There’s been talk, construction and excitement — now the QLINE is taking off with the public on-board for the first time.
On Friday morning the first streetcar pulled out of the Grand Circus Park stop and began carrying passengers.
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While riding the QLINE comes with a price, through Sunday, May 21 the ticket cost is waived as the public is invited to check the new M-1 Rail system out.
“It’s been interesting watching the test runs go back-and-forth,” said Nicole Smith, a downtown Detroit worker. “It’s been kind of fun. I’ve even taken picture to show them to the kids.”
Smith is one of the many people who said they expect to ride the QLINE. Riley Latham, a Quicken Loans worker, said everyone in his office is talking about the streetcars.
“And because it’s free this weekend when it opens up, I think a lot of people will use it,” said Latham.
There is a hope that the ridership continues to take off beyond the weekend.
A report issued last month stated that M-1 RAIL projected that $7 billion worth of investment has, or is planned, to be developed on either side of Woodward Avenue along the QLINE’s 3-mile stretch since a federal grant sealed the public-private partnership to jump-start the new streetcar project.
“What the QLINE has done is take the entire length of Woodward from the river to Grand Boulevard and provide an attractive reason to develop and redevelop,” said Eric Larson, president of the Downtown Detroit Partnership. “So a lot more of the infill opportunities that were not quite ready are now sitting in a very good position.”
The projects involved in the $7 billion projection include everything from bars and bakeries to hotels and newly announced skyscrapers. It also includes the ongoing construction of the Little Caesar’s Arena that will soon house the Detroit Red Wings and the Detroit Pistons.
“I think it’s great that it’s coming to town,” said Dionte Nelson, a Detroiter who rides the bus to work. “It brings a different light to the city.”
Nelson said he wished the QLINE had already been up and running, noting that larger cities have more public transportation options that Detroit. He added that this is a chance for Detroit to change its own public transportation.
“People have to get to work,” said Nelson. “People have to get to school, and sometimes the bus lines aren’t as effective and efficient as it needs to be. I hope this is the beginning of something more.”
THE COST TO RIDE THE QLINE
The cost to ride the QLINE is free for the first weekend, but the prices for a ticket will kick in beginning Monday.
$1.50 - Three Hour Pass
$3.00 - Day Pass
$ .75 - Three House Pass for Senios and Disabled Riders
$ 30 - Monthly Pass
$ 285 - Annual Pass
Monday-Thursday: 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Friday: 6 a.m. to 12 a.m.
Saturday: 8 a.m. to 12:00 a.m.
Sunday: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Now that the QLINE is up and running you’ll notice some changes along the route on Woodward Avenue. A number of no parking signs have been added where the rail system needs to remain clear, the M-1 RAIL team also notes online that you’ll want to make sure you park within the white lines in the areas where parking is cut out inside the QLINE rail.
At some high-traffic areas you’ll notice a new street sign that look like a QLINE streetcar. When lit the streetcar is the only vehicle that should be moving through the intersection.
You can watch a quick safety video on new features that come along with the QLINE here.