Listen: Bridge discusses low ridership of Detroit’s QLine streetcar

This week, ridership numbers were revealed for the first year of Detroit’s QLine streetcar service. They weren’t pretty.

As Bridge Magazine first reported, the 3.3-mile electric train along Woodward Avenue attracted about 2,700 riders per day for about half the year, far less than the 5,000 expected. Revenue figures also show the QLine is well short of self-sufficiency.

On Thursday, Bridge reporter Chastity-Pratt Dawsey discussed the QLine with our reporting partners at WDET FM, Detroit’s public radio station. Listen to the conversation here.

Read the story here: One year in, Detroit’s QLine falling well short of expectations

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Le Roy G. Barnett
Fri, 05/04/2018 - 8:42am

People who dream up projects like QLine always provide unrealistically optimistic statistics to justify the enterprise. When their rosy predictions prove to be unfounded, they cover themselves by saying that the shortfall in their assessment is due to the fact that the undertaking was not more ambitious (i.e. must be extended to 8-Mile Road or be part of an even larger transportation system). None of these transit endeavors will ever be self-supporting.

Fri, 05/04/2018 - 10:05am

It seems like this is more of a novelty thing than a serious mode of transportation, it is shiny and new and meant to show off a part of Detroit that is halfway decent but it is not really all that practical.

Paul Jordan
Sat, 05/05/2018 - 7:24am

It is rather ridiculous to expect high ridership on a single street car route. Back when I was a kid, Detroit had a whole system of street cars. To expect it to become a primary mode of transportation within the city, the system must be extensive enough that you don't need a car to get where you want to go. One street car line doesn't any more than does a single People Mover line.
(And, by the way, why didn't Detroit's powers-that-be learn this from the People Mover experience?)

Jesus Salvador
Thu, 05/10/2018 - 4:07pm

Should have built a high speed raised rail with stops protected by the elements, like the safe beautiful convenient comfortable fast People Mover, not a slow unreliable 1800's novelty toy. Now that the damage has been done, close Woodward Ave to non-streetcars and add more street cars, make them go faster, arrive/depart on time! Make all riders pass through a secure enclosed stop with a turnstile where payment is assured. It's not rocket science!