Updates

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    Jan 7, 2009

    Muskegon Chronicle says passenger rail, mass transit past due

    The Chronicle's editorial board supports infrastructure improvements namely mass transit. The editorial recommends transit and existing road improvements take priority in a possible public works stimulus package by the Obama Administration.

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    Meet me in GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.

    Nov 17, 2008

    Michigan Legislature passes bill 6114

    House Bill 6114 passed through the House by a 78 to 22 vote. House Bill 6114 (attached below) will allow the creation of local transit tax increment finance authorities or TIFAs to help fund public transit improvements. The next step is a passage through the Michigan Senate.

    Click here to view House Bill 6114

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    Meet me in GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.

    Oct 21, 2008

    A call for visionary leaders

    The Press is calling for strong, diverse and visionary leaders at the County board for the upcoming election. Yesterday, the Press editorialized support for new faces supporting farmland preservation and expanded transit into the suburbs.

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    Meet me in GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.

    Oct 20, 2008

    Take the train, then a 7 mile walk

    Amtrak's Pere Marquette blog recommends folks ride the train to visit attractions in cities on the line. The most recent is a visit to a local farm approximately 7 miles out from the St. Joe station. Sounds great until you realize where's the transportation. Maybe taxi or on demand bus -- maybe. The kicker, though, is that Amtrak provides only one daily round trip between Grand Rapids and Chicago. With so little frequency, one has to wonder how realistic Pere Marquette is at connecting passengers with one-day events in West Michigan. Too few round tips and inconvenient timetables....

    Maybe these folks are on to something though. Take the train to the shore from inland city life. Hop aboard a commuter train between Holland and Downtown. Stay at a Holland hotel near 8th St. complete with a quaint shopping experience. Or hey it could be reverse, suburbanites could catch a convention downtown for the day.

    Getting there is half the experience.

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    Meet me in GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.

    Oct 2, 2008

    Media updates from HB 6114 conference

    The folks at Michigan Municipal League passed along a media release from the conference to push for HB 6114. HB 6114 is being promoted as a way to jump start transit-oriented development near proposed rapid transit stations in Grand Rapids and Detroit.

    Quotes from HB 6114 supporters:

    “Building and expanding rapid transit systems are proven generators of thousands of jobs and billions in economic development projects in cities and states across the nation. As rapid transit is introduced to Michigan cities, House Bill 6114 will help create jobs and development around the transit stops and stations,” said David Worthams, legislative associate with the Michigan Municipal League (MML), which proposed the idea of House Bill 6114 to state Rep. Marie Donigan, D-Royal Oak, the bill’s main sponsor.

    “Creating true rapid transit systems in Metro Detroit, Grand Rapids and other Michigan cities will create jobs and economic development. So what are we waiting for? We need to pass this bill now to help support the transit projects that are on the books and on their way,” said State Representative Marie Donigan.

    “We need a variety of economic development tools to restart Michigan’s economy. This legislation encourages the creation of transit-oriented development, especially in urban areas in need of revitalization. It’s a win-win in that it could provide a new source of funding for transit projects while promoting development and smart growth,” said Peter Varga, CEO of The Rapid and Chair of the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce.

    “To create jobs, promote economic development, provide alternatives to outrageous gas prices and oil dependence, and many other benefits, the time is right for significant rapid transit in Detroit and Michigan. HB 6114 is a tool that will help Detroit, Grand Rapids and other Michigan cities attract the jobs and development that transit projects are generating in other major cities across the country,” said Megan Owen, Executive Director of Transportation Riders United.



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    Meet me in GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.

    Sep 25, 2008

    A glimpse of electric traction in Grand Rapids

    Moving pictures of electric railway traction plus hustle and bustle in this early 20th century film of Grand Rapids. Also take note of the streetcar entering Romona Park on Reeds Lake at East Grand Rapids.








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    Meet me in GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.

    Sep 22, 2008

    Push for TIFA legislation

    Tomorrow, Michigan Municipal League alongside the Grand Rapids and Detroit Chambers will push for the passage of Bill 6114 in the Michigan House. House Bill 6114 will allow for the creation of tax increment finance authorities (TIFAs.) The act will allow authorities to establish a special district to capture future increases in property taxes within the district. Future property tax increases may be used to finance transit improvements.

    Michigan Municipal League: http://tinyurl.com/3r5923
    Read more about House Bill 6114: http://tinyurl.com/3s6xcw



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    Meet me in GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.

    Sep 16, 2008

    Flooding delays circus train in Grand Rapids

    WZZM 13 reports that the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus train is late for its traditional parade of animals through the streets of Downtown Grand Rapids. Read more at: http://tinyurl.com/5s6cn7

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    Meet me in GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.

    Suburban railroad makes railroading more accessible

    A great story about how a suburban railroad is preserving Grand Rapids railroading while making it accessible to all. Read the article in the Grand Rapids Press:
    http://www.mlive.com/grpress/news/index.ssf/2008/09/renovation_project_aims_to_mak.html

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    Meet me in GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.