QLine joins SMART, DDOT in common payment system

James David Dickson
The Detroit News

Detroit — The QLine announced Monday that it would join the Detroit Department of Transportation and SMART in using DART, a payment system common to the two bus lines.

The DART payment system was announced in April and before it launched officials said the plan was to someday add the QLine and People Mover systems. 

A QLine Detroit streetcar departs the Sproat Street station

Someday has arrived, or it will on Oct. 1, when QLine modifies its fare structure to join the DART system.

QLine will sell a four-hour DART pass with unlimited transfers between the train and the two bus systems. That's available for $2, or 50 cents for those who qualify for reduced fares. There's also a 24-hour pass available for $5, or a reduced price of $2.

The 3.3 mile streetcar will also accept seven-day and 31-day passes.

On Sept. 30, QLine will stop offering its three-hour passes and its day passes, but will continue to sell monthly passes for unlimited streetcar rides for $30 through the end of the year, and honor them through Sept. 1, 2020.

In a statement, QLine CEO Matt Cullen said the streetcar was "always envisioned as a catalyst for the creation of a true regional transit system,” adding that “joining DDOT and SMART on a unified payment system is another important step toward that goal."

In June, DART users told The News that the new payment system made it easier and cheaper to transfer between systems, and a bus rider said the simplified fare structure was easier for riders to understand, speeding the boarding process.