29 May 2008
Chuck Stokes: "How would you improve regional mass transit?"
Andy Dillon: "I met about 2 weeks ago with Roger Penske and Dan Gilbert. They have a program privately funded, $100 million dollar light rail system that will run from New Center to Detroit Renaissance [Center] With that program in motion, that will free $100 million dollars from the federal government that will do rail from the New Center through the airport to Ann Arbor. I think that's a great way to start and would put 100% of my energy behind backing that program up."
Mike Bishop: [in response to a regional sales tax] "...we are the motor city... we've got to snap out of and get with the program... I too had the opportunuity to meet with Roger Penske...I too support it."
Edsel Ford II
One D initiative opening remarks (Transit is one of 5 priorities) :
Grades on 5 priorities: "Regional Transit: Yellow (Action needed). We have identified the need, now we have to fill it."
28 May 2008
In response to question about the most significant projects going on in Detroit today:
"Slowly but surely, however, as places like Portland soar, and cities across the Great Lakes region continue to de-industrialize and decline, public opinion in cities like Detroit and Grand Rapids is pulling well ahead of official wisdom about cars, highways, buses, trains, and railways."
--Andy Guy, Michigan Land Use Institute
“We absolutely need better public transportation in southeast Michigan and throughout the state if we have any hope of competing with other states and cities for new industry, good-paying jobs and an influx of young people and new families.”
"Mass transit brings our communities together. If we're serious about boosting southeastern Michigan's economy, then we have to have a workable public transportation system.
"Imagine how much more attractive our area would be if our mass transit system was improved. The possibilities are enormous."
"Clearly, DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit) is helping to stimulate the local economy and to bring new vitality both to the City of Dallas and to the core areas of DART's suburban member cities."
- University of North Texas researcher Bernard Weinstein, about a study that estimated at least $3.3 billion in private funds has been invested by developers at stations along DART's 45-mile light rail system
- Fred Kummer III, general manager of the new 1,900-room Adam’s Mark Hotel, the largest in Texas
"At the turn of the century, Detroit was one of the country's fastest growing cities, moving from the 13th largest city in 1900 to the fourth largest by 1920. Starting in 1863 with a single horse drawn streetcar line, Detroit was able to boast that it had the largest streetcar and interurban system in the country. By 1907, it expanded operating from Detroit to a rail network which included service to Toledo, Jackson, Pontiac, Flint and Port Huron. Later, without a change of cars, passengers could go to Cleveland, Cincinnati, Kalamazoo, Lansing and Bay City."
Jack Edward Schramm, July 15, 2004.
"If a city has rapid mass transportation, it will hold together and renew itself. If it does not have a means of rapid travel, it will decentralize and the obsolete will be forsaken and left to fester and blight."
Sidney Waldron, Detroit Rapid Transit Commission, March 23, 1944.
Fewer than 2 percent of commuters in metro Detroit get to work by bus -- and most of those riders don't have a car. But recent gains in SMART's ridership ought to rev up the debate on the potential for expanding mass transit in southeast Michigan. Riders will come if service improves.
Detroit Free Press, August 3, 2004
?Quality transit is the one essential tool to encourage the transformation of urban sparseness to a vibrant urban environment.?
says Lawrence Hands of the 2030 Vision Project.
"And so, Mayor Kilpatrick and the City of Detroit are highly supportive of today's forum and in the spirit of today's theme 'Moving Us Forward' we stand ready to support this effort in whatever manner we are called upon. We look forward to a reinvigorated initiative to bring quality transit infrastructure back to the Greater Detroit as a catalyst for economic development."
James A. Jackson, Director, Detroit Department of Public Works.
Not that the mass transit story needs to end with the People Mover. There are still good arguments for building light-rail lines running out from Detroit to Washtenaw, Oakland and Macomb counties. It would take great political will, but it would cut the time we spend sitting in traffic jams, reduce air pollution and produce huge savings by curtailing highway construction and expansion. It is way past time for Detroit to join the rest of America?s major metropolitan areas and produce a public transportation system that is suitable for the 21st century.
At the Transit on the Woodward Corridor: Our Economic Engine forum, Sept 20
Best way to revitalize Southeast Michigan Light rail --- Metro Times, Sept 28, 2004
Everything the city of New York has depends on the growth of the subway system. Go our and ask how many people took the train to work today. Probably it's about three quarters of them. The idea of public transit is essential, sensible and the key to a healthy city. The ability New York City had on the opening of the subway was that they could physically move 30,000 people from 125th Street to Wall Street in less than 15 minutes. That's incredible. No one was able to do that...It was a massive success, it was money spent in the right place. I would say that the $50 million probably brought the tune of trillions of dollars and are still producing trillions of dollars to this day.
Historian and Subway Expert James Clifford Greller, from Newsweek, Nov. 1, 2004
In 2001, I had the opportunity to utilize public transit in San Francisco. Despite my unfamiliarity with the city and the local transit service, getting around the hustle and bustle took very little effort on my part. BART station employees and Muni bus drivers were helpful and knowledgeable, making my experience in San Francisco a truly wonderful one.
Christian Tabing, a senior at Angelo Rodriguez High School in Fairfield, California, who has just turned 17, founder of the Youth in Motion program
Trying to encourage youth to use transit, to understand transit and to be favorably disposed of transit is a little like playing the lottery. You never know when one of those people you took some time with now, 10, 20, or 30 years from now turns out to be a strong transit advocate.
Bill Millar, President of the American Public Transit Association.
This week, we report that the dramatic drop in market share for
Mary Kramer, Crain's Detroit Business, Nov. 29, 2004
Detroit, facing a nearly $400-million budget hole over three years, proposes to cut service on more than 40 routes. In a city of nearly 1 million, 24-hour bus service is about to end, kicking a couple of thousand riders to the curb.
I'm again and again surprised that in Michigan, it seems the only people who are worried about Detroit are people in Detroit. For me, every state including Michigan is very much defined by one or more major cities." The attractiveness of Michigan to young, talented people is strongly linked to "the quality of life that you show to the outside world, which in our case is Detroit." It's important that people from all over Michigan work together to make Detroit come back, "not to say, 'We live in Oakland County, everything is fine for us.' It is not fine for us. Let's fix it. How can I help?
Dieter Zetsche, Chrysler Group CEO, after a speech at the University of Michigan Stephen M. Ross School of Business. (The Detroit Free Press March 10, 2005)
"Anybody who has ever run a company will tell you that allowing small units of government to allocate tax dollars for infrastructure unilaterally, without a regional plan, wastes millions of dollars. But an autonomous network of fiefdoms is what we have in Southeast Michigan."
Mary Kramer, associate publisher and editor (Crain's Detroit Business, March 28, 2005)
"AARP reported last April in its study Aging Americans: Stranded without Options that fully 71 percent of older households want to live within walking distance of transit to maintain an active lifestyle without having to rely on others for transportation."
Urban Land, February 2005, Transit-Adjacent Housing in Hot Demand Reports Market Study
We need to take on transformational issues, such as improving public transportation; encouraging urban development that promotes transit accessibility, social interaction, walkability, and better health and lifestyle habits; improving our schools; encouraging people to live closer to work, and vice-versa; making everything we do more environmentally sensitive by being mindful of how it is designed and how it functions in the real world; and continuing to seek increased clarity and simplicity in our regulatory and permitting processes.
Antonio Villaraigosa, City of Los Angeles Mayor, as reported in September 2005 issue of "Urban Land."
Another barrier to urban vitality
Common mortgage-lending practicies make urban living artificially unaffordable. Most homeowners devote about 55 percent of their income to housing and transportation costs combined. Families in suburban areas spend 30 percent on their homes and 25 percent or more on their cars. Those in urban neighborhoods with good transit spend a mere 10 percent getting around but 45 percent on their homes.
But mortgage bankers rarely allow housing payments to exceed 30 percent of income, so urban abodes are "mortgage unaffordable" for many buyers. The mortgage industry's view steers buyers to the suburbs, indirectly increasing air pollution, traffic, and sprawl.
Patrick H. Hare, as reported in September/October 2005 issue of The Sierra Club Magazine
“It’s about helping the businesses that are already here and helping to attract new businesses, helping to attract new people to the area. . . . All of those things would benefit immensely from having a modern, coordinated transit system.”
John Hertel calls transit – moving people and goods from place to place – absolutely critical to southeastern Michigan.
“I’m excited about the fact that we’re beginning to finally address what I feel is one of the most significant needs in the area. I can’t think of anything we could do faster to address both our immediate need and image.”
- John Hertel, in the Oakland Press
"A group called TRU – Transportation Riders United – has been trying to boost mass transit in the Detroit area in a sophisticated and politically savvy way."
- Jack Lessenberry, on the Jack Lessenberry show on Michigan Radio
Roger Penske told his business peers that he was devoted to “continuing the momentum” of Detroit’s revival, and described his enthusiasm for what he believed should be the city’s next big project: Constructing a modern rapid transit system.
“I’m here to tell you today that I’m ready to join the effort,” Mr. Penske said. “Right here and right now.”
In Oct. 2005, by a vote of 20-3, the Oakland County Board of Commissioners approved a nonbinding resolution to support “a solid investment in quality transit in Southeast Michigan as a proven and powerful tool to alter current development patterns and build vitality in our existing communities.”