Detroit’s new QLINE streetcar system has been up and running for about a week. That’s after about a decade of political and financial wrangling that threatened to scrap the project. With fares free all week and excitement over the shiny new streetcars, ridership has been strong so far. That said, critics see new the QLINE as an embarrassing excuse for transit in a community that so badly lacks public transportation options.
“I really do see it as a step forward,” says Owens. “(The QLINE) is a convenient, attractive way to get up and down one of the busiest corridors in our entire metro region.”
Reporter Bill Bradley, author of a recent article in CityLab, “The Streetcar Boondoggle Continues, This Time in Detroit,” offers a different opinion of the new transit system.
“(The QLINE) just could have been so much more,” Bradley says. “The problem is…it doesn’t work with a larger, wider (public transportation) network.”
Click on the audio player above for the full conversation.