Streetcar Solution?

Maxwell Youtie's picture

Over the weekend I was in Toronto and noticed a very interesting transportation method. The streetcar! All throughout the city of Toronto there were streetcars fully packed with riders going from one location to anther. This led me to buy a ticket and use it during Saturday. I found it very useful, easy, and convenient for me to navigate the city and make it to my ideal destinations on time. My amazing experience led me to look into their current usage and possible expansion in Michigan. 

In 2017, Dan Gilbert launched a brand new streetcar system for the city of Detroit. The Qline is made up of six streetcars that make a 6.6-mile loop. It connects downtown Detroit with the New Center neighborhood. Businessmen and philanthropists funded the majority of the $200 million project, with only about $30 million being charged to the federal government.  

Streetcars offer tremendous benefits in the form of transportation and development of the areas they connect. This is especially useful for the city of Detroit that is undergoing a full remodel. In terms of transportation, Detroit is one of the worst cities in the United States.  According to Mlive, "In a report ranking traffic congestion in more than 1,000 cities across the world and 240 in the U.S., Detroit ranked 128th globally and 24th in the U.S. for having the worst traffic." Additionally, "The INRIX study, said to be the largest ever of its kind, reports Detroit drivers on average spent 33 hours in traffic in 2016. Traffic congestion is said to have cost each driver more than $1,000 a year in Detroit." This is due to the lack of convenience and safety of older public transportation methods for the cities residents. The adoption and expansion of the Qline system will work towards alleviating these problems and developing the city of Detroit. 

Have you ever taken a streetcar?

What do you think about the current public transportation system in Detroit?

Do you think the Qline will help solve public transportation in Detroit?

What are possible models of expansion for the streetcar system?

What are some drawbacks of the streetcars?