Lansing to EL light rail - is it viable?



  • edited March 2009
    Grand River and Michigan Avenue Corridor is the best place for a rail outside of Detroit. The Cata #1 route would be the best candidate in the State. If they do a study and find that a rail would be to expensive to install or that it would interfer with traffic to much, they might want to study Dayton Ohios Trolley Buses. Trolley buses are fast, green, and they could be a good alternative to a streetcar. If installing tracks and tearing up the streets is unacceptable then a trolley wire with a trolley bus would do the job. If you have the trolley lines up, the number 1 could run as it is because that route has large steady ridership.

    Hopefully, they would run it from 5:00am until 2:00am seven days a week. If they did that you would develop dependency in the corridor. That area is ripe to run like New York or Chicago.
  • GR > Lansing > A2 > Detroit light rail has been bandied about for years re: SEMCOG, etc. It's great to see a discussion of light rail in this area but economic woes and Big Three influence will keep these plans in the fantasy department.
  • edited May 2009
    Huh? Detroit actually has two competing light rail proposals both very much on schedule to be built. In fact, DDOT is in the environmental study phase (to begin construction sometime next year) and the privately-funded one could get started this year. Perhaps, you haven't been following them too closely.
  • Rogers officially requested $110 million in the new transportation bill to "to plan and build a major public transportation route between downtown Lansing and the Meridian Mall." If this goes through it will be interesting to see what directon this takes.
  • edited May 2009
    I saw that, and was intrigued. They never exactly identify what they mean by it. I also hope that we get the money to buy the 66 new buses, or whatever they said.
  • I'm sure the major transportation system would be BRT or light rail. I hope this goes through, if he can't get the full $110m hopefully he focuses on that new transit line instead of buses.
  • Two things:

    1.) When I saw the proposal for a solar/hydrogen powered rail line to Detroit, I wondered why they would propose such a pie-in-the-sky plan. We'd really be fine with a diesel or an overhead-wire electric train like the Acela train in the Northeast. I'm sure a system like that would be much cheaper.

    2.) Ironically, Lansing had a very extensive streetcar system before World War II. The Westside and Genesee neighborhoods grew out of that network. The small clusters of storefronts along Saginaw stand where the streetcar stops used to be. You could pick up some groceries as you stepped of the streetcar and walked a few blocks to your home.

    The streetcar system also connected to a larger, statewide interurban network that took you to every other major city, like Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Jackson, and Ann Arbor/Detroit.

    Just last year when the city was doing construction on Washington Ave, they found the old streetcar rails buried under the pavement. Of course, the rails got in the way of repaving the road, so they tore them out.
  • I don't think MagLev is pie in the sky, sure it is in it's infancy, but it is the technology of the future. I say if they can get it financed thats awesome for the state, we could be leading the country in transportation technology once again. I was actually suprised at how serious their taking it, I hope it pans out even if it is a long-shot.
  • edited June 2009
    I think the plan is dubious, at best (there website is, and has always been, a complete joke, which really raises questions about their seriousness). But, if it's not going to cost us anything, I don't see why we shouldn't give them the easements to test it out. BTW, it's not a Mag-Lev. It's a whole different technology.

    BTW, speaking of the old streetcar system, does anyone know where I can find a map of it? I used to have a very small map I found somewhere on the web, but don't have it anymore.
  • No, it's a MagLev system that their proposing, that's what ITC has always proposed.
Sign In or Register to comment.