Detroit’s Q Line free rides extended through July 1

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DETROIT — If you missed your free ride on Detroit's new streetcar, you now have until the end of June.

Following a week of free rides on Detroit’s 3.3-mile Q Line streetcar system after opening on May 12, operator M-1 Rail announced on May 19 that the promotion will be extended through June 30.

M-1’s Chief Executive Officer Matt Cullen says putting off fare collection, “will help integrate the streetcar into daily commutes and provide the necessary time for educating the riding public about riding the system.”

The largely privately financed route which connects downtown Detroit along Woodward Avenue to the city’s New Center business district operates on a combination of overhead catenary and battery-powered propulsion.

One of the issues to confront first-time riders during the inaugural weekend and throughout the first week of operation is the fact that with only four of the Q Line’s six Brookville articulated streetcars running, the average wait time at any stop is scheduled at 20 minutes. Opening day crowds led by a parade of bunched-up VIP trips, however, exacerbated the situation, with some passengers experiencing waits as long as 45 minutes.

Sommer Woods, M-1's external affairs vice president says that stretching out the introductory period will allow M-1 to “refine operations to accommodate demand,” and allow street teams to be deployed at station stops to assist riders in navigating the system and (connect) to destinations throughout the Woodward Corridor.

The Detroit News reports that almost 50,000 free trips were taken during the Q Line’s initial seven days of operation, averaging 8,300 daily riders Friday through Sunday and 5,120 on the four weekdays that followed.

More information is available online.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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