Detroit’s M-1 Rail streetcar, the first urban rail transit line in the U.S. to be built and run by a private, nonprofit organization, finally has a grand opening date.
The QLINE will officially open to the public on May 12, the Detroit Free Press reports. The three-piece cars, which have been undergoing testing since December, will travel at 35 mph along Woodward Avenue, stopping for traffic lights. Crain’s Detroit Business reports that base fares will be $1.50 and end-to-end rides will take 22-25 minutes. M-1 predicts 5,000-8,000 riders per day. The streetcar’s hours could change, but to start they’ll be 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 6 a.m. to midnight on Fridays; 8 a.m. to midnight on Saturdays; and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays.
“QLINE’s grand opening will be a historic day in Detroit,” M-1 RAIL CEO Matt Cullen, said, according to the Free Press. “We’re bringing rail transit back to the heart of the city and connecting the Woodward Corridor in a way that’s already begun to transform the entire district.”
The $142 million project began in July of 2014. As Next City covered at the time, it was a big deal because it was mostly funded by private investors and foundations, among them the Kresge Foundation, the Downtown Development Authority and the “Detroit Three” automakers: General Motors, Ford and Chrysler. Most urban streetcars rely on a mix of funding, particularly federal grants.
The grand opening will take place at the Penske Technical Center.
Rachel Dovey is an award-winning freelance writer and former USC Annenberg fellow living at the northern tip of California’s Bay Area. She writes about infrastructure, water and climate change and has been published by Bust, Wired, Paste, SF Weekly, the East Bay Express and the North Bay Bohemian.