Join us to participate in the upcoming 2019 City:One Challenge. 

GVSU Allendale - Downtown GR - Ford Airport Metrorail: a rare alignment of super-regional destinations overcomes population density deficit

a plan to galvanize support for a well-placed East-West Metrorail corridor to provide a strong transit spine for central Metro Grand Rapids

Photo of Michigan Black Expo Inc.
1 2

Written by

The Grand Rapids East/West Metrorail System Demonstration Asset (EWMDA) proposal is an instrument to not only build the community dialogue and consensus required to obtain the multi-billions of dollars in Federal, State, County, Municipal and Private funding for bringing it into reality but also to utilize it as an innovative teaching opportunity; one that supports the efforts of the Youth Urban Media Education Initiative (YUMEI) to establish Metro Grand Rapids as a hub of TruthSeeking/TruthSaying media production and as a central media production support hub for America's national media hubs at New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago and Atlanta. 

The EWMDA proposal aims to bring together the public high school students of YUMEI's Youth Correspondents Corps (YCC) program to strengthen their media production skills training; a strengthening expedited by way of their video-documenting the work of a Consortium of Grand Rapids Area Collegiate Engineering Programs (GRACEP) students to design the 3-D computer On-Ride Point-Of-View (POV) and Off-Ride POV simulations of the 21-mile East/West Metrorail system and its 19 stations and the adjacent environs that will interact with them.

Creating an indispensable transit system that will improve the quality of life for residents and visitors of Metro Grand Rapids requires a world-class plan that reflects "thinking outside the box" and that addresses providing a majority of residents/visitors with seamless intermodal access to a majority of the region's super-regional destinations; movement with maximum independence, maximum convenience/time savings and maximum personal affordability.  The EWMDA proposal provides the innovative keys for attaining these critical demands and more by way of 1] providing a fast-tracking of the normally lengthy process of attaining the funds for creating the requisite demonstration asset for a transit system of this proposal's magnitude, 2] providing a significantly more cost-effective mode for creating the demonstration asset (i.e. - CoT's $100,000 award compared to the $250,000+ fee normally charged by a traditional transit planning consultant) for those that are concerned with cost and 3] providing the opportunity to collaborate with and to strengthen the YUMEI agenda of establishing Metro Grand Rapids as a media production support hub for America's four (4) primary media hubs while it produces a reliable national repository of media savvy and beneficent Young Leaders of Tomorrow.  Multiple beneficial birds for the price of one is ALWAYS the better option.

[NOTE: in the interest of transparency and the diligent work to preserve new initiatives associated with YUMEI - like the Ford CoT EWMDA proposal - please be aware that Grand Valley State University-School of Engineering (GVSU-SoE) announced on 9/28/2018 that it discovered their involvement "with the actual organizers" of CoT and could not be involved as the collegiate collaborator of the EWMDA submission.

To positively circumvent such an 11th hour misfortune as well as to maintain the momentum growing around the YUMEI Agenda, MBEI has re-engaged earlier outreach to the other remaining GRACEP institutions to fill the void created by GVSU-SoE's need for collaborative recusal.]

Describe who will use your solution (1,000 characters)

The end users of EWMDA will be those community stewards including the associated Grand Rapids area concerned citizens groups, Grand Rapids Interurban Transportation Partnership/The Rapid (ITP/Rapid), Grand Valley Metropolitan Council (GVMC), Michigan Department of Transporation (MDOT) and national transit planning organizations - in particular the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) of the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) and the staff of FTA's Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST) - that will be needed to expedite the journey of EWMDA from concept consensus-building to funding approval to construction. The end users will have the opportunity to experience EWMDA's proposed Heavy Rail Transit (HRT) system from both on-ride POV and off-ride POV perspectives as it follows the 22-mile alignment of 19 mixed-use/multi-modal stations presented in the attached EWMDA Station Location Map.

Describe your solution's stage of development

  • Initial Design - you are still exploring the idea and have not tested it with users

Tell us about your team or organization (500 characters)

Michigan Black Expo, Inc. -Africentric Economic Development, Social Justice, Social Change and Society Enhancement organization -Rudolph R. Treece III, President, MBEI Consortium of Grand Rapids Area Collegiate Engineering Programs (GRACEP) -EWMDA Design Cohort Grand Rapids Community Media Center -Mme. Gretchen Vinnedge, Director of Education, GRCMC / Principal Instructor, Youth Correspondents Corps (YCC) Urban Media/Youth Enhancement Advocacy Council -support auxilliary

Size of your team or organization

  • 2-10

Funding Request

  • $100,000

Describe how you would pilot your idea (1000 characters)

A $100,000 award from CoT will enable EWMDA to be produced and to demonstrate the impact of the corridor and to provide a simulated interaction with the East/West Metrorail system, its 19 stations and its connection with the existing ITP/Rapid linehaul bus system at integrated bus transfer bays at those stations (providing "transit ribs" off of and onto "transit spine" of the metrorail alignment). The sustainability of EWMDA should be measured within the framework of attaining the endgame of final bureaucratic approval and the amalgam of local/state/federal/private funding to enact its implementation. The heavy lift role of EWMDA in providing a compelling, world-class and unifying demonstration instrument for building transit consensus in GR in conjunction with its conjoined engineering education and media production education aspects will provide the persuasive means to take us beyond PILOT demo asset phase and on to READY TO SCALE or Project Funding Grant Application phase.

Describe how you would measure the success of your pilot (1000 characters)

The PILOT demonstration asset phase of EWMDA will exhibit "success" by the demonstration asset winning the requisite community consensus to take EWMDA forward to the READY TO SCALE or Project Funding Grant Application phase of the project development timeline. Success with EWMDA's PILOT demonstration asset will create an opportunity for the innovative YUMEI/GRACEP collaboration to engage other pilot demonstration projects that can continue to build on the shared society enhancement legacies of MBEI, YUMEI, GRCMC, GRACEP and Ford Motor Company.
View more

Attachments (5)

Cities of Tomorrow Challenge_RailTran_2030_Braintrust Consortium_7-2-2018 REVISION.pdf

Revisiting Transit Rail Service for Metro GR at Dawn of 2035 Long Range Plan: Reconciling Population-Dense North/South Division Corridor with Destination-Dense East/West Corridor

Cities of Tomorrow Challenge_GR East-West Metrorail Corridor_Station Descriptions_FINAL.pdf

GR East-West Metrorail Corridor Station & Route Descriptions: Station Site/Route Placement Maximizing Concepts

UMYE-URBRadio-YUMEI-PNHBCU ComBI_Statement of Agenda to Benefit GRPS & Metro GR_FINAL.pdf

URBRadio/Youth Urban Media Education Initiative: Statement of Agenda to Benefit Grand Rapids Public Schools & Metro Grand Rapids

1 comment

Join the conversation:

Photo of Tom Bulten

Thank you for the proposal, Rudolph! I'm one of the facilitators on the forum. You responded to a couple of questions when you presented the idea in the "Explore" phase of the Challenge. So, I'll provide a link, here, so that others can get more information about the plan: