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  1. #301

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    Jesus Christ we're actually arguing about this again. I mean I love classics as much as the next guy, but...

  2. #302

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    Quote Originally Posted by bailey View Post
    except that is the exact problem with the q line...it's entirely unpredictable with zero way to stop things like double parkers and just traffic interference in general. they don't even have signal priority or a reliable GPS tracking to tell you where the 'ef the thing is on the line. I mean, that's basic stuff.
    That's not hard to fix.

    Quote Originally Posted by bailey View Post
    true, but when the reality is the qline runs empty or close to it most of the time who cares about what happens elsewhere? HERE in DETROIT, a bus is more efficient and cheaper.
    Incorrect analogy. The Q Line is a piece of infrastructure. The analogy would be the road. Do you build the road for the bus to operate on? Do you build the tracks for a train to operate on?

    Quote Originally Posted by bailey View Post
    I was gone from Detroit for about 5 years. left about the time the Qline was getting finalized and construction starting...and seeing it today, it's landed right where everyone with a shred of common sense said it would... People Mover 2.0. inefficient, expensive, and underused. But Gilbert was paying so gilbert got his curbside running trolley to serve gilbertville. the gilbert team has to be pissed at how badly it serves even that infinitesimally small mission.
    This is an extremely short amount of time to actually judge the effectiveness of the project. That train line could be there for the next century. Many of the rail transit lines operating in the U.S. today were started in the 19th century.

  3. #303

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigdd View Post
    But YOU are presuming that we need that capacity. It's a bit of a Catch22. To have a need for cars that handle 125 people,.. it presumes a huge passenger load. 10-20x what Detroit has.
    Detroit actually does need that capacity if it wants to build density.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigdd View Post
    Far more important is frequency and speed. When a train car only happens by every 30 min,.. and then takes longer to get to your destination than a bike or walking,... the car capacity is meaningless.
    That is a management issue. It shouldn't take 30 minutes between trains.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigdd View Post
    The biggest issue Detroit has is a lack of population density. Detroit's population is irrelevant,.. what matters is how many people both live AND work withing the bounds of the Q-Line. And that number is very small,.. making it all but useless.
    You can't have population density without a way to move people efficiently. You can't have population density with the expectation that everybody will commute in their own car.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigdd View Post
    And as to cost,... age of the rail cars isn't the only consideration. In reality it's just a box with a motor and wheels (an in our case, batteries). So yeah,.. if maintained well,.. they should last 100 years (In fact Detroit's cars from the 30's are still in operation in Mexico City).

    But you DO have to factor in maintenance costs. And they are HIGH. Millions more than expected,.. and our cars are only 2 years old.
    Rail isn't that expensive when fairly compared to any other mode of transit. It is the most resilient piece of transit infrastructure that has ever been invented.

  4. #304

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigdd View Post
    Detroit's population is irrelevant,.. what matters is how many people both live AND work withing the bounds of the Q-Line. And that number is very small,.. making it all but useless.
    THIS. It's so damn short that the odds of someone living on one end of the line and working at the other are very small. And don't get me started with the "but you can take it to the tigers game or to a museum" crap. A transit system is sustained by daily riders using it to commute, not the casual riders who took it once to the museum last summer.

  5. #305

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    Quote Originally Posted by iheartthed View Post
    That's not hard to fix.
    it is an impossible fix as it's not grade separated and there is no state buy-in to allow it to be. It's never not going to be subject to the whims of Detroit drivers that seem to think flipping on the hazard lights confers immunity to traffic laws.

    I'm fine with it begin a total bust as a actual transit option...but it doesn't even do the role of a Illitchtown/gilbertville parking shuttle because it's stuck in the same traffic everyone else is anytime there is an event or literately ANYTHING going on downtown.

    Incorrect analogy. The Q Line is a piece of infrastructure. The analogy would be the road. Do you build the road for the bus to operate on? Do you build the tracks for a train to operate on?
    the road was built for cars and buses... the trolley is an inefficient use of that infrastructure as currently built as we're running buses along the same route that travel faster, more frequently and aren't dependent on the lane they are in staying free of obstacles.

    This is an extremely short amount of time to actually judge the effectiveness of the project. That train line could be there for the next century. Many of the rail transit lines operating in the U.S. today were started in the 19th century.
    The q line will be lucky to run 20 years. I see no support for it's continued operations once the private money runs out. But ..sure, lots of rail lines are old. Funny how the qline ignored the century of learnings about how to build an efficient and workable solution and went with the trolley model.

    look the whole thing just seems like a miss. but that's just me...someone that actually would like to use it but can't because I need to actually arrive at the place I'm trying to get to on time... or at least with an understanding about when I might arrive.


    And right on cue... I'm looking out my window at the trolley stuck behind a double parked truck. repeatedly blowing that silly horn isn't going to get the guy to move his truck...can't the driver see the truck has his hazard lights on!?!?!

  6. #306

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    The speed of this system will never be good.

    Rail that shares traffic lanes is the worst system type.

    Besides the problem already mentioned; (screwing up car traffic, being dangerous for bike riders, getting blocked by obstacles, etc) They also can never even attempt to run quickly for safety reasons.

    Light rail uses steel wheels on steel tracks,... so they have limited traction. That and the fact that they weigh 43 TONS !, means they take MUCH more distance to stop than a car with it's rubber tires on asphalt.

    Also,.. if some parked car were to open a door,.. or a driver of said parked car were walking around their car to get in,.. or a car was starting to pull out but stopped,... a passing automobile can simply steer around. A quick wiggle of the steering wheel and you don't even have to slow down. But with no ability to steer,.. and poor braking performance,.. the Q-Line must always be going slowly.

    All problems that don't exist in elevated light rail. With the tracks all to themselves, the operator doesn't even have to look before stepping on the gas. In fact,.. most (including our own People Mover) don't even have drivers. They automatically accelerate at the quickest rate that won't knock down riders, get exactly to the safest top speed,.. and later slow down at that same rate for the next station.
    Last edited by Bigdd; November-25-19 at 07:11 PM.

  7. #307

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigdd View Post
    Fare evasion is seen as chronic in New York after they decriminalized turnstile jumping,.. still some 97% pay the SUBWAY fare.

    For buses,.. about 80% pay in New York.

    Nationally just 32% pay on light rail systems (Detroit is actually high at 40%)



    With buses,.. you have the driver RIGHT at the door where passengers have to get in, and you either show your pass or pay right there. And the driver can just sit there and wait for police if they get a bad seed flaunting the system.

    But with light rail,.. there are what? 3-6 doors? And the driver is in a separate compartment at the front,.. and the payment is done elsewhere,.. so the driver has no idea if people paid. So you get rampant abuse.

    And subways you have police, and turnstiles etc.

    Basically, light rail is by far the easiest system to ride for free, and it doesn't reduce traffic congestion (exacerbates it usually), and is slow.

    The Q-Line averages 8.4 mph, (about 2/3 the speed of a bicycle). If it went from Pontiac,.. expect a 2 hour and 50 minute commute (each way) to downtown.

    (It should be mentioned,.. buses aren't lightning fast either,.. averaging just 12.8 or so)
    I can jump on the Lodge at Lasher Road or Telegraph and be downtown in less then 30 minutes easy. Traveling 12.8 MPH on anything does not appeal to me.

  8. #308

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    Here's what doesn't appeal to me:

    The Q-Line people had a chance to construct it properly, and they didn't.

    They could've took lessons from New Orleans and place it in the middle of the street. Instead they decide to place the stations on the curb, and caused a lot of problems.

    They tried to "compromise" by putting some of the stations in the middle of the street, but failed to just keep it the whole thing there.

    Now you have people that will just park behind there and make the entire thing ineffective. It failed in its planning. That's what happens in public-private partnerships: You forget about the public, and the private people only remain accountable to themselves.

  9. #309

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tig3rzhark View Post
    Here's what doesn't appeal to me:

    The Q-Line people had a chance to construct it properly, and they didn't.

    They could've took lessons from New Orleans and place it in the middle of the street. Instead they decide to place the stations on the curb, and caused a lot of problems.

    They tried to "compromise" by putting some of the stations in the middle of the street, but failed to just keep it the whole thing there.

    Now you have people that will just park behind there and make the entire thing ineffective. It failed in its planning. That's what happens in public-private partnerships: You forget about the public, and the private people only remain accountable to themselves.
    Gosh I was recently in New Orleans and thought the exact same thing. Their rail is very similar to ours except it's in a proper place.

  10. #310

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    Quote Originally Posted by bailey View Post
    it is an impossible fix as it's not grade separated and there is no state buy-in to allow it to be. It's never not going to be subject to the whims of Detroit drivers that seem to think flipping on the hazard lights confers immunity to traffic laws.
    It's not a rapid transit rail line. It's a streetcar. Streetcars are built on the street. Plenty of cities around the world have them and they work just fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by bailey View Post
    the road was built for cars and buses... the trolley is an inefficient use of that infrastructure as currently built as we're running buses along the same route that travel faster, more frequently and aren't dependent on the lane they are in staying free of obstacles.
    That's actually not true. All of Detroit's radial avenues were designed to accommodate streetcars.

  11. #311

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    Meanwhile in Cincinnati it isn't going much better... ridership averages about 1500 per day

    https://www.bizjournals.com/cincinna...ency-gets.html

  12. #312

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    Quote Originally Posted by iheartthed View Post
    It's not a rapid transit rail line. It's a streetcar. Streetcars are built on the street. Plenty of cities around the world have them and they work just fine.
    They do... which is why detroit's failure to replicate that success is that much more depressing.

    That's actually not true. All of Detroit's radial avenues were designed to accommodate streetcars.
    yes in an era where Grosse Pointe was considered a weekend get away destination and the trolleys were pulled by horses.

  13. #313

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    They were talking about the high fare evasion on Toronto's streetcars on the radio today so I looked it up - it's 15%! I guess we Canadians really are honest (or scared or dumb).

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toron...sion-1.5029072

  14. #314

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    Quote Originally Posted by bailey View Post
    They do... which is why detroit's failure to replicate that success is that much more depressing.

    yes in an era where Grosse Pointe was considered a weekend get away destination and the trolleys were pulled by horses.
    Nope. It happened in the 1930s:

    By the early 1920s, city streets were becoming strangled with traffic as automobiles became prevalent and large numbers of workers became concentrated in skyscrapers and factories of unprecedented size. Although streetcars were in use, the necessity of rapid transit was becoming self-evident.

    The Detroit Rapid Transit Commission was formed in 1922 to study this problem. After more than a year research, it unveiled its solution: the "Super-Highway System"--a comprehensive plan integrating both automobiles and light rail in the same rights-of-way. In a report dated April 10, 1924, the Commission called the System a "joint transit facility serving both rapid transit on rails and express motor traffic on rubber tires. ... Both services are essential to the welfare of the present communities and the future city. ... both (are) essential to make the land accessible, useful and valuable."


    http://corktownhistory.blogspot.com/...an-avenue.html
    Ironically, the avenues are as wide as they are because the city was planning for a subway system.
    Last edited by iheartthed; November-26-19 at 01:57 PM. Reason: error

  15. #315

  16. #316

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    It is good to read about the proposed Detroit subway. Am I correct in
    thinking that the first serious proposal for a Woodward Avenue subway
    dates from about 1912? I have also heard that the Michigan's reprsentatives in Washington put pressure on the federal government to
    build a subway in Detroit during the Depression but those from Illinois
    had more clout so Chicago got the funding. That was a time when
    federal funding to minimize the Depression was populat.

  17. #317

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    My late father talked fondly about Detroit’s streetcars. I remember him saying, “You could go anywhere in the city for a nickel.”

  18. #318

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    Quote Originally Posted by renf View Post
    It is good to read about the proposed Detroit subway. Am I correct in
    thinking that the first serious proposal for a Woodward Avenue subway
    dates from about 1912? I have also heard that the Michigan's reprsentatives in Washington put pressure on the federal government to
    build a subway in Detroit during the Depression but those from Illinois
    had more clout so Chicago got the funding. That was a time when
    federal funding to minimize the Depression was populat.
    I think the first subway plan was created in 1917. The second plan was in the 1920s and was killed by the Great Depression.

    ETA: Didn't see Egrant's post above. It was 1915.

  19. #319

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat001 View Post
    Light rail is the gift that keeps on taking. When ridership fails to meet projections, taxpayers get stuck with maintenance and operation costs for decades.
    The QLine isn't light rail, it is a poorly-executed TROLLEY. It was never meant to be a rapid transit line.

  20. #320

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    Quote Originally Posted by masterblaster View Post
    The QLine isn't light rail, it is a poorly-executed TROLLEY. It was never meant to be a rapid transit line.
    it was never designed to be one...but it was sold as one.

    here's just one example of many from the way back machine circa 2010...
    Can Motor City combat its economic ills by becoming Rail City?

    Along Detroit's Woodward Avenue, a downtown stretch that seems permanently stuck in the "emerging" phase of business development, community leaders are hoping a new light rail system will help spark a renaissance. The city plans to break ground this year on stage one of a $420 million project: the first modern, mass-transit initiative in a city long synonymous with automobiles.


    "Transit in Detroit has kind of been a joke," says Matt Cullen, CEO of M1 Rail, a private consortium heading the development effort. "We've been a victim of balkanized politics and other efforts. But now we have a plan in place. We'll get it done, and we feel it will have a huge impact on this region.

    The planned 3.4-mile first stretch of light rail service
    would encompass some of Detroit's best-known entertainment districts, including Comerica Park, home of baseball's Tigers, and Ford Field, where the Lions play football. The route winds past the Fox Theater district and extends into Detroit's New Center area, the center of gravity for many local hospitals and medical facilities, as well as much of the Wayne State University campus.


    "With this light rail system we will have a much greater concentration of business investment possibilities," says Rip Rapson, CEO of the Kresge Foundation, which awards grants to nonprofit organizations in a variety of fields. The foundation has committed $35 million to the M1 Rail project.
    cue sad trombone....
    Last edited by bailey; November-27-19 at 12:21 PM.

  21. #321

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    Quote Originally Posted by 401don View Post
    They were talking about the high fare evasion on Toronto's streetcars on the radio today so I looked it up - it's 15%! I guess we Canadians really are honest (or scared or dumb).

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toron...sion-1.5029072
    Toronto's transit police don't mess around. My first visit to the city I boarded a street car without realizing there was no way to pay once onboard at the time. The transit cops who requested a ticket were quite belligerent but took putty on the poor American tourist. In subsequent visits I've seen them forcibly remove riders without tickets. I wouldn't want to run a fowl of them again!

    On the subject of Toronto, their streetcars are side running but move right along through very busy streets. I love using them whenever I visit. Detroit could learn a lot from Toronto on how to make the most of the Q Line.

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