The QLINE, Lijana continued, is expected to be “a catalyst for transit. We expect to service residents of the adjoining neighborhood, visitors, users of Amtrak, the Detroit DOT bus system, and certainly Wayne State University.”
Lijana said that it’s been exciting seeing all the new and restored housing and business development going in along the corridor in anticipation of the QLINE’s arrival. “For every dollar we’ve spent in this $140 million project, we’ve seen $8 in return, whether it’s residential construction, business expansion, [or] new construction, and that’s happening not just on Woodward, but in the surrounding areas, as well.”
Given the complex history of mass transit in Detroit, it’s possible the QLINE could be a real game-changer, especially at a time when, even in the Motor City, a new demographic of young professionals and millennials is questioning whether car ownership is desirable or necessary. In light of that, some in the Motor City may be surprised to learn that the region was once a nationally recognized interurban mass transit capital, with a huge streetcar system. (In fact, in 1920, a vote to install a subway system in Detroit failed to make it out of city council by a single vote.)
In November, voters in Macomb, Oakland, Wayne, and Washtenaw Counties will decide whether to approve a $4.2 billion plan to improve and expand public transit services in the metro Detroit area in a variety of ways, including the addition of rapid bus transit, expanded bus services, and a commuter rail system between Detroit and Ann Arbor, among other amenities.
In March of this year, the M-1 Rail Project was renamed QLINE after billionaire investor Dan Gilbert and his Quicken Loans company donated $10 million to the $140 million project. Little Caesars Arena, the new stadium being built for the Detroit Red Wings, will be serviced by the QLINE’s Sibley Station stop.
Lijana said that as soon as the car arrives, it will begin testing and training on the track... so we’re telling you there’s a chance for this to be up and running sooner than we thought. At the very least, you might see it jangle by next time you’re hitting up Wright & Co for brunch.
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