The first-ever public transit option to the Michigan's Metroparks is coming

Lake St. Clair Metropark, photo via Huron-Clinton Metro Parks

For the first time, people will be able to take public transportation to one of the Metroparks throughout the area.

With the help of a new mobile app, residents can schedule a pick-up from one of the SMART bus stations and be taken to Lake St. Clair Metropark.

The new transit option is part of Metropark Express, a pilot program run by the Metroparks in Southeast Michigan and the SMART bus system in Detroit. 

Using the new SMART Flex app, people can schedule their pick-ups and drop-offs to four different spots in the park. Riders can only schedule a trip at the Gratiot and 15 Mile bus stop. 

"SMART shares an important goal with the Huron-Clinton Metroparks to connect as many people to the park as easily as possible," said Robert Cramer, Deputy General Manager of SMART"

The program is designed to be accessible to residents that normally couldn't travel to the parks easily. Those that lack transportation, are elderly, or are low-income can benefit: 

  • $2 fares going each way are cheaper compared to the daily fee of personal vehicles
  • Senior discounts on fares
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • SMART vans fit beach equipment, five passengers, and soon bicycles.

The program will launch on Sept. 3 and run for a year. Wait times are expected for approximately 15-20 minutes once a ride is booked. 

Rides can be scheduled between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

Passengers will be taken in one of SMART's Flex vans, which can carry five passengers at a time. If more people need a ride, then more vehicles will be called. 

The service is also planning on installing bike racks to enable people to take their bikes to the park as well. 

The park has a lakeshore boardwalk, nature trails, forests, wildlife, as well as a nature center, a golf course, and a beach.