Holland-Grand Rapids (Mich.) commuter bus service could be reality in fall 2020

Discussion in 'Non-Rail Transportation' started by Pere Flyer, Mar 12, 2019.

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  1. Mar 12, 2019 #1

    Pere Flyer

    Pere Flyer

    Pere Flyer

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    Read Michael Kransz’s MLive story here: https://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/2019/03/holland-grand-rapids-commuter-bus-service-could-be-reality-in-fall-2020.html
     
    Of note is the following:

     
    Read the report for the proposed pilot program here: http://grandrapidscitymi.iqm2.com/Citizens/FileOpen.aspx?Type=1&ID=3895&Inline=True#page=9
     
     
     
  2. Mar 12, 2019 #2

    tim49424

    tim49424

    tim49424

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    I would think rail would work better if the objective would be to avoid traffic jams. I’ve seen so many times near places like Market Street on I-196 being victim of congestion during rush hour. Rail would avoid that issue.
     
  3. Mar 12, 2019 #3

    fairviewroad

    fairviewroad

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    OK, what am I missing here? This article makes it sound like they've just invented the wheel. But this doesn't even sound like BRT. Just a limited-stop express bus with ... toilets?

    Well, okay. Go for it.
     
  4. Mar 12, 2019 #4

    Pere Flyer

    Pere Flyer

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    Keep in mind that regional transit (other than Indian Trails and Greyhound service) is virtually nonexistent in Michigan. A very limited, weekday-only shuttle between Ann Arbor and Detroit is the closest of any existing service to being called regional transit. This proposed service would be the only frequent, intercity transit in a state of 10 million people. That’s how bad the state of regional and intercity transit is in Michigan.

    I agree, they should be going for BRT (à la CTfastrax in Connecticut) or a commuter rail operation.
     
  5. Mar 12, 2019 #5

    Pere Flyer

    Pere Flyer

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    I agree. I ogle at downtown Grandville every time I’m there because of how well-suited it’d be for a rail station (and not just because a viable station location is near the Jurgens & Holtvluwer menswear store )
     
  6. Mar 12, 2019 #6

    tim49424

    tim49424

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    A friend of our family owned a music store in downtown Grandville on Chicago Drive and I'd been there many times as a child.  Thinking back, I agree with you about a viable station location.  Also, plenty of places in Hudsonville for one.....but I'm not sure where in Zeeland they'd put one.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 12, 2019
  7. Mar 12, 2019 #7

    daybeers

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    BRT (at least the good systems) require a dedicated ROW, which would take a while to build and a fair amount of $$$. I imagine this is just a trial run, and assuming it (hopefully) goes well, maybe they'll upgrade right to commuter rail instead of BRT.
     
  8. Mar 13, 2019 #8

    fairviewroad

    fairviewroad

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    Grand Rapids would be on the small size for a heavy rail commuter operation. It's a bit small even for a light rail service. The vast majority of cities with rail transit of any kind in the US are larger...usually much larger...than Grand Rapids.

    For a city that size, the best chance seems to be a downtown streetcar circulator, which isn't really what's being fantasized discussed here.
     
  9. Mar 13, 2019 #9

    Pere Flyer

    Pere Flyer

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    The article is about real steps being taken to test a commuter bus service, which is why this thread is filed under “Non-Rail Transportation.” Quotes in the article hint at an upgrade to rail, but the article rightly balances those possibilities with skepticism, as we should also.
    I, for one, am for efficient regional mobility first and foremost. Any intercity service on Chicago Drive mustn’t enter traffic (27,000 vehicles per day, as the article notes). Rail transit and dedicated-lane BRT beat traffic, so I think those are the two most logistically practical service modes that the pilot program should point towards.
     
  10. Mar 13, 2019 #10

    MikefromCrete

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    MikefromCrete

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    The bus line s an experiment to see if there is a market for commuter service. If it is well used, then area politicians can move on to BRT or rail. No sense in spending millions of dollars if no one wants to use the service. 
     
  11. Mar 18, 2019 #11

    neroden

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    neroden

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    This is a standard way to sabotage rail planning. "Well, let's run a bus, and if people don't take the bus, we can claim (falsely) that they won't take the train."

    Of course, if the bus is successful, they say that means they don't need a train and buses are plenty.

    So I tend to distrust this sort of thing.

    If it's done in *good faith* (which is very rare), then it's fine. Hopefully the bus service will be well-used and well-liked and won't be used as an excuse to avoid train service.
     
    Pere Flyer likes this.

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