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  #201  
Old Posted Dec 20, 2011, 9:05 AM
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BTW, found this interesting article published in the Freep literally days before the guv and mayor sought to bury Woodward LRT. It shows how other communities pay for their systems:

Quote:
Big city transit funding sources diverse

by Matt Helms | The Detroit Free Press

December 11, 2011

...

CHICAGO

Agency: The Regional Transportation Authority oversees public funding for the Chicago Transit Authority's city and suburban bus and rail, Metra commuter rail and Pace suburban buses.

Population: 8 million in six counties.

Ridership: 2 million daily.

Funding: $2.25 billion annual operating budget. The major funding source is a sales tax of 0.50% to 1.25% in Chicago and its suburbs. The area's transit providers by law must self-generate 50% of operating costs from fares, advertising and the like.

Governance: A 16-member appointed Regional Transportation Authority oversees public funding, budgets and service planning for the three agencies, which are operated independently.

ATLANTA

Agency: Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority oversees bus and rail in Atlanta and two counties. Agreements permit free transfers between MARTA and smaller suburban bus systems.

Population: 5.3 million.

Ridership: 135,000 daily.

Funding: 2012 operating budget of $414 million. Nearly 32% comes from fares, but the largest source is a 1% regional sales tax providing more than $200 million.

Governance: 12-member board includes appointed representatives of Atlanta and the two counties and the state Department of Transportation commissioner.

HOUSTON

Agency: Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County is the major provider of bus and rail.

Population: 3.5 million.

Ridership: 280,000 weekday average.

Funding: $430-million operating budget. Fares account for 15% of the budget. The major revenue source is a Houston-area sales tax of 1%.

Governance: A nine-member board of directors appointed by local officials from the city and its suburbs.

DENVER

Agency: Denver Regional Transportation District is the major provider of bus and rail.

Population: 2.8 million in eight counties.

Ridership: 322,000 average boardings each weekday.

Funding: 2011 budget was $377 million. The biggest funding source is a sales tax of six-tenths of a cent in Denver and its suburbs. Fares provide about 20% of funding.

Governance: Board of 15 members elected by area's voters.

PHOENIX

Agency: Several providers offer bus or rail service in metro Phoenix's Maricopa County, including the City of Phoenix, but they coordinate service and operate under the Valley Metro.

Population: 4.2 million.

Ridership: 250,000 weekday daily boardings.

Funding: $259 million combined. Fares cover about 23% of operations budget. Major funding sources are sales taxes in Phoenix, Tempe and other cities and countywide.

Governance: Each system operates independently, but service is coordinated through the Regional Public Transportation Authority, which has a 16-member board of appointed representatives from Phoenix-area communities.
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  #202  
Old Posted Dec 23, 2011, 6:48 AM
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Just so you know the population figures for Houston are more in the ballpark of 6 million (for the entire metro area), not 3.5 million.
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  #203  
Old Posted Dec 23, 2011, 2:40 PM
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^
But Im guessing the bus lines and metro rail are only accessible to 3.5 million, if even that; meaning most people live way too far out in the suburbs for the bus lines to reach them.
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  #204  
Old Posted Dec 23, 2011, 4:50 PM
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The numbers are way off. Atlanta does 470,000 per day, not 135,000. Phoenix does nowhere near 250,000. Denver does nowhere near 322,000.
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  #205  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2012, 10:11 PM
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Bing, Snyder back new plan for 3-mile light-rail line on Woodward

http://www.freep.com/article/2012010...text|FRONTPAGE
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  #206  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2012, 11:12 PM
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Originally Posted by J. Will View Post
Bing, Snyder back new plan for 3-mile light-rail line on Woodward

http://www.freep.com/article/2012010...text|FRONTPAGE
Nice! If this is completed and maintained, this line will be a crucial link between New Center/Wayne State/Midtown and Downtown, and hopefully easily expandable for when the local economy permits the longer line.
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  #207  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2012, 11:17 PM
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I hope the BRT is done in such a way that it could be upgraded to light rail later.
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  #208  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2012, 12:23 AM
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Originally Posted by J. Will View Post
Bing, Snyder back new plan for 3-mile light-rail line on Woodward

http://www.freep.com/article/2012010...text|FRONTPAGE
Lovely. So they threw away hundreds of millions in federal funding for what, exactly? This whole thing is a fucking scam.
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  #209  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2012, 12:41 AM
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Crazy, crazy, crazy.

I'm glad they are now back on the original, 3-mile line, but I'd hope they'd do the entire project like they'd originally planned: in phases. They should try and sell this as Phase 1 like they originally did.

Looks like the local business community did some behind-the-scenes arm-twisting that the politicians could not say no to. Between that, and the Woodward Avenue communities in southern Oakland County defiantely announcing, last month, that they'd continue on their study into extending the line to their community, I'm glad they were forced to come to the conclusion that BRT on the region's main spine just wouldn't cut it in terms of economic development.

BTW, none of the federal funds promised have been thrown away. Even during their apparent switch to the (non-existent) BRT plan, LaHood made clear that any capital that'd been granted to the original plan would go toward the new plan.
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Last edited by LMich; Jan 7, 2012 at 12:52 AM.
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  #210  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2012, 1:59 AM
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More news from the Detroit News. Looks like the political leaders are going to give the business leaders three months to come up with a plan. In a perfect world, it would be the political leaders with the responsibility for making this work, but in the absence of such leadership I guess this is a decent reprieve:

Quote:
Detroit — Light rail is back on the table for Detroit, but private backers of the project have 90 days to convince officials the plan is viable, Mayor Dave Bing said Friday.

The announcement came after a meeting between Bing, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Gov. Rick Snyder, lawmakers and business leaders supporting the M-1 rail project.

Last month, officials agreed to scrap the proposed light rail up Woodward in favor of a series of high-speed buses. But after a chorus of criticism from transit advocates and private backers, the plan for 3.4 miles of light rail along Woodward from the New Center area into downtown Detroit is back under consideration, Bing said.

"Some time ago, there was an announcement made that light rail is off the table," Bing told reporters after the meeting Friday. "Based on the conversation that we've had today and the agreements we've had, we see light rail as a part of regional transportation. Light rail is not dead. … All of us are on the same page, understanding how important transportation is going to be in Detroit, southeastern Michigan and the state."

...

"Transit is important to our state," Snyder said. "It's about working well together, and that's what this meeting was about today. M-1 can be an important sub-component and one (that) can be critical to the downtown future.

"We're going to be working hard in Lansing working on doing a regional transit authority. At the same time, the M-1 group will be working hard over next 90 days to continue their plan to show how viable it is. Hopefully we'll be able to merge them together."

...

"We have $100 million in commitments and four or five years of preliminary design," said Gilbert, founder of Quicken Loans and co-chairman of M-1 Rail Inc., last month. "It doesn't make a lot of sense to kill something that has proven in Portland, Denver, Minneapolis, Miami and San Diego to create commerce and jobs along the route."

...

http://www.detroitnews.com/article/2...text|FRONTPAGE
Glad to see everyone back on the relatively the same page. At least the politicians realize that the Woodward light rail was part of the regional plan, and that BRT was always just part of it, too.
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  #211  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2012, 7:52 AM
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I can see them terminating the bus routes that currently go all the way downtown at New Center just to make sure they get ridership on this 3 mile LRT. Of course all that would do is force people who currently take the bus all the way downtown to make an unnecessary transfer, lengthening their total commute time.
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  #212  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2012, 9:04 AM
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^^ That's currently the plan for New Orleans. I'm pretty pissed about it.
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  #213  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2012, 3:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J. Will View Post
I can see them terminating the bus routes that currently go all the way downtown at New Center just to make sure they get ridership on this 3 mile LRT. Of course all that would do is force people who currently take the bus all the way downtown to make an unnecessary transfer, lengthening their total commute time.
Okay but can't you also see lively shopping areas and people dreaming of their lofts on Woodward once the light rail is operating? It's been said in this thread, the light rail goes beyond transit, it's a big friendly urban thing of which capacity and reliability are better than those of little buses regarding transit only. And there is no doubt that this shorter original line would end up being expanded step by step, becoming a whole expanding network completed by bus lines just like in any place fitted with that kind of system. It simply has to start by something.
At least that's my view.
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  #214  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2012, 6:18 PM
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You guys are funny.

Original post date of the proposed light rail "September 25, 2008"

I could have built it myself before now... by hand .

They can barely keep the empty people mover running.

http://www.thetransportpolitic.com/2...shifts-to-brt/

"No rail project, no matter how nice, can singlehandedly reverse the systematic decline of a once-huge city. Development will come to downtown Detroit when there is a demand for housing units and employment there, not when there are tracks along Woodward Avenue. Moreover, the city’s existing employment-housing imbalance, in which 60% of the city’s job holders go to the suburbs for work, means that a downtown-focused project would likely be ineffective in resolving the commuting needs of many people."

Buy a car move to a city with an actual mass transit system then sell your car.

Last edited by tallboy66; Jan 7, 2012 at 6:31 PM.
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  #215  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2012, 8:05 PM
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
^^ That's currently the plan for New Orleans. I'm pretty pissed about it.
Really? That's crazy. Do you have a map or other links?

I believe they did that in Vancouver with some of the bus routes when the new subway to the airport was built, but that's different. That's a much longer distance one is travelling on the subway, and the subway is much faster than a bus, especially in a dense city like Vancouver.

Quote:
Okay but can't you also see lively shopping areas and people dreaming of their lofts on Woodward once the light rail is operating? It's been said in this thread, the light rail goes beyond transit, it's a big friendly urban thing of which capacity and reliability are better than those of little buses regarding transit only. And there is no doubt that this shorter original line would end up being expanded step by step, becoming a whole expanding network completed by bus lines just like in any place fitted with that kind of system. It simply has to start by something.
At least that's my view.
OK, but the two are not mutually exclusive. You could have this 3 mile light rail and still have buses that run all the way downtown continue to do so.
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  #216  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2012, 10:56 PM
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I agree with tallboy here. This really highlights the excessive ham-handedness of Detroit city government. We see the same sort of things happen in Buffalo and Niagara Falls
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  #217  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2012, 4:46 AM
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Had the people mover AT LEAST been constructed to the original plan I am completely convinced you'd see a different downtown Detroit / Woodward corridor today.

Ridership would rise, the system would have at least been overhauled and modernized by the mid 2000's, and you would have seen an earlier start on new office development. There's a loop because it was supposed to be a circulator like Chicago has. My hope is for an easy and convenient transfer point between light rail and the people mover....literally escalators moving you from one platform up to the other. The Grand Circus Park stop would be entirely torn down and rebuilt into a modern facility spanning Woodward with a 24 hour security guard and transit agent.
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  #218  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2012, 8:18 AM
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It's funny you brought up the People Mover. Back in 2006, when the region began discussing the reintroduction of rapid transit, - or at least something more than bus service - there was a concept put forth by a former People Mover manager to expand the PM along the exact same route the light rail line is planned to take, and he was estimating that it could be done for $150 to $200 million. At the time, everyone (including myself) thought it was a ridiculous proposal and ridiculously expensive. Knowing what we know now after proposing a line upwards of $500 million, I wish we'd have taken that route. lol $150 to $200 million after this debacle almost seems like pennies, and looks eminently doable.

BTW, the PM was never built to its potential for the exact same reason why the 9-mile Woodward LRT proposal fell off the rails: no regional transit authority existed to be able to pool money for transit on a regional level. What was built was the first phase, but built in anticipation of a regional authority that the region could never work out. Why I'm convinced M1 will be different than the PM (at least for a time) is because the PM project existed entirely within the realm of government, and M1 - at least for its first few years - will have a huge private sector buy-in, a buy-in that won't just contribute a significant amount to the capital costs of building the system, but a private sector buy-in that could help sustain operating costs for a few years.

EDIT: The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of expanding the PM. It's already its own, seperate quasi-city agency. The city could expand it to be a legitimate city-center loop (i.e. downtown, midtown, New Center), and then have it fed with LRT or BRT are the spokes. With a regional system that would abolish DDOT and SMART, thus reducing Detroits subsidy to transit, Detroit city could then plough back in the savings to finally and appropriately fund the Detroit Transportation Corporation, as it'd be the only system they'd be solely responsible for supporting, and it'd something of a manageable size for a city whose tax base has been reduced to the point of Detroit's.
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Last edited by LMich; Jan 9, 2012 at 8:56 AM.
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  #219  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2012, 2:56 PM
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Originally Posted by M II A II R II K View Post
Just noticed this map, but I question why there's no bus stops in Sterling Heights, but a lot of them on Hall Road. That stretch of Hall Road is all mega strip malls and parking lots and the least pedestrian friendly corridor in the whole tri-county area. Yet the Sterling Heights route takes it directly through residential areas where there's more pedestrian activity. Seems kinda backwards to me.
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  #220  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2012, 7:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LMich View Post
It's funny you brought up the People Mover. Back in 2006, when the region began discussing the reintroduction of rapid transit, - or at least something more than bus service - there was a concept put forth by a former People Mover manager to expand the PM along the exact same route the light rail line is planned to take, and he was estimating that it could be done for $150 to $200 million. At the time, everyone (including myself) thought it was a ridiculous proposal and ridiculously expensive. Knowing what we know now after proposing a line upwards of $500 million, I wish we'd have taken that route. lol $150 to $200 million after this debacle almost seems like pennies, and looks eminently doable.

BTW, the PM was never built to its potential for the exact same reason why the 9-mile Woodward LRT proposal fell off the rails: no regional transit authority existed to be able to pool money for transit on a regional level. What was built was the first phase, but built in anticipation of a regional authority that the region could never work out. Why I'm convinced M1 will be different than the PM (at least for a time) is because the PM project existed entirely within the realm of government, and M1 - at least for its first few years - will have a huge private sector buy-in, a buy-in that won't just contribute a significant amount to the capital costs of building the system, but a private sector buy-in that could help sustain operating costs for a few years.

EDIT: The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of expanding the PM. It's already its own, seperate quasi-city agency. The city could expand it to be a legitimate city-center loop (i.e. downtown, midtown, New Center), and then have it fed with LRT or BRT are the spokes. With a regional system that would abolish DDOT and SMART, thus reducing Detroits subsidy to transit, Detroit city could then plough back in the savings to finally and appropriately fund the Detroit Transportation Corporation, as it'd be the only system they'd be solely responsible for supporting, and it'd something of a manageable size for a city whose tax base has been reduced to the point of Detroit's.
My fear is that even after LRT is built, people will start complaining about safety issues. Cars turning in front of LRT vehicles, blocking tracks, pedestrian /vehicles accidents at stations,etc. Really, an elevated DPM in a landscaped median would do and you wouldn't have to worry about complex signaling at street level. Cost of aerial structures can be significantly brought down with modular components. Really, the stations would be your biggest expense, but the farther spaced they are within reason, the more effective (rapid) transit you have. Additional stations could be added as a part of a multi-phase plan as financing becomes available or demand requires it. I estimate costs per station would be $10-$15 million. They are a fraction of the size of Chicago's long platformed EL stations which have cost up to $40 million for infill stations+track retrofitting.
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