Detroit — The QLine streetcars will formally roll up and down Woodward beginning May 12, officials announced Thursday.
After more than a decade of discussions and delays, construction on the tracks began in July 2014 and QLine made its first test on the tracks in December. On May 12, there will be a news conference and then an inaugural ride down Woodward from the Penske Technical Center in the New Center area. Rides for the public will begin that evening.
“QLine’s grand opening will be a historic day in Detroit,” said Matt Cullen, CEO of the M-1 Rail company, which operates the streetcar system. “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 walk-up fare for a ride will be $1.50. Daily and monthly passes also will be made available. Those prices will be announced soon, officials said.
The QLine will run from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; 6 a.m. to midnight on Fridays; 8 a.m. to midnight on Saturdays and from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays.
M-1 officials say the QLine system has gone through more than 1,000 tests in preparation for its first day. Drivers have been going through extensive training for weeks.
“Testing and training continues to go well,” said Paul Childs, COO of M-1. “We’re excited for people to experience their first ride on the streetcar. Our team has done a great job building a system that will be safe, reliable and deliver a best-in-class transit experience.”
The streetcar, officials say, will seat from 125-200 people. The $140 million project will stretch 3.3 miles on Woodward between Campus Martius downtown and the New Center area. It will travel at speeds of up to 35 mph.
The Qline cars were delivered late last year by Brookville Equipment Co., the only manufacturer to design and build these rail cars exclusively the United States. There will be six streetcars in total.
M-1 officials also announced a “public education campaign” with the first in a series of safety videos to help Detroiters get “accustomed to coexisting with the new system.” The video is available here.