The Motor City’s new wheels

The Motor City’s new wheels

Detroit, Michigan, often referred to as the Motor City, the birthplace of modern transportation. Big, small, economy, or compact, all sorts of cars dress the streets of Detroit. However, as the city begins to rev up its engine coming out of recession, an old, yet familiar mode of transportation is too making its comeback, the streetcar, providing Detroiters with another option for travel for work and entertainment.

DSC00097

Construction on Woodward Ave. for the M-1 Rail streetcar system, downtown Detroit, MI. March 12, 2016

Construction for the Detroit’s newest transit system, the M-1 Rail, is well underway.The Transportation Riders United, a non-profit organization working to improve public transportation in greater Detroit says, “In conjunction with effective local bus service, greater Detroit needs quick, convenient rapid transit connecting all parts of our region. Michael Mendez, District Outreach Coordinator for the 14th Congressional District says, “There are many people who do not have reliable transportation in the city for various reasons and this will help ease that and eventually make it a major transportation hub.”

Currently, the M-1 Rail system is scheduled to service three major parts of the city: New Center, Midtown, and the Downtown areas. Could the city bus system be in jeopardy because of the new transit system? “Public transportation, like the bus system, will not be affected,” said Deborah Jackson, a Detroit city bus driver. “We will still be in business. They are only going so far. But it is good for the city” she adds. Although, Mendez believes this is just the beginning of what Detroit needs to make it a major metropolis. “I think in the future, as downtown continues to get revitalized as well as midtown, we will see success in moving the rail project into the suburbs. This will allow us to catch up before we are able to compete on the transportation side.”

It is an exciting time in Detroit. From the skyline to the transit line, the city is changing. It is revolutionary change like in the days of Henry Ford. What the future holds for the city of Detroit is still being written in the history books but it looks to be a page-turner.