First QLINE streetcar hits Woodward for testing

- It's a big day for the D - and for the Q.

The QLINE, that is, and all of its six street cars will soon shuttle passengers down Woodward. One of the streetcars left the Penske Tech Center Tuesday morning for the first of a series of test runs. The cars will eventually go through hundreds of various tests.

The street car was pulled along its 6.6 mile looped track on Tuesday by a tow truck. Tow crews watched its every move as it made stops at every station to mirror its daily operations, and to make sure it's running as it should.

Eventually, 20 street car stations will line Woodward. The stops will be heated, and will be equipped with security cameras, emergency phones and even wifi.

The $200 million investment hopes to change the way people travel downtown. Tuesday morning was more than just a trial for it, but truly a glimpse into our future.

"This is going to be a big part in helping to pull this city and this region together. I don't think we can't minimize that at all," said Wayne County Executive Warren Evans.

"The QLINE stands, as it has from the beginning of its inception, really, as a testament to a great public-private partnership and a terrific addition to Woodward Avenue," says Matt Cullen, the CEO of M-1 Rail. M-1 Rail is the nonprofit leading the streetcar project.

The QLINE loop will run along Woodward from Congress Street downtown to West Grand Boulevard. Construction began in 2014, and the target date for the QLINE to be up and running is spring 2017.

It's expected to operate Monday through Thursday 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday 6 a.m. to 12:00 a.m.; Saturday 8 a.m. to 12:00 a.m.; and on Sunday from 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. Headways are expected to be between 8 - 12 minutes, and may be more frequent during special events.

Ticket prices aren't official yet, but walk-up fare is estimated to be $1.50 right now. Senior, student and other discounts will be available, too.

You can get more information on the QLINE at www.m-1rail.com

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