Why take the bus? The suburbs, while not well designed for public transit, are full of free parking! With the addition of the QLINE, getting around the main business district of Downtown Detroit is easier than ever. Leave your car in the burbs and take transit downtown! Fares are $2.00 per person, $1.00 for youth, $0.50 for seniors, $0.50 for DDOT issued transfers and $0.25 transfers.
In September of 2016 the RTA partnered with DDOT and SMART to bring regional bus service to Woodward and Gratiot Ave. I recently chronicled all the places you can reach from the QLINE streetcar in Detroit. Now I’m tackling the two RefleX bus routes 498 Woodward and 598 Gratiot.
(Guide notes: NB=north bound, SB=south bound, SMART= Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation, DDOT=Detroit Department of Transportation)
The 598/599 RefleX runs 7 days a week between Mt Clemens and downtown Detroit along Gratiot. Limited stops allow for buses every 45 minutes.
North River (Park and Ride) This park and ride lot is used as the Mt. Clemens Farmers Market. The farmers market will be moved to downtown by spring 2018. Notable places: Access to I-94, Gibralter Trade Center (closed), Captain’s Landing River Cruises, Michigan Works! and several apartment complexes.
Mt Clemens (SB: Main and Cass / NB Gratiot and Cass) Mount Clemens is a historic town along the Clinton River once famous for mineral baths. At this location you can reach the Macomb County offices, Macomb County Clerk, Rec Bowl, Fast Eddie’s Bar & Grill, YMCA, Madison’s Pub, Emerald Theatre, Weirdsville Records, Paperback Writer Books, Bath City Bistro, Orleans, Anton Art Center, Abbibo Dining, Little Lorraine’s Bar, Chantel’s Jail House Deli, Minha’s Coffee, Thai Orchid, Gumbo’s, Sushi N More, Your Mothers Food & Spirits, Gus’ Coney Island, Seeburger’s Cheeseburgers, Subway, Louie’s Towne Grill, Three Blind Mice Pub, Buffalo Wild Wings, Sorrento Pizza and Happy’s Pizza. As with most downtowns, parking is at a premium and most lots are metered. SMART (560/565 Gratiot) to Chesterfield/New Baltimore).
Clintondale (Gratiot and 15 Mile) SB stop SW corner (shelter) and NB stop NE of corner (no shelter). From this stop you can reach Lowe’s Home Improvement, Laser Tag, China Kitchen, Sherwin-Williams, Teppanyaki Grill & Buffet, Big Lots, AMC Star Gratiot 21, Clinton-Macomb Public Library, Comerica Bank, ABC Warehouse, Papa’s Pizza, Moran Chevrolet, Terry’s Sub Shop, M3 Military Surplus, Dino’s Soup & Grill, Crazy Gringo Mexican Cantina, Flagstar Bank and Rosanne’s Kitchen. SMART (610 Kevcheval-Harper and 560/565 Gratiot) and (780 Fifteen Mile Crosstown).
Masonic (Gratiot and Masonic) SB stop on SW corner(no shelter) and NB stop in front of Exxon (shelter). Macomb Mall is the largest attraction here. Intersections can be up to 6 lanes wide. Use extreme caution crossing here. Businesses include Red Robin, Sears, Kohl’s, Old Navy, DICK’S Sporting Goods, Babies “R” Us, Del Taco, Chipotle, Chili’s, Dooley’s, Dunham’s, McDonald’s, Michaels, Petco, Toys “R” Us, FedEx, Panera, Burlington, Guitar Center, O’Reilly Auto Parts, Chuck E. Cheese’s, Game Stop, Staples, Arby’s, Cold stone, Denny’s Starbuck’s, Applebee’s, Pizza Hut and Sam’s Club. SMART (560/565 Gratiot and 610 Kercheval-Harper and 615 Jefferson on Masonic).
Roseville (Gratiot and 12 Mile) SB stop in front of AT&T (shelter) and NB stop in front of Verizon (shelter). From here you can walk to Ram’s Horn, Starbucks, Jimmy John’s, Verizon, Disc Replay, Outback Steakhouse, Walmart, Five Below, Marshalls, Dollar Tree, Cato, DVS, AT&T, T-Mobile and down to Downtown Roseville (Utica and Gratiot). SMART (560/565 Gratiot) and 740 Twelve Mile Crosstown bus runs from Haggerty to Harper.
Eastpointe (Gratiot and 9 Mile) SB stop (shelter) NB stop (shelter). Eastpointe was once known as Halfway and East Detroit. It has two CBD along Gratiot and Kelly Roads. At this RefleX stop there is a Big Boy, Melodies & Memories, Eastpointe District Court, Rite Aid, Eastpointe Memorial Library, Post Office, Albert’s Furniture & Appliance, Happy Garden, East Detroit High School, Fitness 19, Game Stop, Salvatore Scallopini, Petco, Papa Romano’s and Five Guys. SMART (560/565 Gratiot) and 710 Nine Mile Crosstown.
East Detroit (Gratiot and 8 Mile) SB stop (shelter) NB stop (shelter). From this stop you can walk to Family Dollar, AutoZone, White Castle, 8 Mile Beauty Supply, Nu Wave Fish & Chicken, Subway, Dunkin’ Donuts, ALDI and CVS. DDOT buses (17 Eight Mile, 34 Gratiot) SMART buses (560/565 Gratiot).
Seven East (Gratiot and 7 Mile) SB stop (no shelter) NB stop (no shelter). At this stop is Furniture & Beyond, Chan’s Chinese, Shiekh Shoes, J-Bees, Simply Fashion, Family Dollar, Foot Locker, Church’s Chicken, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Captain Jays Fish and Chicken, McDonald’s, VILLA, Rainbow Shops, Citi Trends and Mike’s Fresh Market. DDOT (9 Chalmers, 45 Seven Mile) SMART (560/565 Gratiot).
Conner/Outer Driver (Gratiot and Outer Drive) SB stop (no shelter) NB stop (no shelter). From this stop you can reach the Coleman A. Young International Airport, Coney Connection, Rite Aid, CVS, Dollar Tree, Jenny Beauty Supply and Detroit School of Arts East — Duke Ellington Campus. DDOT (13 Connor, 34 Gratiot, 38 Plymouth) SMART (530 Schoenherr and 560/565 Gratiot).
Harper (Gratiot and Harper) SB stop NB stop This area is the City Airport / Ravendale neighborhoods. At this stop is Better Made Snack Foods, Hollywood Coney Island, Farmer John Food Center, Captain Jay’s Fish & Chicken, Reid’s Pharmacy, St Paul Pharmacy and Subway. DDOT (7 Cadillac-Harper, 11 Clairmount, 34 Gratiot) and SMART (530 Schoenherr, 560 Gratiot and 580 Harper).
East Grand (Gratiot and Warren) SB stop (shelter) NB stop (no shelter) This area is known as the Kettering Neighborhood which is mostly city owned and includes the renowned Packard Plant. Nearby is a Little Caesars Pizza, Korash Florist, Family Dollar, AutoZone, Sav-Mart, King Fish Market, LaGrasso Bros Produce, Faygo Warehouse and Avalon Bakehouse Outlet. DDOT (14 Crosstown, 34 Gratiot) and SMART (510 Van Dyke, 530 Schoenherr, 560/565 Gratiot, 580 Harper and 599 RefleX to WSU).
Eastern Market (Gratiot and Russell) SB stop (shelter) NB stop (no shelter) This stop is the gateway to Eastern Market which is open year round Sat 7am-4pm and Tue/Sun in the summer. It was moved from downtown to its present location in 1891. Places of interest in the area include Busy Bee Hardware (closing), Antietam, Gather, Trinosophes, Red Truck Fresh Produce, Wigley’s, Ronnies Meats, Star Fish & Seafood, Cheech’s Chicken, Randy’s Sausage, Thomas Magee’s Whiskey Bar, Stache International, Supino Pizzeria, Russell Street Deli, Zeff’s Coney Island, Motorless City Bicycle Co, Rocky’s Market, Germack Coffee and Nuts, Bert’s Marketplace, Sala Thai, Detroit Mercantile, Frank’s Deli, Roma Cafe, Farmers Restaurant, Vivo’s Food & Spirits, Detroit City Distillery and many more. DDOT (34 Gratiot, 40 Russell) and SMART (510 Van Dyke, 530 Schoenherr, 560/565 Gratiot and 580 Harper).
Frank Murphy (Gratiot and St. Antoine) SB stop (no shelter) NB stop (no shelter) This stop is named after the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice. To the south is the controversial, unfinished Wayne County Jail, Juvenile Detention Facility, Wayne County Jail, Old Wayne County Jail and former Detroit Police Headquarters. Beyond that is Greektown and casino/hotel, Hilton Garden Inn, Music Hall, GEM Theater, Detroit Athletic Club, Ford Field, The Elwood, Detroit Opera House, Comerica Park and the rest of Downtown Detroit. DDOT (34 Gratiot, 40 Russell) and SMART (510 Van Dyke, 530 Schoenherr, 560/565 Gratiot and 580 Harper).
Monroe (Farmer and Monroe) From here you can walk east to Jimmy John’s, Orchid Thai, Detroit Experience Factory, Cottage Inn Pizza, Mr Kabob, The Well, The Baltimore, Buffalo Wild Wings, (Greektown) Delux Lounge, The Old Shillelagh, Fishbone’s, Firebird Tavern, Harbor House, Hilton Garden Inn, Basement Burger Bar, Five Guys, Santorini Estiatorio, Pappy’s Bar, The Golden Fleece, Exodos Rooftop, Astoria Pastry Shop, Cold Stone, Pegasus Taverna, New Parthenon, PizzaPapalis, Monroe Steak House, Wahlburgers, Red Smoke BBQ and Greektown Casino. To the south is Loco’s Tex-Mex, Niki’s Pizza, Detroiter Bar, Saint Andrews Hall, The Shelter, Sweetwater Tavern, Mo Better Blues, Briggs Detroit, Checker Bar, The Keep, Greenwich Time Pub, Lunchtime Global, Central Kitchen, Roasting Plant, Grand Trunk Pub, and Townhouse Detroit. To the west is Calexico Detroit, Texas de Brazil, Detroit Hard Rock Cafe, Compuware, Quicken Loans, Avalon Cafe and Bakery, Campus Martius Park, Parc Restaurant, Shake Shack, Michigan Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument, Starbucks, Potbelly Sandwich Shop and Detroit Dime Store. West on Michigan Ave is American Coney Island, Lafayette Coney Island, 24 Grille, Westin Book Cadillac Hotel, Roast, Holiday Inn, Big City Bar and the Rosa Parks Transit Center. Hop on the QLINE or People Mover here to get around town. No other buses at this location.
Last bus heads north at 12:10am M-F, 1:10am Sat and 9:10pm Sunday. *Check the bus number before you board! 498 is Woodward.
Med Center (Canfield and Brush) This stop lets out to the south of the John D Dingell VA Medical Center. It is north of the Wayne State School of Medicine and the Detroit Medical Center and Childrens Hospital. A block west to Woodward is the QLINE Canfield Station (Woodward and Canfield) This station lets out in Midtown Detroit at HopCat, The Whitney, McDonald’s, Starter’s Bar and Grill, Blick Art Supplies, Firehouse Subs, Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) and is steps from Union Street, Falafill, 2941 Street Food, Rock City Eatery, Great Lakes Coffee, The Block, Zef’s Midtown, Majestic Cafe, Majestic Theater, The Magic Stick and America’s oldest active bowling center The Garden Bowl. East of Woodward is N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art, SoCRA Tea and La Palma. West on the historic Cass Corridor you’ll find Bikram Yoga, Mario’s Detroit, Maya’s Indo-Pak, La Hooka Town, Green Garage Detroit, The Bronx Bar, Alley Taco, Juice Joint, Third Wave Music, Royale with Cheese, Will Leather Goods, Slows to Go, Go Sy Thai, Tou & Mai, RUN Detroit, Cass Cafe, La Feria, Old Miami and Treat Dreams. Two blocks west on Canfield is Jolly Pumpkin Pizza and Brewery, City Bird, Motor City Brewing Works, Shinola, Traffic Jam and Snug and Third Man Records. On Alexandrine St is Dangerously Delicious Pies and El Moore. On Selden is Honest? John’s and Selden Standard. Take a stroll down historic Canfield’s cobble stone lane to Third Street for Cinema Detroit, Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken, Blossoms Detroit, Jumbo’s Bar, The Bottom Line Coffee House, Third Street Bar, the annual Dally in the Alley and more.
Wayne State (Cass and Putnam St.) This bus stop is right behind the Detroit Public Library. Nearby is Wayne State University Welcome Center and Wayne State campus. Other places of interest include Horace J. Rackham Education Memorial Building, Michigan Science Center, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, The Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Seva(Veg/Vegan eats), Mac ‘n Brewz, La Pita Fresh, The Potato Place, Epicurus Restaurant of Wayne State, Olympic Grill of Wayne State, Old Main (former Detroit High School), Tim Hortons, Blimpie, Hillberry Theater, Preservation Detroit, Shangri-La and a dozen other food options on and off campus. DDOT (16 Dexter, 80 Villages Direct, 89 Southwest Detroit) and SMART (610 Kercheval-Harper, 851 West Bloomfield-Farmington Hills Park and Ride) and Megabus.