Detroit's QLine reopens early for Dlectricty fest service

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click to enlarge Detroit's QLine streetcar is back in business. - Leah Castile/Detroit Stock City
Leah Castile/Detroit Stock City
Detroit's QLine streetcar is back in business.

Officials are reopening Detroit's Qline streetcar a few days ahead of schedule for service during the Dlectricty festival.

The QLine has been closed for passengers since the pandemic began last year. Dlectricty, Detroit's biennial-ish festival of lights, was also disrupted by the pandemic in 2020. It returns on Friday and Saturday with public programming in Detroit's Cultural Center district and Beacon Park.

The streetcars will run from 6 p.m.-midnight on Friday and Saturday before resuming regular service on Monday, Sept. 27.

The QLine will also be free to ride for the remainder of the year.

“This is the start of a new chapter for the QLINE,” said Matt Cullen, CEO of QLine operator M-1 Rail, in a statement. “We appreciate the patience of our riders during the service pause and we’re excited to help the Woodward Corridor emerge from the pandemic.”

First opened in 2017, the streetcar service has been disrupted by delays due to traffic on Woodward Avenue (and a design that prioritized business-friendly curbside service instead of a dedicated lane). M-1 Rail says it has spent the downtime working to get Qline service every 15 minutes or less.

To help keep it moving, officials have created a transit-only lane for the QLine and buses in front of Little Caesars Arena, and more transit-only lanes are planned along Woodward.

Other changes include taking on additional operators, utilizing new technology in the streetcars, and the ability to remove obstructions more expeditiously, M-1 Rail says.

After Monday, the QLine hours will be 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday.

The full schedule and map for Dlecricity are available at dlectricity.com.

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About The Author

Lee DeVito

Leyland "Lee" DeVito grew up in the suburbs of Detroit, where he read Metro Times religiously due to teenaged-induced boredom. He became a contributing writer for Metro Times in 2009, and Editor in Chief in 2016. In addition to writing, he also supplies occasional illustrations. His writing has been published...
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