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.