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Transit Updates for Greater Grand Rapids


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And well deserved I might add. As a frequent reader and infrequent poster I appreciated all of the time and effort I see many Planeteers put into reports, sketches, etc. I know it take a lot of work, and the fact that there are so many wonderful in depth things to be found shows the geniune passion you all have for quality urban planning, development, transit, sustainability, etc.

So Kudos to Rizzo, and to all my fellow Planeteers. :hi:

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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....?  

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Indeed. It's taking me weeks to work on my open-air marketplace rendering, meanwhile Tamias seems to be able to crank out model after model all whilst Rizzo is off creating in-depth reports complete with visuals of streetcars on Ionia. Major kudos! (And in inspiring me to get off my rump and work on my own contribution of sorts!)

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Just read this...

The ordinance prohibiting hailing a cab has been repealed! We will now be able to hail a cab on the streets of downtown Grand Rapids.

Not sure I understand Mr. Jendrasiak's claim that it will increase fuel consumption...

Link: http://blog.mlive.com/grpress/2008/04/soon...al_to_hail.html

Would you expect JJ to vote with the crowd?

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Is there a big taxi presence in GR?

I know there's the one that uses hybrids and I'm sure there's some sort of taxi service for the airports - but I've never seen an actual taxi cab downtown before - then again I am not in downtown much.

you must not be DT very much.. theres calder city, yellow cab company, another normal cab company (the name escapes me) , and the green taxi

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Is there a big taxi presence in GR?

I know there's the one that uses hybrids and I'm sure there's some sort of taxi service for the airports - but I've never seen an actual taxi cab downtown before - then again I am not in downtown much.

There haven't been many because cabs were not allowed to pick up unscheduled fares. In cities like Chicago, one can walk down the sidewalk, stick up an arm, and hail a cab. That has been, for the most part, illegal in Grand Rapids. Riders instead had to call ahead and schedule a pick-up.

I think we'll be seeing a lot more taxi activity as soon as this goes into effect. I am 100% in favor of this move by the Commission, and I will take advantage of it at the first opportunity. :)

Edited by Sailor
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There haven't been many because cabs were not allowed to pick up unscheduled fares. In cities like Chicago, one can walk down the sidewalk, stick up an arm, and hail a cab. That has been, for the most part, illegal in Grand Rapids. Riders instead had to call ahead and schedule a pick-up.

I think we'll be seeing a lot more taxi activity as soon as this goes into effect. I am 100% in favor of this move by the Commission, and I will take advantage of it at the first opportunity.

Hailing a cab was illegal? I had no idea.

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I would have to say that a more robust taxi presence would be beneficial considering that you can be anywhere on the street and hail a cab for a ride to somewhere. Given the fact (and let's be realistic here) that we won't have any streetcar or train systems for a few years - having more taxis in the area would sure help public transit a lot more.

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I would have to say that a more robust taxi presence would be beneficial considering that you can be anywhere on the street and hail a cab for a ride to somewhere. Given the fact (and let's be realistic here) that we won't have any streetcar or train systems for a few years - having more taxis in the area would sure help public transit a lot more.

I think it'll be beneficial, too. My first thought was how it'll benefit shoppers. I've seen this happen (and I've done it myself, I admit)...people will decide not to buy something if they have to lug it too far back to the car, especially if it's heavy or fragile. I also think it'll help with bars and evening entertainment venues. Park in one place, grab dinner, and hop in a cab to the arena.

Or, as in my case, one can live close to downtown and decide to have an evening out that involves adult beverages, and be able to hail a cab back home. ;)

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I'm not so sure I like this idea. I am happy the law was repealed, but if more taxi companies set up shop, would that mean more competition against a streetcar proposal? I really don't want to see the taxi companies fighting against a streetcar line on the basis of running them out of business. Is this a well founded concern or am I just way too worried?

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I'm not so sure I like this idea. I am happy the law was repealed, but if more taxi companies set up shop, would that mean more competition against a streetcar proposal? I really don't want to see the taxi companies fighting against a streetcar line on the basis of running them out of business. Is this a well founded concern or am I just way too worried?

I can see both sides to this really...but I think the argument could be made that if a streetcar system was implemented - you can always have taxis dropping people off at the stations. To me anyways, it seems the more transit options you have in a city - the better and more attractive your city looks to developers, and the more public transit becomes in use.

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In related news, Port City Cab has closed its Grand Rapids office and is no longer providing service here. (Heard this a couple days ago.) I wonder if they are now regretting that deciscion?

Port City Cab is based out of Muskegon. Maybe they pulled out of Grand Rapids because they wouldn't meet the new requirements that were changed with this repeal? Here is a quote from the article:

"The ordinance changes also tighten up requirements for out-of-town cab companies and clarifies the ordinance on the prosecution for non-payment for cab rides."

d8alterego, maybe the "tighten up requirements for out-of-town" companies will curb many or any new cab companies to start up shot in Grand Rapids.

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I can see both sides to this really...but I think the argument could be made that if a streetcar system was implemented - you can always have taxis dropping people off at the stations. To me anyways, it seems the more transit options you have in a city - the better and more attractive your city looks to developers, and the more public transit becomes in use.

I would have to agree with this. d8alterego has a point, but I think a streecar system and a larger taxi network would complement each other. If someone isn't within walking distance to a streecar station, they could hop in a cab to get to the nearest one.

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Yes, now that I think about it, years ago when I lived in GR I would have to call a cab for a ride. I live in Chicago now, but will be moving back to the ever improving GR. I hail cabs all the time in Chicago (no car needed here by me). It's what you do. I think it will be wonderful in GR for visiting conventioneers, concert goers, bar hoppers, and those like me-----who will try living in central GR without a car.

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I don't think the repealing of this law is going to make that much of a difference. With the exception of the hotels and bars on weekends, I don't know if there is going to be that much demand for people to hail cabs from sidewalks. Not enough, anyway, for cab drivers to spend all day consuming $3.50 a gallon looking for fares.

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I dont think this law makes any difference... I say this because I believe the law was changed due t the fact that it was obsolete i.e. no one followed it anymore... If you go out on any night of the week you can hail a taxi anytime.. they dont care, and on busy nights they just sit outside the bars waiting to pick people up.

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Am I the only one that thinks the Pere Marquette is being underutilized as a possible foot in the door approach to a metro transit system? Essentially, area leaders want to run buses between Holland and Grand Rapids, but there is already transit running between these cities -- Amtrak. A funding mechanism is already in place for this option, it works and it's seeing some real gains in ridership. Maybe it's time at seeing how the line can be upgraded with improvements to allow more frequency and strict timetable.
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Am I the only one that thinks the Pere Marquette is being underutilized as a possible foot in the door approach to a metro transit system? Essentially, area leaders want to run buses between Holland and Grand Rapids, but there is already transit running between these cities -- Amtrak. A funding mechanism is already in place for this option, it works and it's seeing some real gains in ridership. Maybe it's time at seeing how the line can be upgraded with improvements to allow more frequency and strict timetable.

Interesting you mention this - because I was just thinking about Belding and Greenville that have old railroad stations next to railroads that are currently not in use (although I've been informed that there is talks in the coming years of converting this into an extension of the Fred Meijer Trail....thanks Fred <_< ) ...and even though that's a stretch - the rail connects down to lowell and then zips over to GR which would make a great point that transit needs to be extended beyond GR and Kent County...

The Belding Depot (also named Pere Marquette Depot) was vacant back in its day

7835e9bb.jpg

And here's what it looks like today:

rrdbelding.jpg

Belding currently uses this for town hall meetings - it's been completely renovated and landscaped outside (sorry I don't have more pictures)

The one in Greenville isn't being used - and I do believe it is still there and standing:

rrdgreenville.jpg

Edited by blueradon
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On the Pere Marquette idea. MDOT could invest in passing sidings and other capital improvements between downtown and Holland. The improvements could allow a more flexible option between CSX and Amtrak, especially where timetable and frequency is of concern. MDOT can still keep a Chitown connection at once a day, but in between contract with Amtrak to provide a Holland to GR connection with stops in between. That service would be non-reservation and tickets purchased aboard. The service may also be branded to reflect a commuter friendly option.

Edited by Rizzo
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