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  1. #101

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    Nero sure likes talking about himself in the third person a lot.

  2. #102

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    Just got a QLine alert about suspended operations until 4 tomorrow due to emergency utility work. Anyone know what's up?

  3. #103

    Default

    Their Twitter account says a water main break is causing their disruption.

  4. #104

    Default Q Line usage

    Just wondering if the Q Line is being used. On Friday afternoon at 4:30 on one of the coldest days of the year, only 5 people were on the northbound train at Woodward and Congress. Baffling.

  5. #105

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    Q-line service has been suspended due to emergency utility work. No-one will be using it until 4pm tomorrow.

  6. #106

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    The most I have seen on it since I moved to town a month ago is about 10. However I'll reserve most of my critical judgement until the spring after some of the operational kinks are worked out and people have the chance to try to trust the reliability of the system.

  7. #107

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    Quote Originally Posted by 48202 View Post
    Q-line service has been suspended due to emergency utility work. No-one will be using it until 4pm tomorrow.
    The buses just changed lanes.

  8. #108

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    After a ride on the Q Line this week in which the train hit basically every red light, I’m starting to think we should be extending the people mover instead. And seeing what Vancouver has done with their system (uses same technology on most lines) where they have extended it for $160M a mile roughly (Evergreen Line, elevated/subway mix), it wouldn’t be crazy to think we could do the same here in Detroit over the next 20 years, probably with a line to the airport. Sure, that’s about 4 times what it would cost to build a Q Line extension but 1) it can be all elevated and 2) it can carry 4x the passengers.

    TLDR- the way I see it-
    Q Line- slow, goes somewhere
    People Mover- fast, doesn’t go anywhere
    PM Extension- fast, goes somewhere
    Last edited by MicrosoftFan; January-21-18 at 09:00 AM.

  9. #109

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    I have a weird idea that every time I get a delay notification I'm going to screen shot it, copy and paste to Word or something, then mail it to Danny G to show him HOW FRICKEN' STUPID curbside alignment was. I wonder if he has the QLine app downloaded or if he uninstalled it because of how many times it buzzed with a delay. I think it would better in the middle north of the Boulevard and any extension and hopefully they will do that.


    Vancouver's is nice because they updated theirs over the past 30 years. And while elevated and ridership capacity is nice to think about, it's still costly. As well, tram service and people mover service are still two different types. SkyTrain is rapid, heavy transit. QLine has always said they're light rail for service within the city. (This is why suburbanites need transit lessons, QLine will never come out to Pontiac or Mt. Clemens or the Airport).

  10. #110

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    The whole gist of the side running operation was to boost investment on Woodward. Which is great if your primary objective is to generate new private investment-not so great if you’re trying to build a transit system. Also, nobody parks in the center lane.

    This along with other reasons makes the Q Line unworkable for expansion purposes:
    1) Side running: see above
    2) Capacity- as far as I’m aware of, the Q Line streetcars cannot ne linked together to make a 2 pair / 4 car train. Also, the platforms aren’t long enough
    3) No overhead wires- it’s going to be a big detriment if you have to wait on a hot train in the summer while the Q Line charges in Woodward’s center lane.
    4) The Campus Martius mess- this whole thing should’ve been a subway to begin with. How hard would it be to close Woodward from GR/State down to Jefferson for a while to build a cut and cover tunnel? That would relieve a lot of delays and provide a better connection to a Jefferson extension (gets rid of Woodward-Jefferson turn)

    But uneducated Q Line riders from Roseville think it could be easily extended to Mt Clemens or Rochester. Sorry, no. The furthest I can see it going is Alter Road and MAYBE 8 Mile. Otherwise it will take far too long.

    So we basically have 2 forms of « demonstration » rail transit in the metro area- Q and PM. We can either extend one of those (PM since Q is pretty much unworkable) or build a whole new one in BRT. And BRT we will probably get a « demonstration » line down Michigan to like Rosa Parks and that’s it because it was 20x over budget and took 10 years.

  11. #111

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dtowncitylover View Post
    I have a weird idea that every time I get a delay notification I'm going to screen shot it, copy and paste to Word or something, then mail it to Danny G to show him HOW FRICKEN' STUPID curbside alignment was. I wonder if he has the QLine app downloaded or if he uninstalled it because of how many times it buzzed with a delay. I think it would better in the middle north of the Boulevard and any extension and hopefully they will do that.


    Vancouver's is nice because they updated theirs over the past 30 years. And while elevated and ridership capacity is nice to think about, it's still costly. As well, tram service and people mover service are still two different types. SkyTrain is rapid, heavy transit. QLine has always said they're light rail for service within the city. (This is why suburbanites need transit lessons, QLine will never come out to Pontiac or Mt. Clemens or the Airport).

    Let’s call the Q line what it is - A transit line for Detroit to say “look we have some transit!”. It’s aesthetics, pure and simple.

    What “problem” did the Q-Line solve? It solved the problem that Detroit doesn’t have mass transit (people mover doesn’t count). Now Detroit can say we have transit. And while my comment sounds cynical, there is value in saying “we have transit!”... even if it is not really useful.

    Someday I hope Detroit will move up to building a transit line that is useful and not just for aesthetics. But until then, let’s celebrate the aesthetics of the Q Line.

  12. #112

    Default

    Since when would side running be a detriment to expansion? It's side running south of Amsterdam to Campus Martius. And if we build new lines down Michigan or Jefferson or expand north we would be able to do middle alignment.

    I'm still not convinced streetcars as a whole can't work here, especially if they're linked with the neighborhoods. They just need to be built right. Lines down Michigan to Central via Vernor and Livernois, Jefferson to Alter, Woodward to State Fair, and Woodward to Conant/Caniff via Holbrook and Jos. Campau. Ahhhh dreams...

  13. #113

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MicrosoftFan View Post
    After a ride on the Q Line this week in which the train hit basically every red light, I’m starting to think we should be extending the people mover instead. And seeing what Vancouver has done with their system (uses same technology on most lines) where they have extended it for $200,000 a mile roughly (Evergreen Line, elevated/subway mix), it wouldn’t be crazy to think we could do the same here in Detroit over the next 20 years, probably with a line to the airport.
    There is no way an elevated system would be $200,000 mile.

    The Evergreen Line extension came in at just over $1.4 billion for 6.8 miles.

  14. #114

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RO_Resident View Post
    There is no way an elevated system would be $200,000 mile.

    The Evergreen Line extension came in at just over $1.4 billion for 6.8 miles.
    Oops, I divided from 1.4 million. Converting to US that’s about $160 M per mile I would peg on the low end for any people mover extension.

    A 19 Mile extension to airport/ around $3B+additional rolling stock+extending downtown platforms

  15. #115

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MicrosoftFan View Post
    After a ride on the Q Line this week in which the train hit basically every red light, I’m starting to think we should be extending the people mover instead. And seeing what Vancouver has done with their system (uses same technology on most lines) where they have extended it for $200,000 a mile roughly (Evergreen Line, elevated/subway mix), it wouldn’t be crazy to think we could do the same here in Detroit over the next 20 years, probably with a line to the airport. Sure, that’s about 4 times what it would cost to build a Q Line extension but 1) it can be all elevated and 2) it can carry 4x the passengers.

    TLDR- the way I see it-
    Q Line- slow, goes somewhere
    People Mover- fast, doesn’t go anywhere
    PM Extension- fast, goes somewhere
    I like this idea.

  16. #116

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    Quote Originally Posted by M. Brown View Post
    I like this idea.
    Now if only the RTA had $4 Billion on hand...

  17. #117

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MicrosoftFan View Post
    Now if only the RTA had $4 Billion on hand...
    ...which will 95% never happen during the Trump administration...

  18. #118

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    Quote Originally Posted by RO_Resident View Post
    There is no way an elevated system would be $200,000 mile.

    The Evergreen Line extension came in at just over $1.4 billion for 6.8 miles.
    Clearly the $200K number is wrong.

    Just a few points:

    1) that is 1.4 billion CAD, which is only a little over 1.1 billion USD.

    2) There appears to be a tunnel involved in the Evergreen Line, which is unlikely here.

    3) US infrastructure construction costs are always inflated relative to the rest of the world, for reasons I don't completely understand.

  19. #119

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mwilbert View Post
    ...US infrastructure construction costs are always inflated relative to the rest of the world, for reasons I don't completely understand.
    The NY Times did a great analysis of how infrastructure spending gets so terribly inflated in New York, digging into one example. Many of the same problems exist elsewhere to various degrees.

    The Most Expensive Mile of Subway Track on Earth
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/28/n...ion-costs.html

    "How excessive staffing, little competition, generous contracts and archaic rules dramatically inflate capital costs for transit in New York."
    Last edited by bust; January-21-18 at 12:41 AM.

  20. #120

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bust View Post
    The NY Times did a great analysis of how infrastructure spending gets so terribly inflated in New York, digging into one example. Many of the same problems exist elsewhere to various degrees.

    The Most Expensive Mile of Subway Track on Earth
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/28/n...ion-costs.html

    "How excessive staffing, little competition, generous contracts and archaic rules dramatically inflate capital costs for transit in New York."
    I did see that article, and it is a very valuable description of how costs can get added to a project. But a lot of the stuff in there is pretty NY-specific, and also there is the question of why that stuff happens here and not elsewhere.

  21. #121

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mwilbert View Post
    Clearly the $200K number is wrong.

    Just a few points:

    1) that is 1.4 billion CAD, which is only a little over 1.1 billion USD.

    2) There appears to be a tunnel involved in the Evergreen Line, which is unlikely here.

    3) US infrastructure construction costs are always inflated relative to the rest of the world, for reasons I don't completely understand.
    I updated my estimate to factor for the currency change and my horribly incorrect math (1.4 M / 6.8 rather than 1.4 B / 6.8). $160 M a mile probably but since it’s the US probably double that and 10 years.

  22. #122

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MicrosoftFan View Post
    I updated my estimate to factor for the currency change and my horribly incorrect math (1.4 M / 6.8 rather than 1.4 B / 6.8). $160 M a mile probably but since it’s the US probably double that and 10 years.
    And even if there was a magical pot of money somewhere to do this, what problem is solved? Honest question.

    Are there people living downtown who honestly would go to Little Caesar’s Arena, Eastern Market, Midtown Restaurants, etc., more if transit existed? The truth is, these people are walking, driving, or taking Uber today, and they wouldn’t change their habits because said transit would not be more convenient or faster.

    Again, most of these transit proposal are all aesthetics so Detroit can say “yay, we have more transit!” And while that aesthetics may generate some buzz in the short term, long term the transit does more damage then good. This is because if at some point in the future transit is proposed that solves an actual problem, all the naysayers can point to the transit you do have and say “See, no one rides it. What a waste.” And they aren’t entirely wrong.

    This is why I am opposed to most of these transit proposals in Detroit, because even though I am actually a big transit fan, very few of the transit proposals solve any real problems. They are just aesthetics to say “Yay we have transit!”.

  23. #123

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dtowncitylover View Post
    Since when would side running be a detriment to expansion? It's side running south of Amsterdam to Campus Martius. And if we build new lines down Michigan or Jefferson or expand north we would be able to do middle alignment.

    I'm still not convinced streetcars as a whole can't work here, especially if they're linked with the neighborhoods. They just need to be built right. Lines down Michigan to Central via Vernor and Livernois, Jefferson to Alter, Woodward to State Fair, and Woodward to Conant/Caniff via Holbrook and Jos. Campau. Ahhhh dreams...
    I had always assumed that any extension north on Woodward would be center running, as it already center running north of 94.

    Side running cars is probably the way to go through denser areas with stops closer together. Any extension beyond Grand Blvd. down Woodward, Michigan, or Jefferson would NEED to be center running to not make it painfully slow and shutdown prone.

    I think an extension or new lines aren't that far fetched, especially if RTA can give us some kind of implementable plans with timetables for completion.

  24. #124

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by K-slice View Post
    I had always assumed that any extension north on Woodward would be center running, as it already center running north of 94.

    Side running cars is probably the way to go through denser areas with stops closer together. Any extension beyond Grand Blvd. down Woodward, Michigan, or Jefferson would NEED to be center running to not make it painfully slow and shutdown prone.

    I think an extension or new lines aren't that far fetched, especially if RTA can give us some kind of implementable plans with timetables for completion.
    Why does it need to be rail over BRT? BRT is much less expensive, and accomplishes the same goal of providing more frequent and faster service. Yes, rail is sexier than BRT, but after the novelty wears off, it will mostly just be low income folks using the system. If you are of even moderate income, it will still be easier and more convenient to drive in or use other modes than transit.

    The real benefit to rail over BRT is that their are certain classes of people who would take a rail system, but not a bus. But the part that gets forgotten is that this same class of people will still choose to drive unless traffic is so bad that transit is quicker (not the case in Detroit), or that parking is so expensive that a moderate income person can’t afford to park within a half mile walk of their work (also not the case in Detroit). So if the class that will ride rail but won’t ride the bus isn’t going to take the transit anyway, why spend more on rail?

    There are two main issues currently in this region that can be solved with transit. The first is improving bus frequency and speeds on routes that are used by lower income workers. And while this is a moral and ethical thing to do, spending tax dollars to improve the lives of low income folks on its own is always a tough sell to some parts of the population.

    The second issue is the lack of affordable, quick, and frequent transit from DTW to downtown. The challenge with marketing this system is the main benefactors (directly) are people from out of state visiting Detroit for work or play, and who don’t want to rent a car. Charging these folks $60 for a metro car ride from the airport is a huge turn off. Why then would they want to come back and do business here, when in other cities than can take transit from the airport to the city center? So then again, it becomes a tough sell to get people here to pay taxes to improve transit that out of state people will mostly use. But hopefully the business argument and indirect benefits could be an argument that wins out.
    Last edited by Atticus; January-21-18 at 02:46 PM.

  25. #125

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Atticus View Post
    Why does it need to be rail over BRT? BRT is much less expensive, and accomplishes the same goal of providing more frequent and faster service. Yes, rail is sexier than BRT, but after the novelty wears off, it will mostly just be low income folks using the system. If you are of even moderate income, it will still be easier and more convenient to drive in or use other modes than transit.

    The real benefit to rail over BRT is that their are certain classes of people who would take a rail system, but not a bus. But the part that gets forgotten is that this same class of people will still choose to drive unless traffic is so bad that transit is quicker (not the case in Detroit), or that parking is so expensive that a moderate income person can’t afford to park within a half mile walk of their work (also not the case in Detroit). So if the class that will ride rail but won’t ride the bus isn’t going to take the transit anyway, why spend more on rail?

    There are two main issues currently in this region that can be solved with transit. The first is improving bus frequency and speeds on routes that are used by lower income workers. And while this is a moral and ethical thing to do, spending tax dollars to improve the lives of low income folks on its own is always a tough sell to some parts of the population.

    The second issue is the lack of affordable, quick, and frequent transit from DTW to downtown. The challenge with marketing this system is the main benefactors (directly) are people from out of state visiting Detroit for work or play, and who don’t want to rent a car. Charging these folks $60 for a metro car ride from the airport is a huge turn off. Why then would they want to come back and do business here, when in other cities than can take transit from the airport to the city center? So then again, it becomes a tough sell to get people here to pay taxes to improve transit that out of state people will mostly use. But hopefully the business argument and indirect benefits could be an argument that wins out.
    The problem with BRT is that it has to be built right, otherwise it just becomes a bus with fancy stops. While the RTA can SAY they will build with express lanes, signal priority, etc, but eventually BRT is very easy to cut corners with and they will be tempted. Plus, I’m skeptical about street running BRT anyway. If there is any BRT system it would be nice if it was totally, 100% grade separated on an old rail ROW for example.

    I disagree with the idea that suburbanites, unless parking is $50 or it takes 3 hours to get downtown, would not take transit. Parking downtown is hard these days and a lot of people would like to be free from the hassle of finding a spot. In addition, if there was a suburb-to-suburb line, say down Southfield from Lincoln Park to Oak Park, suburb-to-suburb commuters would have a viable option to car commuting.

    Not to mention all the millenials who still want to hang out at trendy burger bars downtown but want to send their kids to live and send their kids to school in the inner ring suburbs.

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