Monday, December 26, 2016

Free public transportation available New Year's Eve : "CHARLEVOIX — Charlevoix County Transit announced that they will be offering free county-wide transit service from 6 p.m.-2 a.m. on New Year’s Eve. The service will be provided on a first come-first serve basis and it’s suggested that reservations be made in advance, although same evening calls will be accepted based on vehicle availability."

Sunday, November 27, 2016

TRU survey concerning the recent failed ballot proposal for regional mass transit

Just filled out a survey conducted by TRU as a sort of post-election post-mortem.
On page 2 of 5:

What ideas or recommendations do you have for how to make a future regional transit ballot measure more likely to succeed?
My response:
Don't make it a charity appeal for the "deserving carless." ( see ) Detractors will say, fine, let the charitable sector provide shuttle vans or whatever. Make it about dragging southeast Michigan kicking and screaming into the 21st century. Make it clear that at least some forms of economic development won't come if we don't build it.
On page 4 of 5:
Please explain other recommendations you have about how TRU and the regional transit community should proceed, including why you feel your recommendations would be successful.
My response:
What there's a screaming need for is a denser transit grid. Every section line road ("mile road" in local parlance) should be a bus route. Maybe down to every other mile in the -far- outer suburbs. This is far more important than introducing new forms of transportation.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Wayne Co. employees to get free public transit passes

detroitnews : "Wayne County plans to provide its employees who use public transportation to commute to work with free transit passes.

The move is designed to encourage ridership of public transportation, said County Executive Warren Evans."

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Saginaw bus system offers all riders fare-free service on Election Day "SAGINAW, MI — Saginaw's public transit system is offering local riders free rides this Election Day.

But the free rides are not just for voters headed to and from the polls. Anyone riding buses on Tuesday, Nov. 8, or using on-demand transit services after the buses stop running will not be asked to pay the normal fares."

Monday, September 19, 2016

Four Metro Detroit hospital systems push for public transit millage "Detroit-area health professionals gathered at Eastern Market on Monday to advocate in favor of a regional transit millage to go before voters in November.

Four major southeast Michigan hospital systems announced support for the costly plan, hoping improved transit can cut down on missed appointments. 

In 2015, 3,000 patients canceled appointments and cited a lack of transportation as the primary reason, according to Bob Riney, executive vice president and COO of Henry Ford Health System."

Friday, September 2, 2016

Pipelines will stop when demand for oil stops. Not before.

Sault Ste. Marie, MI: "“We didn’t want it to be a political issue, but you’ve got to get people’s attention at the same time,” added Easterday.

“It’s important for people to realize there’s no recovery from this pipeline.”

Some of the scheduled speakers include United States First Congressional candidate Lon Johnson, Michigan Senator Rick Jones, Sault Ste. Marie City Commissioner Jay Gage and Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians Chair Aaron Payment. There’s also other local speakers that will be sprinkled in throughout the performances."

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Michigan - Vote ‘yes’ on public transit

Press and Guide: "The ballot proposal will bring bus rapid transit, a rail line between Ann Arbor and Detroit, an airport shuttle service, a regional fare card system and other transit service upgrades to a non-existent system today.

The tab is as big as the need: $4.6 billion of your, mine and our tax dollars. It adds up to a 20-year, 1.2-mill property tax increase, if voters approve it – as we should!

Clearly, this is an investment worth making. The tax would cost the average homeowner about $95 per year. These plans cover a lot of ground for about $100."

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Leaders reach agreement to get Metro Detroit transit plan on...

clickondetroit : "DETROIT - Leaders in southeastern Michigan reached an agreement Tuesday which will place the Regional Transit Authority's public transportation plan on the November ballot. "

Monday, July 11, 2016

Map: New Detroit Regional Master Transit Plan 2016

New bus route map for greater Detroit area It's still (looking at this map) a shockingly sparse transit grid in the suburbs. I'm guessing that no more need to transfer between systems going between city and suburbs is the -only- real change, plus maybe more frequent runs on some lines. Still looks like the Woodward corridor is the only part of suburbia with a meaningful level of mass transit (and bike lanes, and walkable retail districts, and all the other cool kid stuff). That, and the infamous "opt out" community of Livonia is still a conspicuous gaping hole in the grid, save that gray north-south line (what, Farmington Road, I'm guessing?). Part of the problem, no doubt, is because feasibility of mass transit and feasibility of high-density development are mutual prerequisites, so there's a bootstrap problem for converting a whole metropolis from car-dependent to mass-transit-feasible. I worry about that, because extrapolating current trends, "suburban ghetto" is probably going to be a real thing at some point in the 21st century. Getting a unified system is an important baby step that is probably necessary before taking the 5,279,999 additional steps needed to become a real city with real transportation options. Hopefully at some point Michigan politics will evolve to the point where the mass transit issue can be framed as something other than an almost charitable gesture from society to the "deserving carless" such as the elderly, differently abled, students, etc. I don't see the yes campaign for the upcoming ballot proposals playing that gambit (transit as menu item other than car); instead they seem to be opting for pulling the usual voter heartstrings for deserving-carless ("walking man") narratives, or else appeals to business case for higher level of workforce utilization. Since I'm assuming the people running the campaign have researched the opinion climate and therefore know what they're doing, I'm still a bit pessimistic.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

The underwater pipeline that could break the Great Lakes

theweek : "According to the company's own reports, Enbridge has been responsible for more than 800 oil spills across North America since 2000.

That sticky trail of spews and spills leads us to the present, and to the latest of Enbridge's controversial pipelines. This one, known as Line 5, includes a pair of metal tubes that run through Michigan's Upper Peninsula, underwater across a wild, weather-beaten portion of the Great Lakes, and into the state's more populous lower region. A portion of the pipeline sits on the bottom of our country's most important fresh water resource, along a pristine and economically precious stretch called the Straits of Mackinac. It carries up to 20 million gallons of crude oil and gas every day."

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Motor City Freedom Riders, "Transportation is Freedom"

Must Support a Strong Regional Transit Plan: "With the exception of the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority (AAATA), all of the region’s bus systems have drastically reduced service over the past decade – not for lack of need, but in consequence of limited available revenues (see above). We believe a regional transit plan should reserve half of all new regional transit revenues for the existing bus systems, including DDOT, SMART­­­­, and AAATA. As the RTA’s “State of the System” report indicates, not only is existing local bus service limited in its coverage area, but only a handful of bus routes – primarily those on major roads such as Woodward, Gratiot, and Grand River – provide the frequent service necessary for convenient transit access. We must not only enhance those routes, but expand crosstown service as well."

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Washtenaw County, Michigan, expanding #publictransit

WEMU: " On May 1st, the Ann Arbor Area Transit Authority (AAATA) is planning to more than double the number of routes in eastern Washtenaw County, including doubling the number of Ypsilanti bus routes and increasing frequency. This is the largest expansion of bus services in the Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti area since 1979."

Friday, April 1, 2016

Study: Potential oil spill threatens 700 miles of Michigan coast "If Canadian oil transport giant Enbridge's twin, 62-year-old underwater pipelines in the Straits of Mackinac were to burst, areas from Harbor Springs on the Lake Michigan side down to Saginaw Bay and the Thumb area on the Lake Huron side could be affected by the escaping oil, the latest computer modeling research shows."

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Autosprawl trolls still blocking common-sense #publictransit in SE Michigan

OaklandPress: "“This is our best shot in generations,” he said. “A piecemeal approach to public transit doesn’t work.

“The Lansing and Grand Rapids areas, they cracked this nut long ago and it’s holding us back.”

Woodward and other county Democrats have criticized Patterson for touting the planned reconstruction and widening of I-75 beginning this summer, rather than working with the state to instead steer funds to public transportation."