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    Dec 7, 2007

    The light rail metro cruise

    This is an addition to the Light rail demo idea posted here.

    So, lets take a metro cruise. See if Stadler-Rail will lend us their Regio-Shuttle light rail vehicle and truck it into Grand Rapids. Don't worry about railroads or other potential deal breakers. Here's the demo:

    Get the train here on a semi-truck and leave it on the flatbed to move it around easily. Next take this spiffy new thing for a tour around the metro area. What we do is get a light rail metro cruise going.

    Our first stop is Downtown; it can be done at the bus terminal, Calder Plaza, near GVSU or else in a high visibility spot. This gets downtown workers and students buzzing about having alternatives to their commute. The event hosts a walk through of the rail car with an expert on scene along with volunteers passing out informational packets. This could be a weekend event -- maybe even do it during Festival, easily tap into the 500,000 or so people that will already be downtown. If possible put on the plaza in front of Van Andel Arena during sport games or big draw events, i.e. Hannah Montana.

    OK, all aboard for the Northern suburbs.

    Next stop is Comstock Park and The Ball Park during baseball season if possible during a home game. Then we capture the excitement of riding the train to watch the 'Caps. Forget the car. Or grab the attention of North Side commuters and let them know how their 5pm commute up 131 is going. Great time to let these folks know how well widening roads work.

    Alright enough fun with hot dogs and sunburned home games. Next stop, the South Side.

    Wyoming, Kentwood, Cutlerville, Byron and Gaines Township; can't forget the many people down there. Why not set up the rail car at that huge swath of land near 54th St. and the Norfolk Souther rail line?

    Again, all aboard for a potentially interesting corridor.

    Grandville-Jenison-Hudsonville: Maybe display the train there at one of their city halls. Can't forget the far west suburbs and Holland. The mayor there was talking a transit link for his city to Downtown -- light rail it is.

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