After more than seven years in the making, excitement in Detroit has taken off as plans for the city’s QLINE (formerly M-1 RAIL) have begun to come to life. Construction activities officially got underway in late July on the $140 million streetcar line that’s expected to be operational by late 2016.
The rail will feature six modern streetcars that will transport more than 6,000 daily riders between its 20 stations. The 3.3-mile route will also take riders to and from DDOT and SMART stops, the Detroit People Mover, Amtrak, the Windsor Tunnel Bus and the proposed Bus Rapid Transit.
Some of Detroit’s largest business, educational, medical, cultural and entertainment destinations will be connected by the system. During the construction period, great efforts are being made to minimize disruption to these attractions as well as to residents and visitors.
M-1 RAIL Director of External Affairs Sommer Woods says the organization works diligently to communicate with businesses and stakeholders in advance so they can make the best possible decisions.
“People know there will be some challenges, but our outreach has been well-received because our goal is to help them be prepared,” said Woods. Woods adds that in general Detroiters are excited for the project, but understand there will be a little pain for long-term gain.
Detroit’s QLINE is the first public streetcar line in the nation being supported by a public-private partnership comprised of foundations, corporations, and local, county, state and federal governments.
Visit m-1rail.com for updates on construction and traffic closures.