This is a guide to the transit systems in Detroit & surrounding suburbs. It includes links to help you get around without a car in the suburbs, around Detroit and around downtown, saving you money on fuel, parking & giving you the ability to view the city around you instead of the brake lights in front of you.

  1. FAST by SMART Bus — Regional Service
  2. QLine — Downtown Detroit Streetcar
  3. Detroit People Mover — Elevated Monorail
  4. DDOT — Detroit Department of Transportation
  5. SMART — Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation
  6. MoGo Detroit — Bicycle Sharing System
  7. Shuttles — Limited Local Service & On Call Service
  8. Big Beaver Shuttle — Free Shuttle Service in Troy

FAST by SMART Bus

The FAST bus is very hard to miss!

What is FAST? FAST stands for Frequent Affordable Safe Transit. It is a new regional bus service from SMART, the metro area bus system, that runs on Gratiot & Woodward every 15 minutes and on Michigan Ave every 30 minutes. Each route runs about 20 miles out from downtown Detroit and back seven days a week and feature free WiFi. With operating hours between 5am to 1am (9:30pm Sundays), these buses are a great way to travel to or from downtown Detroit for concerts, sporting events, festivals, shopping, dining and even to Detroit Metropolitan Airport! Click here for more info.

DART passes cost $2–4 hour pass ($0.50 reduced), $5–24 hr pass, ($2.00 reduced). Reduced fares available for students 6–18 with ID, seniors over 65 & those with disabilities. Kids 5 and under are free. You can also transfer to QLINE, MoGo, DDOT or the People Mover. 7 day & 31 day passes also available.

Already at downtown? You can ride these buses and grab food in Corktown, East Dearborn, West Dearborn, Midtown, Ferndale, Royal Oak, Birmingham, Somerset, Pontiac, Eastern Market, Mt Clemens and more! Coming from DTW airport? Head to the ground transportation area and ride to Detroit in just under an hour. Stops are 1–2 miles apart which makes them easy to walk to or take other transit to. Want more detailed route info? Click here.

FAST bus routes and stops

QLINE

Detroit’s QLINE is a streetcar that travels along Detroit’s main street, Woodward Ave, from downtown to Grand Boulevard. Although there are restaurant openings and closing almost daily, this is still a fairly accurate guide to the Woodward corridor. CLICK HERE

Fares are $1.50 for all riders, $3 daily pass, $30 monthly pass and $285 for an annual pass. Transfer to a DDOT or SMART bus for just $0.25. You can also reach the nearby People Mover from downtown stops.

People Mover

The Detroit People Mover is an elevated loop that opened in 1987. There are many destinations around each People Mover stop from dining, hotels, entertainment, access to the Detroit Riverwalk and other transit systems.

The current fare is $0.75 per person.

DDOT

The Detroit Department of Transportation serves the city of Detroit. Ten of the routes run 24–7 and can get you to popular neighborhoods like Mexicantown, Corktown, Midtown, Eastern Market, Grandmont-Rosedale, Livernois Avenue of Fashion, Hamtramck, West Village, East English Village, Old Redford and more! Buses pick up and drop off all over downtown but the biggest terminals are the Rosa Parks Transit Center at Michigan and Cass, Michigan State Fair Grounds and at Larned & Woodward in front of the Coleman A Young Municipal Building near the Spirit of Detroit statue.

DART passes cost $2–4 hour pass ($0.50 reduced), $5–24 hr pass, ($2.00 reduced). Reduced fares available for students 6–18 with ID, seniors over 65 & those with disabilities. Kids 5 and under are free. You can also transfer to QLINE, MoGo, SMART or the People Mover. 7 day & 31 day passes also available.

DDOT Downtown Map
DDOT System Map

SMART BUS

Image from SMART bus

SMART bus runs in the suburbs surrounding Detroit with some direct routes to downtown during morning and afternoon commute hours. The commuter routes only make stops around downtown. In the suburbs they run on several major mile roads as well as spoke roads and other major north/south roads. Several suburbs do not receive coverage because they have opted out of the service. Using their FAST buses is one of the best way to get downtown.

DART passes cost $2–4 hour pass ($0.50 reduced), $5–24 hr pass, ($2.00 reduced). Reduced fares available for students 6–18 with ID, seniors over 65 & those with disabilities. Kids 5 and under are free. You can also transfer to QLINE, MoGo, DDOT or the People Mover. 7 day & 31 day passes also available.

Downtown map by SMART
SMART full system map

MoGo

MoGo Detroit is a docking bicycle share system. For $8 you can make unlimited 30 minute trips for 24 hours. Meant for getting around downtown from one dock station to the next for quick trips, this new system runs year ‘round. Adaptive MoGo is available at Wheelhouse Detroit.

Shuttles

SMART offers small bus service to help our customers in areas where there is limited or no access to Fixed Route services. SMART Dial-A-Ride, Flex Route and Shuttles are curb-to-curb services that can take you to work, school, shopping, medical appointments and can connect you to other SMART Fixed Route buses. For more information, see their complete list of fares and payment options.

Wayne State offers a free shuttle to get students around campus. All you need is your One Card. Download the app and ride.

Big Beaver Shuttle

Hop on the Big Beaver Shuttle! The Big Beaver Shuttle operates two loops, a West and East Loop, to maintain faster travel times. The West Loop (Red Line) travels from Livernois to Coolidge and stops are every 15 minutes. The East Loop (Blue Line) travels from Livernois to John R and stops are every 30 minutes. These free shuttles run Monday — Saturday from 4–11 pm. All four vehicles and bus stops are ADA accessible.

For bus tracking or transit directions, download the Transit App. It is the best source for all of downtown Detroit’s transit information.

David Gifford

Written by

Avid transit blogger from Metro Detroit.

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