See our Best of Detroit 2020 winners.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

QLine extends free ride period through Labor Day

Posted By on Thu, Jun 22, 2017 at 5:01 AM

click to enlarge The QLine makes its public debut on May 12. - COURTESY M-1 RAIL
  • Courtesy M-1 Rail
  • The QLine makes its public debut on May 12.
Detroit's QLine will continue to offer free rides through Labor Day.

A spokesman for streetcar operator M-1 Rail confirms the Kresge Foundation is funding the extended free ride period. Initially, M-1 Rail offered free rides as a launch weekend promotion when the QLine opened to the public in May. The free rides were extended another week, and then extended again through the month of June, with a $1.50 fare originally expected to go into effect on July 1.



According to M-1 Rail spokesman Dan Lijana, this new round of free ride extensions comes as M-1 Rail tweaks its operating procedures — the QLine's launch has not been without kinks, with users noting long wait times for cars and a buggy predicted wait time system. During this time, Lijana says M-1 Rail will tweak operational procedures, including reducing the amount of time the cars spend charging their batteries, increasing cars and staffs, and rolling out a signal priority system at certain intersections.

"[Kresge] views this as a long-term investment in transit," says Lijana. "While the reception for the QLine has been amazing, it's also clear that there are some operational things that we have to work on, and that's what we're going to spend the next two months working on."

According to Lijana, Kresge's contribution will cover the expected ridership from July 1 through Sept. 4, or an expected $200,000-$300,000. The Kresge Foundation is one of the M-1 Rail nonprofit's major donors, with an investment of $50 million into the $180 million project. The M-1 Rail's board of directors includes Kresge CEO Rapson.

Eventually, M-1 Rail hopes the system would eventually be adopted and expanded by a transit agency like the Regional Transit Authority, a move that would come with matching federal government funds of $60 million. Advocates are pushing for an RTA measure in 2018.




Tags: , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 28, 2020

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit