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  #41  
Old Posted May 24, 2009, 6:31 AM
JordanL JordanL is offline
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This is the first time I've ever heard of a private light rail system in the US.
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  #42  
Old Posted May 24, 2009, 6:46 AM
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Just to note, the plan is that when the region can form a regional transit authority (yeah, there is no regional transit authority, at the moment, rather a pair two systems, one that covers the city and one that covers the suburbs), that they'll take over operation of both the planned public system and this soon-to-be-built private line.
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  #43  
Old Posted May 24, 2009, 7:35 AM
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Just to note, the plan is that when the region can form a regional transit authority (yeah, there is no regional transit authority, at the moment, rather a pair two systems, one that covers the city and one that covers the suburbs), that they'll take over operation of both the planned public system and this soon-to-be-built private line.
By take over the private system, do you mean buy?
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  #44  
Old Posted May 24, 2009, 8:00 AM
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The article is kind of ambiguous about that and it simply says that the M1-Rail has agreed to be "turned over" the the regional authority when it comes into existence. What exactly that means, I don't know; I don't think M1-Rail has publically revealed what the turn over mechanism (i.e. a sale, a gift) will be.

That said, M1-Rail insists that the system is complete charity and that none of the business owners are gaming the system to try and make money off of it. Really, who knows? That's one of the problems of a private entity: there is no requirement for public transparency.
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  #45  
Old Posted May 24, 2009, 8:51 AM
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The article is kind of ambiguous about that and it simply says that the M1-Rail has agreed to be "turned over" the the regional authority when it comes into existence. What exactly that means, I don't know; I don't think M1-Rail has publically revealed what the turn over mechanism (i.e. a sale, a gift) will be.

That said, M1-Rail insists that the system is complete charity and that none of the business owners are gaming the system to try and make money off of it. Really, who knows? That's one of the problems of a private entity: there is no requirement for public transparency.
Unfortunately, there's often little transparency in prublic entities as well.
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  #46  
Old Posted May 25, 2009, 6:35 AM
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Unfortunately, there's often little transparency in prublic entities as well.
But, at least it's required of them, which gives the general public some recourse when they aren't.
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  #47  
Old Posted May 26, 2009, 7:29 PM
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A word of advice: I believe that it would be better if commuter (suburban rail) comes first. Use your existing lines first from Detroit to Pontiac, AnnArbor, Port Huron, etc. Next, I beleive that a heavy rail arrangement would be the best choice for Detroit. Even though I like the light rail proposal, it's too faddish, IMO. Heavy rail (either underground or elevated)
is the wise choice, connecting it w/ the People Mover, w/ service around Detroit. I'd like to make my proposal, but I'm a public computer and don't have enough time. In other words, Detroit should've had a mass transit system for the longest and it's a shame.

At least you have a better layout of your bus routes than my city, just east/west and north/south, simple. Respect for it's grid system. Same for NYC and Chicago. Just check out SEPTA's website, look up the bus woutes, and you'll see what I mean. We have the most confusing bus routes ever, IMO!!!
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  #48  
Old Posted May 27, 2009, 3:15 AM
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Commuter rail from Ann Arbor to Detroit (stopping near the airport in between) is already on the way:

SEMCOG Commuter Rail

It's scheduled to begin running late next year. Please go check out the earlier articles showing the regional mass transit plan that includes light rail, heavy commuter rail using existing tracks, and BRT.
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  #49  
Old Posted Jul 16, 2009, 10:06 AM
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Detroit's Rosa Parks Transit Center Opened July 14, 2009


Congresswoman Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick

It currently serves DDOT and SMART buses and the People Mover as well as Transit Windsor's Tunnel Bus, but is capable of also becoming the central station for the newly planned light rail if they also decide to want to use the station as a central hub.


(Photo by HB Meeks/Tell Us Detroit)


DDOT


(Photo by HB Meeks/Tell Us Detroit)
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  #50  
Old Posted Jul 16, 2009, 3:51 PM
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All the I'm not a huge fan of 'fabric' architecture, this does look pretty cool. I hope its a success.
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  #51  
Old Posted Aug 5, 2009, 5:18 PM
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The Rosa Parks Center is gorgeous!
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  #52  
Old Posted Aug 6, 2009, 5:39 AM
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The Rosa Parks Center is gorgeous!
Says the Parsons Brinkerhoff employee. lol
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  #53  
Old Posted Aug 6, 2009, 6:00 AM
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Quote:
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The Rosa Parks Center is gorgeous!
It IS gorgeous! (says the unbiased party)
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  #54  
Old Posted Aug 6, 2009, 4:51 PM
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^ I gotta agree with those who use the word "gorgeous" to describe it. Is this also Detroit's Amtrak terminus?
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  #55  
Old Posted Aug 8, 2009, 5:40 AM
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Oh, I wasn't saying that it wasn't gorgeous.

No, it's not Detroit's Amtrak station. The city's Amtrak station (and the new one being planned) is in the center of the city in New Center.
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  #56  
Old Posted Aug 8, 2009, 5:55 PM
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This is only a bus terminal, but it is directly connected to the Times Square people mover station, and will likely be directly connected to the streetcar line that is being planned for next year.

The Amtrak station is currently in New Center, and the future Amtrak station will only be moved to the other side of the tracks at another intermodal station that will include the planned commuter rail station as well as a streetcar stop. So ideally you will be able to get from the bus terminal to the rail terminal via the streetcar line, but they're several miles apart.
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  #57  
Old Posted Aug 18, 2009, 6:18 AM
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Update:

It seems that the in order to coordinate itself with the DTOGS plan, M1-Rail, the private-developed plan, is slowing down its push so as not to throw the entire public schedule off:

Quote:

Woodward Avenue M1 Rail construction delayed until 2010

By Bill Shea / Crain's Detroit Business

Aug. 17, 2009

Construction of the privately funded $120 million light-rail line on Detroit’s Woodward Avenue has been pushed back into 2010 as organizers cooperate with a related city project.

Work was originally supposed to begin by the end of this year on M1 Rail, which will link Hart Plaza and the New Center Area.

The delay was confirmed today by Kim Zitny, vice president of Troy-based Eisbrenner Public Relations, M1 Rail’s outside public relations agency. She didn’t say when in 2010 work might begin.

The decision to delay construction was sparked by the Detroit Department of Transportation’s desire to use the private money expended as the qualified local matching money for its own project to extend light rail from New Center to the state fairgrounds at Eight Mile Road, Zitny said.

The $371 million DDOT project, called the Detroit Transit Options for Growth study, needs a local match to qualify for federal transit project funding. After months of closed-door talks, the city and the private project agreed to treat their projects as separate but joint cooperative efforts, which theoretically allow the $120 million to be used as a match.

The M1 plan is a 3.4-mile, 12-stop curbside line, with 12-18 months of construction. It will operate as a nonprofit and eventually be turned over to a regional system.


M1 backers include Penske Corp. founder Roger Penske, chairman of the project; Peter Karmanos Jr., founder of Detroit-based software maker Compuware Corp.; Mike Ilitch, owner of the Detroit Tigers and Detroit Red Wings and co-founder of Little Caesar Enterprises Inc.; and Quicken Loans/Rock Financial founder Dan Gilbert, the project's co-chairman.

There had been worry that M1 Rail’s accelerated construction schedule line would jeopardize use of the private money as matching funds because federal requirements such as an environmental impact study wouldn’t have been completed by the end of the year, organizers said.

Approximately $180 million — the $125 million being raised by M1 Rail and $55 million programmed by DDOT — has been earmarked toward the estimated $220 million needed to match a federal grant, the city has said.

Zitny also confirmed that, contrary to online rumors, the projects are not merging and will remain separate efforts.
Apparently, still, the two plans are going to merge on the administrative front of things. This is all a little strange that M1-Rail is essentially going to cede its money to the public plan, and I wonder what they asked for to agree to this delay?
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  #58  
Old Posted Aug 18, 2009, 3:38 PM
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I think the point is that they don't have to cede the money as the two projects will remain completely separate, but operate under the same umbrella. In other words it sounds like people traveling downtown via the light rail line will have to stop at the New Center intermodal station and then transfer to the streetcar line.
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  #59  
Old Posted Aug 19, 2009, 2:25 AM
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Wait, doesn't the article say that DTOG is expecting M1-Rail to use its own start up money for their plan? That's what's confusing me.
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  #60  
Old Posted Aug 19, 2009, 3:55 AM
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I still don't understand any of this. I have never heard of a privately-funded line, and I don't get how the two can coordinate.

And federal dollars are only appropriated for a handful of applicants each year. The primary criteria is ridership per $$.

I think this line could generate decent ridership, but I am not sure if could generate decent ridership relative to other proposed projects in other U.S. cities. This definitely seems like an open question.
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