Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

houseofdon

Friends of Transit Needs Your Help!

21 posts in this topic

**This Thread has been approved by GRDad**

Greetings Pro-Transit advocates!

We're less than a week away from the May 8 Public Transit millage vote, and the Friends of Transit is looking for volunteers to help make sure we win! In case you haven't heard, we've faced some organized opposition this go-around (www.stoptherapid.org), so we definitely aren't taking anything for granted.

My firm is in charge of the campaign, so I thought I would turn to the good UP'ers who realize how important expanded transit is for GR's vitality. There are a number of ways you can help, but we really need people to help with "Get out the Vote" phone calls. There will be two phone banks running from now until the election (Saturday, if necessary). One at my office in the Waters Building downtown and the other Disability Advocates of Kent County (near CenterPointe mall).

If any of you have a few hours to spare for the cause, we'd be very grateful. Please reply to this thread, shoot me a PM, or call me at 616.235.9380 x17.

Thanks, and spread the word!!

- Don

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


... There are a number of ways you can help, but we really need people to help with "Get out the Vote" phone calls. ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I detest making phone calls, even non-robo calls. Where can I get a yard sign?

I would be happy to stand at a busy intersection with signage. Would rather sepend an hour waving at motorists than make even one 2-minute phone call.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don, you get PAID to support the Rapid. I have to PAY to support it.

On Saturday I was going down the E. Beltline from Calvin area down to Lowes/28th Steer. Next to me the entire trip was a 60 foot, empty GRATA bus rumbling along. The sign on the front said, Davenport, so I assume it was heading out to Caledonia, empty on a Saturday.

I decided right then and there how to vote...

www.stoptherapid.org

"The average transit bus only gets 3.65 miles per gallon <LI>Transit buses spew 50 times more pollution and 279 times more soot than a passenger car. <LI>Each RAPID bus costs $9.40 per mile to operate. A typical car costs about $0.22 per mile to operate. <LI>For each passenger that rides a RAPID bus, the RAPID loses $5.82. Taxpayers (that's us!) make up that amount to the tune of $30.7 million a year!"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Don, you get PAID to support the Rapid. I have to PAY to support it.

On Saturday I was going down the E. Beltline from Calvin area down to Lowes/28th Steer. Next to me the entire trip was a 60 foot, empty GRATA bus rumbling along. The sign on the front said, Davenport, so I assume it was heading out to Caledonia, empty on a Saturday.

I decided right then and there how to vote...

www.stoptherapid.org

"The average transit bus only gets 3.65 miles per gallon <LI>Transit buses spew 50 times more pollution and 279 times more soot than a passenger car. <LI>Each RAPID bus costs $9.40 per mile to operate. A typical car costs about $0.22 per mile to operate. <LI>For each passenger that rides a RAPID bus, the RAPID loses $5.82. Taxpayers (that's us!) make up that amount to the tune of $30.7 million a year!"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Don, you get PAID to support the Rapid. I have to PAY to support it.

On Saturday I was going down the E. Beltline from Calvin area down to Lowes/28th Steer. Next to me the entire trip was a 60 foot, empty GRATA bus rumbling along. The sign on the front said, Davenport, so I assume it was heading out to Caledonia, empty on a Saturday.

I decided right then and there how to vote...

www.stoptherapid.org

"The average transit bus only gets 3.65 miles per gallon <LI>Transit buses spew 50 times more pollution and 279 times more soot than a passenger car. <LI>Each RAPID bus costs $9.40 per mile to operate. A typical car costs about $0.22 per mile to operate. <LI>For each passenger that rides a RAPID bus, the RAPID loses $5.82. Taxpayers (that's us!) make up that amount to the tune of $30.7 million a year!"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
And how much does each driver have to pay to buy/lease their own vehicle(s) so they can access the "free" road system, and how many "empty" seats are there in most passenger vehicles (particularly the oversized gas hogs), and how much do non-drivers pay taxes to keep the road system up and running, and how many billions of dollars of maintenance and rehabilitation of our highway and streets have we had to defer because we don't have enough funding to pay the cost now (although we are "paying" now, one way or another), and how much is each driver subsidized to provide "free" parking almost everywhere they go? And who came up with the $.22/mile operating cost for a vehicle????? And that's just a few questions about the overall cost of using/building/maintaining the highway system. Before someone goes slamming public transit, they better get familiar with all the costs of providing/using transportation, apparent and hidden, all modes. Bottom line - we as a society don't have a clue as to what transportation actually does cost us so we distort the price, the allocation of resources, and the way we live to pretend it's a cheap commodity. Get really educated!

Btw, just in case someone thinks I'm a eco-nut or just anti-transportation, I've worked in the highway sector for 27 years....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Explorer - I don't disagree with you that the cost of driving a car are probably much higher than those I posted. I guess my real frustration is that regardless of cost WE DO NOT USE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION.

I travel quite a bit. The only place I have seen where public transportation "works" and becomes a viable option is when growth/congestion gets so bad, and the cost of parking so high, that mass transit makes sense. That is not Grand Rapids. I see empty busses all day long.

This millage request is a TAX INCREASE for a system that appears to be less than efficient. Lets put some cash into replaceing the ash trees (7000 lost in GR alone), opening the pools, or fixing potholes. An outdoor music venue would be nice. Or blocking the Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes. Etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


So get rid of public transportation when it's starting look like we really need it. I'm guessing you're one of thoes folks who dosen't subscribe to the facts. "Libertarian Facts" aren't the same as plain old facts.

If you are an outraged taxpayer (you shouldn't be) please find actual fleecing to gripe about.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to agree to an extent that the detractors at the site raise some interesting points. Yes, obviously most of us do not look at what the true cost of driving and parking our cars is. And I believe that people can be pro-transit and also skeptical of how the RAPID is running their operations. No one is without scrutiny, especially when receiving taxpayer funding. I don't think responding to detractors by calling them "extremists" is also not a very effective strategy (as the RAPID did). I agree that adding more hybrid buses (which stoptherapid advocates) is a great idea, to cut down on fuel use. Instead of buying standard length buses for every route, whey not buy longer articulated buses with more capacity on heavier routes, and buy smaller buses for lower ridership routes? Why would those ideas be deemed "extreme"?

I think there are many reasons why bus use isn't more widespread in the area. Isn't part of this tax increase to not just "expand" the current routes but to "streamline" them to be more cost-effective?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

N/M I welcome scrutiny of ITP. I'm sure they'll have answers. I just think voting no is extreme by seeing an empty bus probably midway to its destination. I believe the empty bus reason has been refuted quite a bit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ITP has provided a genuine service and has demonstrated in its abilities to be fiscally responsible and reasonable in its requests. You don't get annual ridership up 15.2% by being irresponsible with tax money. In fact I think this community in its "no tax" philosophy would not allow it to exist. When I see the Democrats and Republicans voicing the same conclusion I take notice. Anytime I read the list of supporters for this millage and the Chambers -- I take notice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

True, but I understand ITPs frustration, even if it they use "names." I'm not too sure what ITP used to counter this "No" group.

I really haven't seen any countering on this millage, except well wishes and blessings in the Public Pulse. I'm concerned that this millage, if passed, will give ITP a big head. Lets not get ahead of ourselves and loose it-- that sort of thing. In that event, it could hurt GR's chances at improved transit options ie. our light rail.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ITP does use different buses for different routes. Division, Eastern and the other busy routes have bigger buses than other routes do. I think ITP is trying to be as effecient as they can be. Frequency changes based on peak ridership times throughout the day, and they stop running at different times based on ridership numbers as well.

The other thing is that for about half of the riders, the bus is their ONLY way to get to work. Cutting routes, or frequency can have enormous repercussions on the lives of thousands of people.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A few years ago I would have agreed with the "empty bus" arguement. With weekend and extended evening hours, the buses have more riders than in the past and the buses are not empty anymore.

My problem with the "vote no" group is they make general statements like the Rapid is inefficient and doesn't use the money they have wisely but do not give specific examples or suggestions on how to improve.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


A few years ago I would have agreed with the "empty bus" arguement. With weekend and extended evening hours, the buses have more riders than in the past and the buses are not empty anymore.

My problem with the "vote no" group is they make general statements like the Rapid is inefficient and doesn't use the money they have wisely but do not give specific examples or suggestions on how to improve.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
A few years ago I would have agreed with the "empty bus" arguement. With weekend and extended evening hours, the buses have more riders than in the past and the buses are not empty anymore.

My problem with the "vote no" group is they make general statements like the Rapid is inefficient and doesn't use the money they have wisely but do not give specific examples or suggestions on how to improve.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Explorer - I don't disagree with you that the cost of driving a car are probably much higher than those I posted. I guess my real frustration is that regardless of cost WE DO NOT USE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION.

I travel quite a bit. The only place I have seen where public transportation "works" and becomes a viable option is when growth/congestion gets so bad, and the cost of parking so high, that mass transit makes sense. That is not Grand Rapids. I see empty busses all day long.

This millage request is a TAX INCREASE for a system that appears to be less than efficient. Lets put some cash into replaceing the ash trees (7000 lost in GR alone), opening the pools, or fixing potholes. An outdoor music venue would be nice. Or blocking the Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes. Etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

UrbanPlanet owns and operates this website.

http://www.transitfacts.com/

We can make changes for you guys if you need it or would like to see something on the page to help in your campaign. It would help if someone has the time to help with it though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
UrbanPlanet owns and operates this website.

http://www.transitfacts.com/

We can make changes for you guys if you need it or would like to see something on the page to help in your campaign. It would help if someone has the time to help with it though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ITP does use different buses for different routes. Division, Eastern and the other busy routes have bigger buses than other routes do. I think ITP is trying to be as effecient as they can be. Frequency changes based on peak ridership times throughout the day, and they stop running at different times based on ridership numbers as well.

The other thing is that for about half of the riders, the bus is their ONLY way to get to work. Cutting routes, or frequency can have enormous repercussions on the lives of thousands of people.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.