How Did We Get Here? A Visual Timeline of Mass Transit in Southeast Michigan

Did you know that commuter rail service ran between Detroit and Ann Arbor as late as 1984? Or that Detroit considered implementing a subway system in 1920? Click through the timeline to see archival photos and newspaper clippings highlighting major events in Southeast Michigan’s mass transit history. Warning: The journey is a bit of a roller coaster.


SOURCE: Transit History of the Detroit Region.

Image credit: WDET

This post is a part of Detroit Journalism Cooperative.

The DJC is a partnership of six media outlets focused on telling critical stories of Detroit and creating engagement opportunities on-air, online and in the community. View the partners work at

Support for this project comes from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Renaissance Journalism’s Michigan Reporting Initiative and the Ford Foundation.



This post is a part of Policy Meets the People: MI Voice, MI Vote.

The Policy Meets The People – MI Voice, MI Vote series gives metro Detroiters an opportunity to find out how key legislation, laws and policies created in Lansing affect their daily lives.

About the Author

Laura Herberg

Community Reporter

Through sound-rich storytelling, Herberg covers stories about the people inhabiting the metro Detroit region and the issues that affect them. Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter 2018 and 2017.

Follow @HerbergRadio

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