour. What are your thoughts on his blog post?

Edited by Jocar

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Knape raises some of the very same questions we did last year and before. Now that I've looked into the matter I see ITP's rationale, but agree that there are more opportunities in the metro area for other forms of express transit.

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Chris Knape asks a few questions about the BRT and potential for a streetcar system in his latest blog post. What do you think about bridging east and west opposed to north and south within the city? I think I agree with what he is saying, it takes little time to go north and south within the city, mostly because of being able to easily access 131. I agree with Knape, heading east to west can be time consuming at rush hour. What are your thoughts on his blog post?

Amazing - even a reporter can see there's no real transit need on the route :whistling:

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We have to put transit upgrades in any other corridors into the federal funding context. ITP is just going to have to continue to rely on the feds for a majority of capital costs for any future projects. As a consequence, ITP will have to deal with the Fed's requirements.

The Division route is the most Fed friendly route in the city. IF I recall correctly, Division was just shy under the required 3,000/day ridership and no other corridor studied achieved that to my knowledge. ITP expected to break that ridership requirement either in '06 or mid '07(?)

EDIT: Also, look at the political side of things. See the decay down Division Ave. Or, the kind of future that has been sold to Division Ave. Business. They have been told that BRT will revitalize their corridor just as LRT, but at the fraction of the cost. With that kind of excitement, it's no wonder why this project is being push through.

Edited by Rizzo

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Rizzo is right. In order to qualify for federal funding for capital expenditures for new mass transit, it has to be a transit corridor that is already served by a transit line. In other words, if you want the feds to help pay for a light rail line on a particular corridor, the corridor already has to have heavy transit ridership by bus, and the light rail line would be used to "expand" and increase the ridership.

I agree that it seems like traveling from East to West and vice versa is much more troublesome and time-consuming than North to South (131 has the capacity for 100,000 cars+/day, which minimizes congestion). In addition to coming into the downtown area from EGR/Easttown area, think about people who commute in from the Allendale area and have to deal with dozens of traffic lights. Or think of the increased congestion on I-196 over the next 5 - 10 years with only two lanes in each direction (which it should stay that way and other options explored).

In other news, Charlotte's new Lynx Blue Line has reached 12,000 riders/day weekly ridership (9000/day were the estimates), and 22 - 25,000 riders on weekends when there are special events downtown (Bobcats or Panthers games or other big events):

http://www.charlotte.com/local/story/425300.html

It also sounds like a lot of people hopped on the new LRT line to go downtown to shop and sight-see over the holiday break. As part of their system, there are numerous park-n-ride stations at the stations that have free parking for paying riders, including a large parking ramp (1120 spaces!) near the furthest Southern terminus.

CATS Map

I thought all the critics say that light rail systems are boondoggles, and no one rides them.

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I know this was discussed briefly about a year ago, but in regards to those commuting to and from Allendale, I think it would be awesome if M6 were extended from Hudsonville (where it ends currently) to Coopersville and have it cut through Allendale or the area between Allendale and GVSU. There are no highways close to GVSU and with that area expanding I think it would be a great service to the Grand Rapids/Grand Haven/Holland area. From what I recollect this would be similar to the 31 Bypass (BTW what ever happened to those plans?) except further east. I know a lot of you are anti-car/highways, but this seems like it is necessary (LMD is always a mess).

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Thursday, Jan. 24th is the next meeting of the GT2's "Public Transportation Tomorrow" Task Force Meeting at The Rapid. It'd be great if we could get a strong contingent of 5 - 6 Planeteers to attend to show our support. It meets very early in the morning (7:30) so I understand it will be hard for people to attend, but I'm going to try my hardest to be there.

Items currently on the agenda at these meetings are the new Streetcar and BRT alignments with updates on status. Please let me know if you would like to attend, so that I can let them know who will be coming.

Thanks!

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I can be there but I may have to leave around 8 depending on when I work. (When I work at 9, I'm usually at Central from 7:30ish to 8.)

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Watco already had locomotives painted for Michigan Central Railway before the decision. Even started a homepage too :lol: I guess if you are hip to passenger train service (Amtrak) this may come as negative news. However, this isn't the last of it. NS will probably be back at it to unload assets while keeping their hands in the pot.

Edited by Rizzo

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ITP has their community report card out. For fiscal year 2007, The Rapid had another record breaking year with a ridership of 8,164,795. Total ridership is up 9.4% or 702,810 over fiscal year 2006. All fixed routes are seeing double digit growth.

Interesting right here, the "Air Porter" saw 124.5% increase. Van pools also saw a 163.2% increase.

http://www.ridetherapid.org/about/reports/ridership/

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ITP has their community report card out. For fiscal year 2007, The Rapid had another record breaking year with a ridership of 8,164,795. Total ridership is up 9.4% or 702,810 over fiscal year 2006. All fixed routes are seeing double digit growth.

Interesting right here, the "Air Porter" saw 124.5% increase. Van pools also saw a 163.2% increase.

http://www.ridetherapid.org/about/reports/ridership/

Wow! I remember when just a few years ago it was in the 6 Million range. And the Air Porter jumps up too! They were going to ditch that service the last time I heard due to low ridership.

Andy Guy of RapidGrowth and MLUI coined a good letter to the editor yesterday regarding expanded mass transit in Kent County. It got top spot on the editorial page too. :thumbsup:

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These double and even triple digit growth numbers are staggering. I think its pretty darn clear that public transit options beefier than the bus fleet we depend on now is needed or will soon be needed.

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These double and even triple digit growth numbers are staggering. I think its pretty darn clear that public transit options beefier than the bus fleet we depend on now is needed or will soon be needed.

One of the things that to me is really important is to get the time between buses down to 15 minutes or less. If I remember from looking at the schedule in the past, they have this on a couple of the lines during peak travel times, but that's about it.

When there is 30 or even 45 minutes between buses, it can make it a very inconvenient option because the times won't match up right with where you want to go so you'll have to get there really early or wait around a long time for the bus. Also, if you miss the bus you need it makes you really late getting to whereever you're going. It's kind of a chicken and egg problem, because they don't want to increase frequency if the buses are not full, but the buses might be emptier partly because of the inconvenience of non-frequent service.

When we were in Portland in 2005, I believe 6-8 of their highest traffic bus lines had 15 minute frequency at least all through the day and into the evening (and they were still full when we were headed downtown from the NE side). It made it much more convenient.

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I also agree that a 15 minute frequency time would be ideal. Some buses don't even run with 30 minute frequency, though. Some run at 1 hour. Boy was I frustrated one day when I hopped off the Division bus at 44th Street, only to look at my schedule and find that it had already gone by 5 minutes earlier. I walked all the way to 44th & Kalamazoo, and a little beyond that (Outside Mr. Burger) before the next bus went by.

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