DETROIT (WWJ) — It’s opening weekend and Detroit’s brand new streetcar system is already working out some kinks.

One vehicle had to be towed off of the QLINE rail tracks and two streetcars had to be brought in for repairs.

Dan Lijana, communications officer for M-1 Rail, said there were very few hiccups during testing, but a couple of things went wrong on Saturday.

“This morning we had somebody park on the tracks and the car had to get towed, so that caused a little bit of a delay for the route for a couple of minutes this morning and then later on today we had a couple of cars at different times into the shop for about an hour just to make sure that they were connecting with the power…correctly,” Lijana said.

The new streetcar, running on a 6.6-mile loop along Woodward from Midtown/New Center to Grand Circus Park downtown, is now picking up passengers following a grand opening celebration and an inaugural first ride by local dignitaries.

“We’re happy to say there’s five cars out on the route right now and we’re getting to people as fast as we can and getting them out and about,” Lijana said.

Rides are free all week through next weekend. After that, rides will be $1.50 for a single pass (good for three hours), $3 for a day pass, $30 for monthly pass, and $285 for an annual pass with unlimited rides.

The 66-foot-long cars carry up to 125 passengers each, sharing the road with traffic on Woodward at speeds up to 35 mph. The $142 million project was paid for with a combination of public and private funding.

  1. QLINE will not be any better than the DDOT buses running on Woodward. The Qline should have been built as an under ground “subway”, and then extended north on Woodward, The Qline is another example of Detroit wasting their money on their “surface transportation” that began with Henry Ford 100 years ago. Wake up Detroit, we are no longer competing with the horse & buggy, we are competing with the 21st century of high technology. We are developing autonomous vehicles, and we need “RAPID MASS TRANSIT” to move people in a short perioid of time, and not a sight seeing experience that the QLINE is providing,

    I.E. How long should it take to commute from Royal Oak to downtown Detroit?? Probably 15 minutes in a subway. Why don’t you ask people who live in the burbs, but work in downtown Detroit how much time they spend every day riding the SMART / DDOT System, or driving to work. An efficient RAPID/MASS TRANSIT SYSTEM would make a commute to work as simple as a trip to the corner grocery store.

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