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Light Rail Isn't Needed At DTW Says NW  
User currently offlineDtwclipper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 5005 times:

Metro growth vision cloudy
Light rail isn't needed, says Northwest exec
November 6, 2007

BY MARGARITA BAUZA

FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER

With the number of passengers at Metro Airport expected to grow 67% within the next 20 years, the Wayne County Airport Authority says it needs a new runway, light-rail system and expanded terminals to handle the increased traffic.

Officials from the airport authority outlined the projected long-range development plan during a meeting with the Free Press last week.

Metro Airport's largest carrier says some components of the plan -- particularly the rail system -- are a waste of money.

The light-rail system would connect the McNamara Terminal with the new North Terminal, which is to open in fall 2008.

"We don't believe there is ridership for it," said Andrea Fischer Newman, Northwest's vice president of government affairs. "Money raised is better used for runways, taxiways or terminals, which benefit the largest number of passengers."

http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/a...AID=/20071106/BUSINESS05/711060305

42 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineNwAflyer07 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 4948 times:

Pretty much anyone flying into DTW on NW is gonna end up going somplace else on NW. Even if there was a light-rail system they wouldnt have too many people wanting to go through all that just to save a few bucks and take different airlines. But why is the traffic expected to grow that much? Maybe Delta's gonna move in?? haha jk jk But in all seriousness are they predicting a revival of Detroit as a city itself?

User currently offlineBennett123 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 7209 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 4918 times:

Clearly NWA want the money spent airside.

If the number of passengers increases at that rate then provision will need to be made for getting them to/from the airport.

The question is does that mean a train link, (to where?) or more parking. Neither of these are cheap options.

David


User currently offlineFlyinryan99 From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 1986 posts, RR: 12
Reply 3, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 4906 times:

Maybe the airport board should talk to Toledo city council members. Every once in a while the idea of "light rail" connecting downtown Toledo to Metro Airport gets kicked around. With gas prices continuing to climb and lack of flight options out of TOL, I am kind of favoring that. I wouldn't mind driving 10 minutes to catch a train up to DTW to fly out. Just my humble opinion.

User currently offlineUnited787 From United States of America, joined May 2005, 2641 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 4854 times:

It sounds like they are only talking about a light-rail system that connects the terminals.

Did you really think that Motor City would think of building a real public transportation link from the airport to downtown or anywhere else?

Don't forget, it is GM that destroyed the public transportation system (street cars) in this country, including the one in Detroit. Ironically, downtown Detroit now has the most depressed downtown in the country, serves them right, they created their own nightmere.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Motors_streetcar_conspiracy (not the best source but the Cliff Notes version)

Even if they did build a light-rail to downtown, there is hardly anyone down there to use it. Do you really think all of the people working in the auto industry would use a rail line?


User currently offlinePSU.DTW.SCE From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 7343 posts, RR: 28
Reply 5, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 4819 times:

Quoting United787 (Reply 4):
Even if they did build a light-rail to downtown, there is hardly anyone down there to use it. Do you really think all of the people working in the auto industry would use a rail line?

The problem is that Metro Detroit business centers & communities are all very dispersed and a light rail system would be difficult to effectively connect high-traffic corridors. There is so much suburb-to-suburb commuting, to far-flung areas that that people would still face substancial commutes to/from the trains.

NW is right that a terminal-to-terminal train would be a waste at this point when a shuttle bus can handle the low demand as it is right now.

I'm interested to see where they are getting that 67% growth rate number from.


User currently offlineGigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16345 posts, RR: 86
Reply 6, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 4634 times:

Quoting Bennett123 (Reply 2):
If the number of passengers increases at that rate then provision will need to be made for getting them to/from the airport.



Quoting Flyinryan99 (Reply 3):
Every once in a while the idea of "light rail" connecting downtown Toledo to Metro Airport gets kicked around.



Quoting United787 (Reply 4):
It sounds like they are only talking about a light-rail system that connects the terminals.

United787 is correct, the light rail is to connect the terminals. If Northwest doesn't see a need for it, it must not exist - they would have visibility into most interline connecting passengers, those that have at least bought it on one record.

I would imagine that whatever existing service they have - is it a bus? - is probably sufficient.

NS


User currently offlineHelvknight From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 4607 times:

Isn't there talk of commuter rail from Ann Arbor to Detroit with the line going close to DTW?

A link from a station on the rail line at the edge of the airport to Macnamara and North then to the rental cars and long term parking ala the EWR monorail might work.

Also an easy connection between Macnamara (NW and other Skyteam) and North (non-Skyteam such as *A and WN) is hardly going to be in NW's best interests.


User currently offlineDtwclipper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 4597 times:

Quoting Helvknight (Reply 7):
Isn't there talk of commuter rail from Ann Arbor to Detroit with the line going close to DTW?

There is no rail service to DTW.
There is a line that goes from Detroit to Chicago that stops in Dearborn and Ann Arbor along the way, but that is not near DTW.


User currently offlineBond007 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 5343 posts, RR: 8
Reply 9, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 4581 times:

Quoting United787 (Reply 4):
Do you really think all of the people working in the auto industry would use a rail line?

"all of the people working in the auto industry", won't be a very large figure in a few years time.

Jimbo



I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
User currently offlineHelvknight From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 4561 times:

Quoting Dtwclipper (Reply 8):
There is no rail service to DTW.
There is a line that goes from Detroit to Chicago that stops in Dearborn and Ann Arbor along the way, but that is not near DTW.

I think this is what they're talking about. http://www.metrotimes.com/editorial/story.asp?id=9543

There are other links suggesting start in 2009 or 2010.

[Edited 2007-11-06 08:10:34]

[Edited 2007-11-06 08:11:07]

User currently offlineContnlEliteCMH From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 1450 posts, RR: 44
Reply 11, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 4535 times:

Quoting United787 (Reply 4):
Don't forget, it is GM that destroyed the public transportation system (street cars) in this country, including the one in Detroit. Ironically, downtown Detroit now has the most depressed downtown in the country, serves them right, they created their own nightmere.

This is absolutely ridiculous.

What could *possibly* be the relevance of this point to the topic at hand? Since GM killed off light rail, there won't be a light rail connecting terminals at DTW -- which is an AIRPORT, not a road.

The conspiracy to which you refer ended (as in, activity stopped) in 1950. That's 57 years ago. Nothing like living in the past, no?

No wonder rail freaks have no credibility. Pulling out stuff like this is case-in-point.



Christianity. Islam. Hinduism. Anthropogenic Global Warming. All are matters of faith!
User currently offlineDtwclipper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 4498 times:

Quoting Helvknight (Reply 10):
suggesting start in 2009 or 2010.

One word: NEVER


It ain't gonna happen here.


User currently offlineSRT75 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 257 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 4478 times:

Quoting DTW.SCE" class=quote target=_blank>PSU.DTW.SCE (Reply 5):
NW is right that a terminal-to-terminal train would be a waste at this point when a shuttle bus can handle the low demand as it is right now.

I would like to know where the got the prediction of 67% growth in the future? If NW were to expand, I could see the need to move some of the other SkyTeam members currently using McNamara to the new Smith. In that case, there would be a need for a fast link between terminals.

Is NW basically saying they will never expand DTW to the point where they will outgrow McNamara?


User currently offlineApodino From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 4124 posts, RR: 6
Reply 14, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 4478 times:

As someone who often flies through DTW and does the terminal to terminal shuffle, I hope that this does happen. I also heard that this would be an airside connection, meaning you can transfer between McNamarra and North without having to reclear TSA (Which is very crowded as it is now in the Smith terminal). Here is the other thing that NW forgets about. In the case of irregular operations (which are regular operations these days), if you have to reaccomodate passengers, often times this happens on other airlines. I think its good customer service for these people to go catch their flight without having to do the TSA thing again.

The reason I travel through DTW and have to do the terminal shuffle is because ATW does not have USAirways service, and I often jumpseat on either Pinnacle or Mesaba to DTW in order to get to a US or ZW flight. The one bad thing is that they have an awesome shuttle driver, who is so well liked that people who fly NW often park in the Smith terminal just to ride the shuttle bus with her.


User currently offlineNASCARAirforce From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 3150 posts, RR: 5
Reply 15, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 4452 times:

Quoting Gigneil (Reply 6):
I would imagine that whatever existing service they have - is it a bus? - is probably sufficient.

They have shuttle busses that run back and forth between the Mac and the Smith, most of the riders are airport employees - such as skycaps, TSA etc that work out of both terminals.

Quoting Helvknight (Reply 7):
Isn't there talk of commuter rail from Ann Arbor to Detroit with the line going close to DTW?

The rail line that goes from Ann Arbor to Detroit is the old Conrail Line that also Amtrak uses, it passes about 4-5 miles north of DTW in Wayne, Inkster, Dearborn etc. There is a rail line that is on DTW's north perimeter, but that goes well south of Ann Arbor and is used by Norfolk and Southern.


I attended one of those meetings last fall. It was put on by Jacobsen Daniels and HTNB I believe - planners for the airport. There was talk about adding the fifth parallel runway to the east of the other runways, which would close Middlebelt Rd, or cross it - and go right thru a neighborhood along Eureka Rd. They also talked about extending the McNamara terminal to the north and possibly closing Runway 9L/27R - don't think that would work though

Better to build an additional terminal between 4L/22R and 4R/22L like the Mac and either have road access or a subway that travels between the Mac and new terminal.


User currently offlineFlyinryan99 From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 1986 posts, RR: 12
Reply 16, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 4384 times:

Quoting Gigneil (Reply 6):
United787 is correct, the light rail is to connect the terminals. If Northwest doesn't see a need for it, it must not exist - they would have visibility into most interline connecting passengers, those that have at least bought it on one record.

I would imagine that whatever existing service they have - is it a bus? - is probably sufficient.

I understand it would be connecting the two terminals. I was just saying if there were to be a light rail between downtown Toledo and Metro, it would need to connect both terminals so it could be used as a dual purpose if planned right.

I agree with above posters 67% increase? What do they know we don't? Are they planning on having TOL, FNT, and Windsor closed to passenger traffic?


User currently offlineTOLtommy From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 3276 posts, RR: 4
Reply 17, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 4303 times:

Quoting Flyinryan99 (Reply 3):
I wouldn't mind driving 10 minutes to catch a train up to DTW to fly out.



Quoting Dtwclipper (Thread starter):
With the number of passengers at Metro Airport expected to grow 67% within the next 20 years, the Wayne County Airport Authority says it needs a new runway, light-rail system and expanded terminals to handle the increased traffic.

FlyinRyan.... I expected better out of you.....  boggled   boggled 

Wouldn't TOL be able to reduce some of the possible congestion? Geez, NW could at least drop in a MSP-TOL flight or two. Don't jump on the train! Of course, it would have to stop in Bedford, Luna Pier, Monroe, etc..... At that point every one is back in the car, racing up 75.

Quoting Gigneil (Reply 6):

United787 is correct, the light rail is to connect the terminals. If Northwest doesn't see a need for it, it must not exist

OTOH, if NW doesn't see a need for it, they might see that a need does exist. Wouldn't want to make it any easier to change carriers at DTW, right?  stirthepot 


User currently offlineDCA-ROCguy From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 4467 posts, RR: 34
Reply 18, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 4227 times:

From the information given in the article and the discussion, I'd side with Northwest on this one. Keeping airport costs manageable is absolutely vital. Aren't all SkyTeam carriers at the McNamara now? If and when the MacNamara needs to be expanded beyond what its space footprint can handle, the airport can consider options. But why build a costly interterminal rail system now?

Apodino, the circumstances you mention could IMO be covered by airside shuttle buses. I don't think one can generalize from your experience as an aviation-employee jumpseater to saying the traveling public needs costly interterminal rail to a terminal NW's alliance doesn't use. Also, reaccomodations are a small enough percentage of pax as to not require a rail infrastructure either.

67 percent is probably a reasonable growth estimate over 20 years; DTW is well located in the country, has one of the best runway layouts in the country, and a big local population base (however weak its economy). It won't go the way of PIT and STL. It's reasonable to think DTW will remain a hub whatever happens in the industry. But even so, it's not clear to me why the non-SkyTeam North Terminal would need to be linked to the MacNamara by costly rail.

Jim

[Edited 2007-11-06 10:10:35]

User currently offlineMichman From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 466 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 4155 times:

Quoting Flyinryan99 (Reply 3):
Maybe the airport board should talk to Toledo city council members. Every once in a while the idea of "light rail" connecting downtown Toledo to Metro Airport gets kicked around. With gas prices continuing to climb and lack of flight options out of TOL, I am kind of favoring that. I wouldn't mind driving 10 minutes to catch a train up to DTW to fly out. Just my humble opinion.

Instead of lobbying for light rail, maybe they should lobby the Michigan Flyer service -- www.michiganflyer.com -- to add some runs down to Toledo. They've got free WIFI onboard and it's a heck of a lot cheaper than building a light rail line.


User currently offlineDeltAirlines From United States of America, joined May 1999, 8868 posts, RR: 12
Reply 20, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 4152 times:

There's still plenty of room for the McNamera terminal to be expanded. Concourse B can easily continue south, adding another 14-18 gates that could handle most narrowbody equipment quite easily. And if they wanted to, they could extend the C concourse out to add another 10 parking spots or so for CRJs and Saabs. Plenty of room for development there.

User currently offlineORDagent From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 823 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 4124 times:

NW is simply trying to guard thier DTW fortress. If PFC taxes are bumped up to cover the construction of the rail line the NW tarriff would be inherantly higher due to the taxes and in order to stay competitive they would have to cut prices by the level of the new taxes.

I find it a pitty that the U.S. airports can't or won't embrace land side public transportation a la many of the airports in Europe. Fortunately NYC is getting JFK integrated into the subway system. Here in Chicago both of our airports are at the terminous of a subway line. I don't have the exact numbers but every time I take the train to ORD it is amazing how many travelers and employees take the train to ORD. MDW appears to be crowded but there are multiple bus lines that terminate at MDW so it is a bit harder to tell how many are actually going to the terminal.


User currently offlineFlyinryan99 From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 1986 posts, RR: 12
Reply 22, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 4091 times:

Quoting TOLtommy (Reply 17):
FlyinRyan.... I expected better out of you.....

Wouldn't TOL be able to reduce some of the possible congestion? Geez, NW could at least drop in a MSP-TOL flight or two. Don't jump on the train! Of course, it would have to stop in Bedford, Luna Pier, Monroe, etc..... At that point every one is back in the car, racing up 75.

Yeah...well when you're told things are going well out there and Delta cuts another flight you lose faith and interest in things going on out there.

I wouldn't say stop all of those places...just have a stop in downtown and then Monroe and call it good. People would have to drive a short distance either way.

Quoting Michman (Reply 19):
Instead of lobbying for light rail, maybe they should lobby the Michigan Flyer service -- www.michiganflyer.com -- to add some runs down to Toledo. They've got free WIFI onboard and it's a heck of a lot cheaper than building a light rail line.

Now that is interesting...I haven't heard/seen this. Good idea.


User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11151 posts, RR: 59
Reply 23, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 4071 times:

Quoting ORDagent (Reply 21):
I find it a pitty that the U.S. airports can't or won't embrace land side public transportation a la many of the airports in Europe.

I completely agree. There is nothing like arriving in Zurich Airport and hopping on one of more than 300 trains daily to points all over Switzerland.

Quoting ORDagent (Reply 21):
Fortunately NYC is getting JFK integrated into the subway system. Here in Chicago both of our airports are at the terminous of a subway line. I don't have the exact numbers but every time I take the train to ORD it is amazing how many travelers and employees take the train to ORD. MDW appears to be crowded but there are multiple bus lines that terminate at MDW so it is a bit harder to tell how many are actually going to the terminal.

It's good that more and more airports in the US are making efforts to connect themselves to some form of rail system.

Here in Denver, they are going to build an electric rail line connecting the airport with Union Station in downtown. It should be completed by 2015.



"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
User currently offlineFlyf15 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 4067 times:

Does anyone know where I can obtain a copy of the DTW master plan?

25 Post contains links TOLtommy : They can expand the B concourse, but C is at it's end. There's a major taxiway right behind those gate (to the north). I don't know if A concourse ca
26 Bobnwa : As has been pointed out several times, the rail in question is between terminals only, not to anywhere else. NWA does not see a need for it. Rail tra
27 N1120A : They do in Europe. Why? No credibility? It is absolutely true. Here is L.A., that past haunts our present.
28 NW748i : I grew up there and they've been predicting that since I was a kid... Most likely the FAA forecast. IAD has a similar number for 20 years out.
29 BA : Read my post again. I was responding to ORDagent's comment about airport rail lines. I was not talking about the proposed inter-terminal rail link be
30 N1120A : It is going to be electric now? I thought they were going DMU
31 Post contains links BA : They were considering both diesel and electric. Back in July, RTD directors rejected diesel in favor of electric: http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_6
32 N1120A : Pretty cool. It makes sense as fuel costs rise, though the availability of bio fuels should help that. Still, good forward thinking.
33 Burnsie28 : A train connecting the two terminals would be a waste of money, all of NW's partners are in the McNamara terminal, few if any customers are split betw
34 Hjulicher : I think that if a rapid rail link were built connected downtown detroit and ann arbor with the airport would be one of the best ways to invest money
35 Flyf15 : Seems to me like the ideal plan would be to connect the two terminals via bus within security. I'm guessing there aren't too many pax making these con
36 PSU.DTW.SCE : The Worldgateway was built for the future with ample capacity as it is now. It is well below its maximum capacity. A & C are max'ed out in the curren
37 ContnlEliteCMH : It's ridiculous because it is an interesting historical note, but hardly an explanation for why Detroit cannot or will not implement rail TODAY. "Wil
38 Post contains images Super80DFW : HAA!!!!! That's funny!
39 Post contains images LHboyatDTW : It's funny. Many Detroiters like myself constantly complain about the need for better public transportation, but deep down inside we know we'd never u
40 Hjulicher : I call it the people shooter, but mugger movers also works. Actually I think there is huge potential to using light rail to and from the airport. Whe
41 Post contains links NW748i : Seems that NW plans to use those profits for things other than a new rail system: http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll...e?AID=/20071107/BIZ/711070345
42 Iflyswa : How about Northwest's Airport Use Agreement with the WCAA? How much authority over capital investment projects is NW given as majority-in-interest? i
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