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allbusiness

Holland/Grand Rapids transit link?

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Monday's Macatawa Area Coordinating Council meeting broached the topic of areawide transit.

You have to register (free) to read their articles. Here's a synopsis;

"Getting to downtown Grand Rapids should be as easy as traveling through Europe, some local officials say....

Holland Mayor Al McGeehan said he was recently traveling overseas and was amazed by the mass transportation system in place.

MACC Policy Chairman Blaine Koops said he envisions the Holland area bus system, Macatawa Area Express, connecting with the Grand Rapids area bus system, The Rapid, in Allendale."

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I like their spirit, but why would they want to connect with the RAPID in Allendale? I think there may be some better ways to connect the two cities.

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I like their spirit, but why would they want to connect with the RAPID in Allendale? I think there may be some better ways to connect the two cities.

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They are "bus people" and don't think out of the box

PS: My screen name doesn't give away my interests ;)

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Actually, if you really like trains, and don't mind working a long day, there's always AMTRAK. You can board in DT GR at 7:35 AM and arrive in DT Holland at 8:21 am, put in your 13 hours, and ride back, leaving Holland at 9:21 pm and arriving in GR at 10:20 pm. All for just $5, each way.

Who says we don't have a commuter rail link?!? :thumbsup:

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Wonder how long it would take to drive a bus from Holland to Allendale (stopping at stop signs, bus stops, traffic lights, etc.)?

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Total Est. Time: 33 minutes Total Est. Distance: 19.14 miles

mapquest

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So 33 minutes from Holland to Allendale, and 27 minutes from Allendale to GR = a one hour commute. I think I can drive it in about 35 minutes (?)

Their hearts are in the right place though.

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Getting from Downtown Holland to Downtown GR through Allendale only makes sense if you haven't ever looked at a map ;)

A commuter bus, using I-196 would make much more sense.

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Monday's Macatawa Area Coordinating Council meeting broached the topic of areawide transit.

You have to register (free) to read their articles. Here's a synopsis;

"Getting to downtown Grand Rapids should be as easy as traveling through Europe, some local officials say....

Holland Mayor Al McGeehan said he was recently traveling overseas and was amazed by the mass transportation system in place.

MACC Policy Chairman Blaine Koops said he envisions the Holland area bus system, Macatawa Area Express, connecting with the Grand Rapids area bus system, The Rapid, in Allendale."

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Time to think outside the silo. We need a a regional transit system starting with Kent Muskegon and Ottawa counties. We should have a triangular light rail system connecting Grand Rapids, Holland, Grand Haven, Muskegon, back to Grand Rapids. The buses should connect to to the rail stations. To pay for it, we should scrap the US 31 bypass boondoggle and use the money to start the rail construction on the existing rail rights of way.

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I have difficulty determining who would ride the regional triangle route. How many people live close enough to a bus route in one of the cities with a destination close to a bus route in another city and are willing to wait twice in a transfer station and take a train for approximately an hour between stations. If they have drive to a bus or train station, they might just as well make the trip by car in 30 minutes. 20 mpg = 1.5 gallons of gas $3.00 gal = $4.50. I don't think there's much demand for the service. FYI - the rail is in place and usable on 2 legs. It would need to be relaid from Muskegon to GR.

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Over 40,000 people commute between Muskegon and Ottawa Counties every day, and over 25,000 commute between Muskegon and Kent Counties every day. This is just people that live in one county and work in the other. I don't know what the numbers are for Ottawa and Kent Counties. With gas heading towards $4.00 a gallon and with the stress of driving on the highway twice a day, I suspect a lot of people would take the train if one were available.

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What happens is is that you then have to get people to their place of work via some kind of shuttle bus system from multiple stations, and how many riders are you going to convert from driving car to riding rail if they have to a) park at a park-n-ride b) ride the train for 20 minutes or so, c) transfer to a bus, d) ride the bus for 15 or more minutes, e) HOPE the bus passes by their work, etc?

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Traffic counts are the only motivators of a rail transit option?

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Over 40,000 people commute between Muskegon and Ottawa Counties every day, and over 25,000 commute between Muskegon and Kent Counties every day. This is just people that live in one county and work in the other. I don't know what the numbers are for Ottawa and Kent Counties. With gas heading towards $4.00 a gallon and with the stress of driving on the highway twice a day, I suspect a lot of people would take the train if one were available.

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Larry:

Many UP-GR folks are very pragmatic and don't like to present the image of being out front ahead of trends like you are now about something that is as progressive and obviously needed for a burgeoning Metro Triplex like the Grand Rapids-Muskegon-Holland triangle. A system like a Chicago METRA-style commuter rail with hub stations at Central Station in downtown GR, at the former Muskegon Mall site in downtown Muskegon, at a key site in downtown Holland and with a secondary hub at the Grand Landing development in Grand Haven, would be a logical end-game for the I-196/I-96/US-31 triangle corridors. An express bus system could be used in the interim to grow the ridership density needed and establish/preserve the station real estate for the future commuter rail upgrade.

Regardless of the phasing scenario, the endpoints of the Metro Triangle are going to benefit hugely from coordinating to make it so that the majority of the public wishing to traverse between the Metro Triplex's hubs will have maximum independence and opportunity to do so at their individual conveniences. The continued increasing attractiveness of Michigan's Adventure, Heritage Landing, the Grand Haven/Holland/Muskegon beaches and downtown GR in general are going to make interconnected movement in the metro triangle mandatory for maximizing their combined economic potential.

That's how Europe metro areas are set up. We have the regional setup to be such a model for the rest of Michigan. Let's get busy . . . .

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So, what do we need to do to get the ball rolling on this? As far as Muskegon, we still have a rail line downtown and city owned land adjacent to it.

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We can always use an extra person over at the GR transit forum. We've been formulating quite a bit of plan for light-rail in the core cities. Now that the streetcar is officially being looked at this could be the "ball rolling." Heck, when the study comes out and determines investment spin off in the hundreds of millions dollars it might get people thinking of alternative transit beyond Downtown. This might lead to transit links to Holland and Muskegon. During my quest to learn this stuff I've talked to industry insiders that speculate a startup light-rail system in the metro area can be done inexpensively -- none of this $50 million / mile gibberish.

Can you imagine? The lake shore suburbs have what the city wants (escape) and Downtown has what the suburbs want (night-life) This could be an attractive link for these two markets to converge!

BTW, I don't think it would hurt to contact your local leaders and tell them what you think.

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Sorry about that, its a thread in the Grand Rapids forum: http://www.urbanplanet.org/forums/Transit-...rea-t24613.html

Also, if I remember correctly, transit planning is coordinated at the Grand Valley Metro Council. Muskegon county isn't currently included, but it may be able to seek inclusion? I have no idea if its possible, but could be something to look into to help plan a future transit link.

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