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Op-Ed: Detroit's QLINE Is 'At Times an Embarrassment'

Randy Essex details why it is that "rely" isn't a word that comes to mind for many Detroiters when they think about downtown's QLINE streetcar system.
November 27, 2019, 7am PST | Philip Rojc | @PhilipRojc
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A Healthier Michigan

Detroit's QLINE streetcar system may have opened in 2017, but it still isn't as reliable as "the 30-year-old, rattly, squeaky, dependable People Mover," Randy Essex writes. And that's a problem, because "this matters to continued progress in restoring the vitality of the city core."

As a case in point, Essex cites a recent Lions game in which QLINE trains took more than thirty minutes to arrive. "While that's a high-traffic time, it's also exactly the sort of event during which the trains should be packed and people should be able to count on a reliable alternative to personal vehicles." 

Living in or visiting the city core becomes easier and more pleasant when people can get around without a car, Essex writes. But as it stands, "serious attention, not incremental tweaking, is needed to keep the QLINE from being a white elephant rumbling up and down the city's fabled main drag, the butt of jokes like the People Mover — though the latter is, in fact, quite reliable."

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Published on Thursday, November 21, 2019 in The Detroit Free Press
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