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  #681  
Old Posted Jun 14, 2018, 2:10 PM
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I'm not sure what exactly this is, either, though it definitely sounds more like a marketing job than some new technology. My understanding is that it's basically a way for Telsa to test its own autonomous vehicles.

The main benefit to the city is that Telsa pays for the boring. And the benefit to Detroit in particular is since the RTA is still not completely functional, that something confined to pro-transit Wayne County could actually get done without the Oakland County and Macomb County vetoeing it, which is essentially what they are doing with the transit millage.
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  #682  
Old Posted Jun 14, 2018, 3:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Busy Bee View Post
I still don't understand how Musk's companies tunnels are constructed any differently than literally any other modern bored tunnel.
They're not. It's just a smaller diameter, so less spoils need to be removed and hauled away (trucking soil is actually hugely expensive and will only get moreso as gas increases in cost) and it's largely automated so it gets by with fewer of those costly union workers. That's pretty much the two biggest differences, it's very similar to a sewer tunnel.

Also it seems like his system is a "dumb tunnel, smart vehicle" system so there's very little inside the tunnel itself, no signals, tracks or power distribution, which means no substations, relay rooms, etc, just a pure tunnel. Plus, no expensive union workers to build those systems either. The only ancillary aspect is ventilation, which I'm sure authorities will require so that passengers don't suffocate in the event of a fire, and emergency exits so that passengers can escape and don't have to walk many miles to get out.

I don't automatically see a reason to be skeptical here. I'm not the biggest fan of Musk, but I don't scoff either. Henry Ford and Thomas Edison were also douchebags with a cult of personality, but through a combination of business savvy, ambition and ruthlessness, as well as innovation, they still changed the lives of every human on the planet. Even in the fixed-guideway transit realm, we've seen plenty of unusual systems get designed and built without setting piles of money on fire. It's only in America that we're all so cynical about big projects, because we're so accustomed to a broken bidding/construction process and very inconsistent support for transportation from governments.

Also, I've said it before: people need to stop claiming that this is the future of public transit, because it won't work to move large numbers of people. Musk himself, as well as his fanbois are guilty of this. But it seems well-suited for a relatively small, niche group of travelers willing to pay top dollar for speed and efficiency - like, say, an airport express or a train to ski resorts. TBH, I'm not sure there is a business case in Detroit. Well-heeled business travelers might be going to downtown, but more likely they'e going to Auburn Hills, Farmington, Troy, etc.
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Last edited by ardecila; Jun 14, 2018 at 3:18 PM.
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  #683  
Old Posted Jun 14, 2018, 4:07 PM
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
They're not. It's just a smaller diameter, so less spoils need to be removed and hauled away (trucking soil is actually hugely expensive and will only get moreso as gas increases in cost) and it's largely automated so it gets by with fewer of those costly union workers. That's pretty much the two biggest differences, it's very similar to a sewer tunnel.

Also it seems like his system is a "dumb tunnel, smart vehicle" system so there's very little inside the tunnel itself, no signals, tracks or power distribution, which means no substations, relay rooms, etc, just a pure tunnel. Plus, no expensive union workers to build those systems either. The only ancillary aspect is ventilation, which I'm sure authorities will require so that passengers don't suffocate in the event of a fire, and emergency exits so that passengers can escape and don't have to walk many miles to get out.

I don't automatically see a reason to be skeptical here. I'm not the biggest fan of Musk, but I don't scoff either. Henry Ford and Thomas Edison were also douchebags with a cult of personality, but through a combination of business savvy, ambition and ruthlessness, as well as innovation, they still changed the lives of every human on the planet. Even in the fixed-guideway transit realm, we've seen plenty of unusual systems get designed and built without setting piles of money on fire. It's only in America that we're all so cynical about big projects, because we're so accustomed to a broken bidding/construction process and very inconsistent support for transportation from governments.

Also, I've said it before: people need to stop claiming that this is the future of public transit, because it won't work to move large numbers of people. Musk himself, as well as his fanbois are guilty of this. But it seems well-suited for a relatively small, niche group of travelers willing to pay top dollar for speed and efficiency - like, say, an airport express or a train to ski resorts. TBH, I'm not sure there is a business case in Detroit. Well-heeled business travelers might be going to downtown, but more likely they'e going to Auburn Hills, Farmington, Troy, etc.

Poignant. But I think the hyperloop's usefulness will be much greater than a just serving a niche market if one is built out in the right ways. I think the appeal is that, with such a fast method of travel, you could push through a lot more vehicles. An unobstructed tunnel hundreds of miles long with the right on-boarding and off-boarding tech could change commuting and living patterns forever.
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  #684  
Old Posted Jun 14, 2018, 4:11 PM
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If the biggest obstacle to projects like these are capital costs, then it doesn't really need a business excuse, at least not right away. You'll eventually need money to maintain it, but taking out the cost of actually building the thing is a BFD. In any case, office space for major corporations is re-centering downtown, so something like this would be used more and more. And linking the airport to downtown and Oakland County has been a part of every transit masterplan created in recent years.

For me, if this could ultimately be used for mass transit, even if shared with some other mode, it's a great means to an end as far as I'm concerned. If the plan is only to allow some little automated pods or individual vehicles to whisk people along like some glorified episode of The Jetsons, I'm not really personally interested, but it'd ultimately be up to the county to see if they wanted to take this on.
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  #685  
Old Posted Jun 14, 2018, 9:11 PM
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
Also it seems like his system is a "dumb tunnel, smart vehicle" system so there's very little inside the tunnel itself, no signals, tracks or power distribution, which means no substations, relay rooms, etc, just a pure tunnel. Plus, no expensive union workers to build those systems either. The only ancillary aspect is ventilation, which I'm sure authorities will require so that passengers don't suffocate in the event of a fire, and emergency exits so that passengers can escape and don't have to walk many miles to get out.
See this I don't understand. Once you figure in the government (and just common sense) required safety features of air that's compatible with human life and egress in the event of skin melting, how is the construction of Musk tunnels exponentially less costly than any other? Less concrete in the form of fewer/smaller preformed concrete lining units because of smaller diameter? OK, check. Less "expensive union workers" hauling fewer loads of dirt and boulders because of smaller diameter? OK, check. Besides the fact that even the latter could probably, through some ingenuity, be addressed with any tunnel boring operation though the use of conveyors dumping into railcars if within proximity to rail (no prob here in Chicago) or barges requiring much less human labor.

Anyway, I'm rambling. This is a believe it when I see it situation for me. I'm just not convinced that this is some sort of [cost/impact] panacea that others seem to think.
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  #686  
Old Posted Jun 15, 2018, 2:37 AM
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When I worked in federally funded housing, developers tried to avoid hitting certain triggers for Davis Bacon/federal prevailing wage requirements. All infrastructure projects, as far as I know, can’t avoid this. If Davis Bacon was triggered for housing, go ahead and add $25 per square foot to the cost. On a $15 million dollar project, you’re looking at another $1-2 million in labor costs depending on the product. I imagine this would be quite a bit higher still under the “Highway” Davis Bacon rate, which most certainly would apply to a government-funded tunnel.
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  #687  
Old Posted Jun 15, 2018, 4:05 AM
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  #688  
Old Posted Jul 6, 2018, 12:33 AM
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Gordie Howie Bridge to start construction this fall.
It will be a cable-stayed design with a length of 1.5 miles and a half mile between spans with both towers about the same height as the Ren Cen. It'll have 6 lanes of traffic, a bicycle/pedestrian path on the Downtown Detroit facing side of the bridge, and a decent 60 booths split between the ports of entry.



The span will make it the longest in the US and 6th longest in the world. Though by the time it's completed in 2022, there will be quite a few new bridges in China that will be longer. The design is still considered "conceptual" but it won't probably vary too much from the "A" shape design.

https://www.freep.com/story/money/20...der/758238002/
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  #689  
Old Posted Jul 6, 2018, 1:16 AM
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It looks beautiful, will the bike/pedestrian path face the city skyline?
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  #690  
Old Posted Jul 6, 2018, 6:52 AM
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And, of course, the requisite saga from the opposition.

Quote:

An Appeal to Patriotism in the Hopes of Blocking a Canadian Bridge to Detroit
Jul 4, 2018 at 5:00 PM by James Brasuell

Todd Spangler reports on a new chapter in the battle by the Moroun family, "which owns and operates Detroit's Ambassador Bridge," to keep a rival bridge from being built to bridge Detroit to Canada. The Morouns have spent years "arguing that a Canadian-built, Canadian-financed rival bridge makes no economic sense, violates the law and will unfairly hurt its business," according to Spangler.
Source: https://www.planetizen.com/news/2018...bridge-detroit
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  #691  
Old Posted Jul 7, 2018, 9:22 AM
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That's sweet btw that Detroit will be getting the longest span in the US & or N.A.

I'm glad to see Crain's doing the Gordie Howe Bridge a solid by listing American firms to be involved.

Matty can do damage as we've seen mainly because he can use his pile of money to rail against the public project trying to coopt his cause into the national MAGA movement.

The people have already spoken the constitutional amendment proposed by Matty to make bridges a political & fiscal issue that require a plebiscite was shot down. Trying to get the federal government to step in and mess with the "shovel ready" project could throw a wrench into the project but it may guarantee a wave of Democrat's being elected in November & 2020.


Quote:
Companies selected to build Gordie Howe bridge

By CHAD LIVENGOOD
Crain's Detroit Business
July 05, 2018

-Team of primarily Canadian companies to construct Gordie Howe International Bridge
-Bridge towers will rival Renaissance Center in height
-Contract, cost and construction timeline won't be disclosed until late September

The Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority on Thursday announced a team of companies consisting of ACS Infrastructure Canada Inc., Fluor Canada Ltd. and Dragados Canada Inc. that will lead the years-long construction of the new Detroit Rivier bridge and finance the project through a public-private partnership.

The companies formed the Bridging North America partnership that won bidding to build the long-sought second bridge connecting Detroit and Windsor and the busiest trade passage along the U.S. and Canadian border.

Dwight Duncan, chairman of the international bridge authority's board of directors, said major construction will begin this fall after years of political and legal battles, namely with the family of Ambassador Bridge owner Manuel "Matty" Moroun.

"This bridge is going ahead," Duncan said. "... There are always going to be obstacles — there will be physical challenges, engineering challenges moving forward. But we will move forward."

The other firms in the Bridging North American consortium include:

• AECOM, Los Angeles-based infrastructure construction firm

• RBC Dominion Securities Inc. (subsidiary of the Royal Bank of Canada).

• Carlos Fernandez Casado S.L/FHECOR Ingenieros Consultores, S.A.

• Moriyama & Teshima, a Toronto-based architectural firm.

• Smith-Miller & Hawkinson, a New York-based architectural firm.

ACS Infrastructure Canada Inc. and Dragados Canada Inc. are infrastructure construction firms based in Toronto.

AECOM has a local office in Detroit's Penobscot Building.

Fluor Canada Ltd., a Calgary-based construction and engineering firm, is a subsidiary of Irving, Texas-based Fluor Corp.
http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article...ie-howe-bridge
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  #692  
Old Posted Jul 8, 2018, 3:09 AM
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It looks beautiful, will the bike/pedestrian path face the city skyline?
Yep.
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  #693  
Old Posted Jul 11, 2018, 6:11 PM
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Looks very nice.
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  #694  
Old Posted Aug 24, 2018, 11:39 AM
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Finally, some work has been done on making transfers between SMART and DDOT more seamless. Hopefully, this comes to fruition.

Quote:
DDOT, SMART roll out proposal to cut transfer fares, simplify pass offerings

By Kurt Nagl, Crain's Detroit Business

August 23, 2018

Metro Detroit's major bus systems are eliminating transfer fares, adding a mobile payment app and cutting pass options in hopes of simplifying the transit systems.

The Detroit Department of Transportation and Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation are proposing the changes, which they say will lower costs for customers and smooth over confusion about passes and transfers, according to a city news release.

If approved by City Council, the proposal would eliminate all transfer fares between the two systems and allow riders to purchase and store passes on mobile phones, as well as purchase them at an additional 40 to-be-determined locations across the city.

The proposal goes before council in November and could be approved as soon as December.
Details:

Quote:
Per the release, the new passes include:
  • A four-hour regional ride pass on any route with unlimited transfers between DDOT and SMART for $2, with a reduced fare price of 50 cents for qualified riders.
  • A 24-hour regional pass with unlimited transfers between DDOT and SMART for $5, with a reduced price of $2.
  • A seven-day DDOT-only pass for $17, with a reduced price of $8.
  • A seven-day regional pass for $22, with a reduced price of $10.
  • A 31-day DDOT-only pass for $60, with a reduced price of $17.
  • A new 31-day regional pass, good for unlimited rides on both DDOT and SMART, reduced from $70 to $29.
  • The 31-day regional pass would replace the Regional Pass and Regional Plus pass being used now. Under the new system, SMART will still offer its SMART-only passes.

Another big change includes DDOT changing its pass expiration policy to match that of SMART. Instead of expiring at the end of the week or month, the passes would be active for a full seven or 31 days after date of purchase. Base fares for riders younger than 18 years old are being reduced to 50 cents on each system from $1 on SMART and 75 cents on DDOT.
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  #695  
Old Posted Aug 27, 2018, 4:14 AM
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http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article...ne-on-woodward

Detroit's mayor Mike Duggan mentioning that he prefers the QLine with dedicated lanes. If and when the city gets funding, it would extend the line past New Center up Woodward and he also envisions a line going down Jefferson east of downtown.

So at the very least, the Mayor is on board with expanding the system. The biggest uncertainty at this point is whether the city's finances are ready to cover construction and maintenance costs of even just the current 3.3 miles let alone an expansion. Still quite a ways away from the city taking ownership of local transit.
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  #696  
Old Posted Aug 27, 2018, 8:31 AM
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There is no way it'd be the city funding and developing this; the city is just now able to start investing back into DDOT. The plan all along is that the RTA would eventually take over operation, planning, etc.
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  #697  
Old Posted Aug 27, 2018, 11:18 AM
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The RTA seems like a joke at this point. They're still trying to get voters to pass funding for buses for the next 20 years. I think the city's finances would stabilize to the point of being able to take over light rail projects before then.

I mean, the RTA's main reason for existing is to satisfy a federal requirement in order to get funding for projects. But I don't think the US government is focused on transit right now so that might as well be a lost cause. That's still not even considering the fact the the region as a whole is still pretty divided on the direction of mass transit let alone funding for it.

The most logical but more risky move is for the city to lead on local mass transit. Where else is there momentum to move forward?
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  #698  
Old Posted Aug 27, 2018, 11:41 AM
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The RTA was created to eventually operate and/or own DDOT and SMART, to be truthful, and in its early phase to better coordinate the various projects and cooperations of the different agencies, which has happened to some degrees, FAST and Reflex being two demonstrations of that.

SEMCOG was already the agency/organ through which federal money was parceled out to the transit agencies of the region, and it could have gone on in that role forever. So that's definitely not why the RTA was created. In any case, we're very likely to see, this year, a change both in administration in the governor's office and at least one house of the legislature. The problem with the RTA has been one of politics more than anything else, and that can be fixed with a pro-transit administration.

Short of any fixes to the RTA, though, what is likely to happen and has been hinted at is that the M-1 Rail would keep operating the QLine. I've just don't see DDOT wanting to take it on. I really don't think this is going to end up being a problem, though; I'm cautiously optimistic about how things will go this November.
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  #699  
Old Posted Aug 28, 2018, 11:42 PM
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DDOT to add over 500 rides per week, Wi-Fi on ConnectTen buses

Quote:
ConnectTen—the ten most popular routes in the city—will add over 500 trips in the city per week, mainly at peak times. These times will be from 6-9 a.m. and 3-6 p.m. on weekdays, at 15 minute frequencies.


City of Detroit
The changes—including 24-hour routes on West Vernor and Greenfield—take effect September 1.

The whole system is in the process of improving and rebranding, which includes the new look of the buses and Wi-Fi on ConnectTen buses by the end of September.

DDOT will also continue its partnership with Lyft that started earlier this year. According to the city, “Customers will now receive a $7 Lyft ride credit for rides to or from any ConnectTen route, outside of the downtown area, between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m., Monday through Friday.”
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  #700  
Old Posted Aug 29, 2018, 10:39 AM
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The News' take on this with a bit more detail. DDOT is now up to tweleve 24-hour routes. This is a pretty big deal:

Riding the bus in Detroit soon will be quicker during peak hours


Todd McInturf | The Detroit News

Quote:
Detroit — Relief is on the way for those tired of waiting in sweltering heat and freezing snow for a bus to arrive.

Announced Tuesday, DDOT's ConnectTen service will add 500 trips a week every 15 minutes during peak hours on the 10 most-popular routes beginning Sept. 1. An added perk aboard the buses will be Wi-Fi.
Quote:
Duggan said this is only the beginning, noting there will be 30 new buses by the end of October and "an additional 150 going forward.”

“The bus drivers are very excited and now we’re adding to the quality of buses, frequency of service, and I think people are starting to see we’re going in the right direction,” he said.

Peak hours are from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on weekdays for the ConnectTen routes. The routes will be renumbered one through 10.


Love the new livery; had no idea that they were changing the logo and whe whole nine. BTW, what's the western end of the new Route #1? I wasn't aware DDOT has so many termini in Dearborn; I was really only aware of Fairlane.

The partnership with Lyft is good; my local bus system is trying to form a parternship with some ride-shares to help for that last mile or so. Between this and MoGO the scooters, bike lanes everywhere, etc...there are a lot of ways to get around that weren't even available five years ago. Doesn't totally feel the hole for the heavy transit we need for development and such, but it's getting a whole lot easier to get around parts of the city than it was. I saw a report that the app to track the new Lime scooters found one way up in Highland Park.
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