Jan 16, 2024 - Transit

New bus route from downtown Detroit to DTW expected to launch this spring

Illustration of a bus seen through the view of binoculars.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Details of a new express bus route from downtown to Detroit Metro Airport are being finalized.

Why it matters: Rides on the pilot route would take about 30 minutes — the fastest, most direct bus service from the city to DTW.

Driving the news: The Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan held two public hearings last week to get feedback before the service's expected launch this spring.

  • The RTA has a $2.5 million grant to pay for at least one year of service.

Details: Indian Trails buses would make 16 daily round trips from downtown to the airport.

  • One-way tickets would cost up to $15.
  • The proposed pickup location is on the west side of Washington Boulevard, across the street from the Westin Book Cadillac and near the Rosa Parks Transit Center.
  • Another pickup option is near Grand Circus Park.

What they're saying: Public feedback so far has been enthusiastic, Megan Owens, executive director of nonprofit advocacy organization Transportation Riders United, tells Axios.

  • There have been some concerns about the cost and downtown location, which is somewhat disconnected from other public transit options.
  • Inbound air travelers are often confused about why there isn't a direct bus route downtown, she says.

State of play: Public comment is open through Wednesday by phone (313-402-1020), email ([email protected]) or mail to the RTA.

  • Officials say they'll incorporate the comments into the route's final details.
  • "It's important for as many people as possible to share their input about what's to come," RTA executive director Ben Stupka said in a statement.

What we're watching: The announcement sharpens Detroit's need for a centrally located bus terminal for the Detroit Department of Transportation, SMART and the D2A2 line, which stops at Grand Circus Park.

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