Rapid Transit Bus Lines

Posted in DETROIT, GRAND RAPIDS by urbanmi on February 26, 2012

I am not opposed to rapid transit bus lines.

I support them in Detroit.  Just not along Woodward Ave. A light rail line is more than mass transportation and an economic engine.

It is a symbol; it is a statement. It announces to both the residents of Detroit and surrounding areas, to the State of Michigan, and the country as a whole that Detroit takes itself seriously. A light rail system is an investment, a large and serious investment; making the investment says to everyone: Detroit will do whatever it takes to revitalize itself and change its past.

Their is an inherent stigma to buses in the United States, and their use within Detroit will do little to making visitors and residents feel comfortable using them.

I was ardently in favor and voted for the rapid transit bus line in Grand Rapids along Division Ave in 2008.  It;s surprising failure in spite of Downtown, East Grand Rapids, Forest Hills in support of the measure.  East Grand Rapids, Ada, would not directly benefit from any bus line. Failing because south Grand Rapids  voted against it. A significant advertising campaign targeting

Rapid transit buses can be done with great success.  Curitiba, Brazil illustrates one of the most successful and famous examples of their use.


Dave Bing is Dead to Me

Posted in DETROIT by urbanmi on December 17, 2011

It’s official Dave Bing has now completely lost any semblance of any support from me.

With the death of light rail in Detroit in favor of more buses my positive feelings towards Dave Bing and his efforts for the city have transformed into a powerful cynicism towards him and his administration. His efforts are hollow and his rhetoric is meaningless.

There are certain things that must be performed in order to move Detroit into the ranks of a modern and genuine city.  At the front of those items is light rail in Downtown Detroit.  Functional mass transportation is an asset in every city that provides it. Businesses and residences establish themselves along transit lines and property values rise. People relocate to these hubs for their convenience and amenities sparking revitalization and vibrancy.

Buses provide none of these causes and positive secondary effects. People do not want to use buses, they feel unsafe, they are typically dirty, and they are slow and inconvenient. Light rail offers an alternative that is not beholden to the pace of traffic and through its use a convenience and an asset is added.

Put simply Light rail is an investment with measured positive results and buses are a financial black hole.

In a city where bus service is already being cut and hours are being limited why would throwing more money at buses be considered a choice at all.