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QLINE extends free rides through Labor Day, focuses on improvements

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Photo by Michelle & Chris Gerard

The QLINE opened for service in May, and Detroit quickly realized that people here were curious about the streetcar. After an initial free weekend, the M-1 rail extended the free ride period for another week, then another six weeks. Now, thanks to a grant from the Kresge Foundation, it will be free to ride until Labor Day.

Those who have ridden the streetcar have probably noticed a few issues. There are six total streetcars, and generally a few of them will be in service at any time. During busy times, the streetcars get crowded and wait times increase. Many have noticed that screens in the stations aren’t always accurate, and the streetcars sometimes take a long time sitting in traffic.

These issues will be worked on during the summer.

The M-1 Rail announced today that a few key service improvements will be a focus throughout the summer, including:

  • More accurate information on the station kiosks,
  • More operators will be trained and eventually, more streetcars will be in operation (four during off-peak hours, five during peak hours),
  • Possible signal priority for the QLINE, which is now at Congress and Campus Martius, and in the future at Burroughs and Montcalm,
  • Bypassing stations where there are no passengers waiting and no passengers who want to exit,
  • QLINE will run 80% off-wire, reducing charge times,
  • Stronger enforcement of rail obstruction along Woodward.

M-1 Rail says it served 100,000 riders its first month, with wait times around 20 minutes Monday-Saturday and 30 minutes on Sundays.

Have you been using the QLINE regularly? What do you think so far?