Talk:Transportation in metropolitan Detroit

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WikiProject Michigan / Detroit (Rated B-class, Mid-importance)
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Did National City Lines buy the streetcars in Detroit?[edit]

The claim that National City Lines bought the streetcars of Detroit has been removed from the article as not being true. I am not an expert but note that many people do seem to believe that theDetroit Street cars were purchased by the company. For example:

  • "Between 1936 and 1950, National City Lines bought out more than 100 electric surface-traction systems in 45 cities, including Detroit, New York, Oakland, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Salt Lake City, Tulsa, Baltimore, Minneapolis, and Los Angeles, and replaced them with GM buses."[1]

Is there a clue to the possible misunderstanding in the Supreme Court case text? "U.S. Supreme Court UNITED STATES V. NATIONAL CITY LINES"[2] I note that although Detroit is mentioned it only seems to be the location where General motors is based not as one of the cities that they controlled. I do however note that the case says that they did own streetcars in 'four cities in Michigan' - was Detroit not one of them?

If National City Lines did indeed not buy Detroit's street cars then I suggest that it would be very useful to find a irrefutable source and add that fact to the article clearly to counteract all the other claims elsewhere. If not then I suggest we should add the claim back to the article with some reference to it being uncertain.

-- PeterEastern (talk) 22:23, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

I've looked through the Detroit's Street Railways Vol. 1 and 2 (Schramm, Henning, Dworman). I don't see any references to purchases by National City Lines in Detroit. It does say Detroit built their own lines then bought out the DUR in 1922. :-- Fishtoes2000 (talk) 02:45, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
For the benefit of other readers I believe these are the titles being referred to: Detroit's Street Railways: City Lines, 1863-1922, Bulletin No. 117 (Schramm, Henning) ISBN: 0915348179 and Detroit's Street Railways Vol. 2, 1922-1956 (Bulletin 120) (Schramm and D Worman) ISBN-10: 0915348209 PeterEastern (talk) 06:20, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
That's correct. Fishtoes2000 (talk) 17:16, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
They certainly look like good sources and it would be surprising if they failed to mention anything so significant. Could this be both an example of how Wikipedia can both propagate false information but also be responsible for clearing it up? ... or was the conspiracy so deep that books with false information were commissioned!.... seems very unlikely but we will need strong evidence to choose between these two commonly held versions of reality. Note that Great American streetcar scandal and National City Lines articles repeat the 'false?' claim so we should do a clean-up job on them when/if we get our facts straight. The references used in the other articles are these: Columbus and Transportation Facilities and 'Dennis McDougal, Privileged son: Otis Chandler and the rise and fall of the L.A. Times dynasty. Da Capo Press, 2002, pp.162-5.' so we need to include them in our decision making. Interesting I can find no reference to Detroit with a search of 'Dennis McDougal, Privileged son' using Google books and pages 162-5 don't mention any list of cities.
I notice that Fifty years after the Motor City rode the rails does not indicate that National City Lines bought Detroit's streetcar. Ripping Up Rail mentions NCL but not directly in relation to Detroit - It does however mention four places in Michigan with streetcars - Detroit, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo and Battle Creek without saying which cities in Michigan NCL controlled. I note that the supreme court transcript also mentions 'four cities in Michigan' or at least a fifth city in Michigan with a streetcar system? or, can we find out from a good source for the places the supreme court were talking about and prove that none of them were Detroit? Indeed can we not find a irrefutable source for the full list of the 45 cities people the court case referred to. PeterEastern (talk) 06:20, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
This thread mentions four places in Michigan in which NCL had an involvement: ' Jackson (1936-1964), Kalamazoo (1936-1967), Lansing (1936-1937) and Saginaw (1936-1962) - are these the places mentioned in the Supreme Court ruling? '[3]
I have just deciphered the detroittransithistory article I refered to above as evidence that Detroit streetcars were owned by NCL and it actually says no such thing. Here is the text: Meanwhile, by the end of 1954, the entire Detroit PCC fleet had been advertised for sale to a number of PCC operators, but no buyers were found.  The MUNI system in San Francisco showed an interest, but turned down the offer because of that city's current financial problems, while the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) of Toronto, Canada expressed no interest. In late 1954, officials from the Philadelphia Transportation Company (PTC) were interested in the city's first 78 standard–size "all-electric" cars purchased in 1947. However, negotiations were abruptly terminated on March 2, 1955, when Douglas Pratt, a National Cities Lines official, became president of the PTC, and terminated talks with the DSR. The Philadelphia company had come under the control of National City Lines, which decided that the PTC go in a more bus-oriented direction. PeterEastern (talk) 06:27, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Bus Transporation[edit]

For whatever reason, the bus transporation section of this page seems to be heavily weighted for SMART. DDOT is the largest transit system in the state, yet it's only talked about in this section secondary to SMART. Someone needs to correct that. SMART is even smaller than Lansing's bus system by ridership, to give it primacy over DDOT in this article seems silly to be frank. --Criticalthinker (talk) 10:24, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

I second that the buss information is incorrect. DDOT and Smart have very poor interconnection. The issues that causes for riders should at least be mentioned. Also with the recent work slowdown by the mechanics union and questions about future funding of the Detroit bus system there should be some mention of that too. Lastly though south east Michigan and Ann arbor frequently go about with out thinking much of each other they are still in the same region and Ann Arbor's established and expanding service should be mentioned.