Nonstop Detroit-to-DTW bus program kicks off with high hopes for public transit

Transit officials and advocates announced the latest evolution in public transportation in Michigan with great fanfare on Thursday with the announcement of a nonstop bus program that will take passengers from downtown Detroit to the airport: The Detroit Air Xpress.

If successful, executives and leaders from Wayne County, the Regional Transit Authority, the airport, and Detroit hope it will add momentum behind more public transit investment.

"We want something, but we don't want to pay for it and part of it is we need to see the value in it first," said Wayne County Executive Warren Evans.

One of the stops the new Detroit to Airport Express Pilot bears the same name as the county executive: The Evans Terminal at Detroit Metro Airport. It will be the second of two stops after the McNamara Terminal that DAX program will take riders to.

The goal is to provide a nonstop ride from the corner of Washington and State Street - near the Rosa Parks Transit Center in downtown Detroit - to the airport. According to Stupka, there's nothing he hears more that people want. 

One of the Detroit to Airport Express buses. 

"It took a decade to get here, but that's okay," he said at RTA's Thursday press conference.

Between the NFL Draft and March Madness games coming to Detroit, Stupka said a cheap way of getting downtown from the airport couldn't have come at a better time. 

"Early on March 25, the first bus will roll out for DAX," he said. "It's supposed to be fast, affordable, convenient for travel to the airport, for people who work at the airport, for people coming to experience Detroit."

The program is expected to last 12-18 months and is funded partly with a $2 million grant from the federal infrastructure act.

The first bus will leave from the Detroit stop on March 25 at 3:30 a.m. and is expected to get to DTW by 4 a.m. The last bus will depart the airport at 10:25 p.m. and get back downtown shortly after 11 p.m. Stupka cautioned that construction on I-94 could make the trip a little bit longer.

Tickets will cost $6 for those who reserve a seat ahead of time and $8 at the door. There are also discounts available for students, seniors, people with disabilities, and frequent riders. 

The pilot program will utilize the luxury coach style buses that are part of the Michigan Flyer fleet. 


Nonstop Detroit to DTW bus pilot program will launch in spring

A new program will take flyers directly to the airport from the city of Detroit. It will launch at the end of March and cost $15 a trip.