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.


Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Detroit.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Detroit stories


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Detroit.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more