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Detroit — The QLine will permanently extend ridership hours beginning Monday, officials announced Thursday.

M-1 Rail spokesman Dan Lijana told The Detroit News that the move is in response to feedback from riders.

“We’ve received a lot of feedback from riders encouraging us to extend our hours,” he said.

“When we started, we always hoped demand would be here to extend the hours, and that we’d be able to improve operations and increase manpower to the point that additional hours would be feasible. Now we’ve reached that point.”

This means on Monday through Thursday, hours will extend from 11 p.m. to midnight. On Friday and Saturday, the streetcars will run until 2 a.m. the next day when they previously ended at midnight. Streetcars will run until 11 p.m. Sundays instead of shutting down at 8 p.m.

It also means more manpower to handle the extended hours.

“We’ve hired and trained seven new operators,” Lijana said. “We have been able to consistently meet our time goals. It didn’t make sense to extend hours if delivery of service isn’t consistent, and now we are consistent. We can deliver quality service later into the evening.”

When asked about ridership numbers and how much it will cost the operation to extend hours and hire more workers, he said that information will be forthcoming in January.

In September, M-1 Rail, which operates the system, reported an average of about 3,000 daily rides between Sept. 5-17, compared to 5,000 daily rides during the free period that went from May 12 through Labor Day.

There had been a daily ridership high of about 5,500 in August, according to M-1 Rail.

“It’s always been part of our revenue model that eventually we would extend hours,” Lijana said.

A single pass provides three hours for $1.50. A day pass costs $3, and a monthly pass is $30.

The QLine is a 6.6-mile circulating streetcar route servicing 12 locations on Woodward Avenue from downtown Detroit through Midtown, New Center and the North End.

SLewis@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2296

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