Posts Tagged ‘Streetcar lines’

Detroit Streetcar Resumes Sept. 27

August 27, 2021

The Detroit streetcar line will resume service after being idle for more than a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Known as the QLine streetcar, the 6.6-mile line shut down in March 2020.

When it resumes service it will operate every 15 minutes from 6 a.m. to midnight Monday-Friday and 8 a.m. to midnight on Saturday and Sunday.

Through the end of this year rides on the streetcar line, which is operated by M-1 Rail, will be free.

The streetcar route serves locations on Woodward Avenue from downtown Detroit through Midtown, New Center, and the North End.

It began operations in May 2017 and has carried 3.3 million people since then.

Detroit QLINE Begins Regular Service

May 15, 2017

The Detroit QLINE began revenue service last week over a 3.3-mile route that cost $180 million to develop.

It was the first streetcar service in Detroit since April 8, 1956.

To celebrate the opening of the streetcar service, Amtrak and the Michigan Department of Transportation are offering $5 one-way fares ($2.50 for children ages 2 to 12) from Ann Arbor, Dearborn, Royal Oak, Troy, and Pontiac to the Detroit station, a half block from the Baltimore Street Q Line stop near the Penske Tech Center maintenance facility in New Center.

The offer is available through May 21.

Merchants along the streetcar line offered special discounts this past weekend. Passengers were able to ride the streetcars for free.

The QLINE uses cars built by Pennsylvania-based Brookville Equipment Corporation that run on batteries at the ends of the routes and draw power from overhead wires in the middle of the system.

The streetcars run between Detroit’s New Center business area and the downtown riverfront district.

Detroit QLINE to Open on May 12

March 13, 2017

Revenue service on Detroit’s streetcar system will begin on May 12, QLINE officials said last week.

To mark the opening, there will be a special event at the Penske Technical Center and an inaugural ride down Woodward Avenue. Public service begins that evening.

“We are going to be running simulated operations in April,” said M-1 Rail spokesman Dan Lijana. “We want to make sure that the drivers have as much time on the road (as possible) before we start taking passengers.”

M-1 Rail is the operator of the streetcar system. Construction of the $142 streetcar line began in July 2014 and test runs over the 3.3-mile system began in December.

The 66-foot long streetcars can carry 125 passengers on average and will reach maximum speeds of 35 mph.

They will stop for traffic lights and M-1 Rail has begun a public education campaign with the first step being a series of safety videos to help Detroit residents become accustomed to coexisting with streetcars.

The QLINE will operate between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 6 a.m. to midnight on Friday, 8 a.m. to midnight on Saturday, and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday.

M-1 Rail estimates that the QLINE will carry 5,000 to 8,000 passengers per day.

“QLINE’s grand opening will be a historic day in Detroit,” said M-1 Rail CEO Matt Cullen. “We’re bringing rail transit back to the heart of the city and connecting the Woodward Corridor in a way that’s already begun to transform the entire district.”

Cincy Streetcar Carried 330,737 Since Opening

January 13, 2017

The Cincinnati streetcar line carried 330,737 passengers during its first four months of service.

CVG streetcarThe Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority said the 3.6 mile Cincinnati Bell Connector had ridership of 52,209 in December.

The line opened on Sept. 9 and is owned and funded by the City of Cincinnati. SORTA manages the system while contractor Transdev operates it.

Cincy Streetcar Names New GM

January 7, 2017

Luke McCaul has been named general manager of the Cincinnati Bell Connector streetcar system.

Luke Mc

Luke McCaul

He replaces Mark Young, who has been interim GM after the November resignation of John Lee.

The streetcar system is managed by Transdev under a five-year contract. Operations began last July.

McCaul served as general manager of operations for Pan Am Railways and oversaw the daily operation of 136 Boston-area passenger trains and more than 60 freight trains.

He started at Pan Am in 2002 as train operations manager and also has held positions of assistant director and general superintendent.

Cincy Streetcar Ridership Topping Expectations

October 4, 2016

Ridership of the new Cincinnati streetcar line has in the first two weeks of operation exceeded projectors despite some teething issues the system has encountered.

CVG streetcarAmong the issues of the Cincinnati Bell Connector have been inoperative credit card readers, lack of enough cars running on weekends, and transit times that have not lived up to their billing.

Some riders have told city officials that the pay kiosks are difficult to operate.

In the first two weeks of operation, the streetcar system recorded 70,292 rides and earned $47,755 in revenue.

The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority said the revenue is a quarter of what is needed to fund the system for the remainder of 2016.

“People are forming an impression; we want it to be as positive as possible,” Councilwoman Yvette Simpson said.

Assistant City Manager John Juech said that despite the issues, operation of the system has gone well.

“Various things come up. I think that is normal with a system of this magnitude,” he said.

Kim Green, executive director of Genfare, the company subcontracted to program the fare machines, told city council members that the machines would be fixed soon, but re-configuring how the machines work will take longer to achieve.

In the meantime, the counting sensors and its supporting software are now providing an accurate ridership count.

Many trips have not made their schedule, which city officials attributed to streetcars getting caught in traffic and having to halt at traffic signals.

The city hopes to undertake a traffic pattern study and in the meantime may tweak some of the traffic signals in an effort to speed up the streetcars.

The current schedule calls for cars to arrive at every stop on 15-minute headways.

Detroit QLINE Receives 1st Streetcar

September 15, 2016


The first streetcar arrived in Detroit on Wednesday.

“Receiving the first QLINE streetcar at this time will provide M-1 RAIL a greater opportunity to help Detroiters acclimate to the idea of sharing the road with a streetcar, and give us additional time for driver training,” said M-1 Rail Chief of Operations Paul Childs in a statement.

The car was built by Pennsylvania-based Brookville Equipment Corporation and arrived nearly two months ahead of initial projections, M-1 Rail officials said in a news release.

The three-piece QLINE streetcars are 66 feet in length and have a capacity of 125 passengers per car.

QLINE streetcars will share the road with vehicular traffic and have a top speed of 35 mph. Each car will offer Wi-Fi access, vertical bike racks, and heating and cooling systems.

QLINE expects to begin revenue service in spring 2017.

Cincinnati Opens its Streetcar Line

September 13, 2016

Although he once sought to kill it, Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley was among the dignitaries who participated last Friday in a grand opening ceremony for the Cincinnati Bell Connector streetcar line.

CVG streetcarAlso riding the inaugural run were Acting Federal Transit Administrator Carolyn Flowers, Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority Chair Jason Dunn, and other public officials and project supporters.

“We are proud to partner with Cincinnati on its streetcar and usher in a new era for getting around in this vibrant city,” Flowers said in a news release. “The streetcar will expand transportation options for residents and visitors, spur economic development and connect workers to jobs, helping to build ladders of opportunity throughout the city.”

The FTA said in a news release that the streetcar project has spurred “millions of dollars in redevelopment” in the city, with new retail and housing springing up along the line.

The streetcar line is a 3.6-mile loop between downtown and the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood. It has 18 stops and is the first streetcar service in Cincinnati in 65 years.

The streetcar system is owned and funded by the city, managed by SORTA and operated by Transdev.

Funded in part by a $16 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant, the streetcar line cost $148 million to build.

Grand Opening Set for Cincy Streetcar Line

May 31, 2016

A Sept. 9 grand opening will be held for the Cincinnati streetcar system that is under construction.

CVG streetcarThe event for the 3.6-mile line will be a week before the traditional Oktoberfest.

The opening is expected to be on time and under the project’s $147 million budget.

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley has indicated that surplus funds from the streetcar project will be used for non-transit projects rather than to plan the expansion of the streetcar line to Uptown to serve the University of Cincinnati and nearby hospitals.

Groundbreaking Set for Detroit Streetcar Project

June 28, 2014

Ground will be broken for the M1 Rail Detroit streetcar project on July 28. The ground breaking ceremonies had been planned for last spring but had been delayed until more arrangements, including approval by the Detroit City Council, could be worked out.

M1 said it would work with the Michigan Department of Transportation and DTE Energy as the latter two parties “start complementary work around mid-July before M-1 Rail begins its work on Monday, July 28.

The MDOT and DTE work on Woodward Avenue will not prohibit vehicular traffic but will require limited lane closures.”

“Over the next 30 days our team will be pounding the pavement to make everyone who lives, works and visits the Woodward [Avenue] corridor aware of what they should expect from track construction and how to navigate around it once we begin on July 28th,” said M1 Rail Chief Operating Officer Paul Childs. “We are moving quickly to provide information and resources to businesses and residents along the corridor. There will be a business support program that we will introduce in the coming weeks along with more details about construction activities and timelines as they are finalized.”

Alameda, Calif.-based Stacy and Witbeck, Inc. is the construction  manager and general contractor for the 3.3-mile, $137 million project.