Tips for Drivers Sharing The Road With The QLine

Readers of The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC blog may remember a recent post discussing the new public transportation system in downtown Detroit, the QLine. The QLine is a streetcar system that runs along Woodward Ave through downtown, Wayne State University, Midtown, and Foxtown. The QLine opened in May of 2017, and while it’s a great transportation option in Detroit, it may also cause confusion for drivers in the city.

Detroit QLine Car Crash Lawyer

The QLine tracks are on public roads, changing the traffic patterns drivers in the area are used to and requiring drivers to pay attention to the streetcars as well as newly posted traffic lights and signage. The QLine adds yet another element drivers need to be aware of on already busy city streets. One driver unfortunately learned this the hard way, colliding with a QLine streetcar. CBS Detroit reported that on Thursday October 5, 2017, the driver of a long-bed truck pulled out in front of the QLine at the intersection of Willis and Woodward Ave, colliding with the streetcar. The driver was found to be at fault, and will likely receive a citation. Luckily damage to the vehicle and the QLine was minor and no was injured.

M-1 Rail, the creators of the QLine, said that in the 5 months the QLine has been operating, it has been involved in about 6 minor accidents. The QLine is a large, relatively slow moving vehicle, being 66 feet long and traveling at 35 MPH. While it may be frustrating to be stuck behind the QLine, drivers need to be careful not to make any sudden movements, such as cutting out in front of the QLine at an intersection, or attempting to pass the QLine and cutting it off.m in order to avoid being involved in a motor vehicle accident. The QLine released this video to suggest safety tips for drivers.

While these driving safety tips cannot guarantee that QLine car accidents won’t happen, they can help drivers be more prepared when it comes to sharing the road with the QLine. While it may take some getting used to for drivers, the QLine is a great transportation option for those who don’t want to try and navigate Detroit themselves, and an excellent alternative to drunk driving for those who have had a fun night on the town. The QLine is still a relatively new system, and likely over time drivers will be more accustomed to sharing the road with the streetcars. In the meantime, drivers should be aware of their surroundings when driving in Detroit, follow all posted signage and traffic signals, and not try to outrun the QLine, no matter how slow it seems to be moving.


Public transportation systems like the QLine that operate on public roads require some time for drivers to get used to sharing the road with them. But regardless of how much time has passed and how comfortable drivers are with the Qline, car accidents can still happen. If you have been involved in an automobile accident involving a public transportation vehicle such as a SMART Bus or the QLine, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation. 

QLine Has Hits and Misses in First Weeks of Operation

If you have found yourself in downtown Detroit recently, you may have noticed a new addition to the city streets - the QLine. The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC blog wrote about the announcement of the QLine in April of 2016, which has since developed from a concept to a fully operational transportation system.

According to The Detroit News, the QLine began operations on May 12, 2017 and rides were free of charge from opening day through Labor Day weekend. Riders began being charged for fares on September 5, 2017 at 6 AM. Over that 12 week time period, the QLine saw ridership increase from 4,000 to 6,300 rides per day. M-1 rail, the company that developed the QLine, said they were prepared for ridership to drop off slightly once fares were put in place, but they expect to average 5,000 rides per day over the first year. The company hopes to reach an average of 8,000 daily riders over the first 5 years of operation. In addition to increased ridership, the QLine also saw an increased number of ride operators. When the QLine opened they had 17 trained operators. They now have 21 and expect to have 27 by the end of their first year. The number of streetcars also increased, as the QLine now has 5 streetcars operating during peak ride times - Monday-Saturday, 10 AM to 7 PM.

Detroit QLine Car Crash Lawyer

The Detroit Free Press reported that the Qline was able to offer free rides for an extended period of time thanks to support from The Kresge Foundation. Now that fairs have been enacted, riders have several options for how they purchase tickets. A three hour pass costs $1.50, and an all day pass costs $3. People who find themselves traveling throughout Detroit often may want to opt for a monthly or yearly pass, which cost $30 and $285 respectively. Riders can purchase passes through a phone app using a credit or debit card. Alternatively, they can purchase tickets at station kiosks using cash and credit or debit cards.

While the payment options to ride the QLine are easy to use, not everything went smoothly on the first day fares were charged, as several kiosks were out of order, and not all stations had taken down signage saying that rides were free, thereby confusing passengers. Passengers also complained about the wait times, although M-1 rail says that wait times have now have decreased from 19 minutes when the QLine first opened, to just under 17 minutes. The company says they are further aiming to shave wait times down to 15 minutes.

Although passengers may not like it, M-1 Rail is likely relieved to now start charging for rides, as construction of the QLine cost $7 million more than expected, according to Crain's Business Detroit. The final estimated cost of the project is $144 million, while earlier estimates expected the project to cost around $137 million. M-1 raised $187.3 million for the project through private donations from corporations, universities, and hospitals. This money was to be used for not only the construction of the QLine, but also to keep it operating for 10 years, before turning it over to the city for it to operate as a public transportation system. But with an estimated yearly operating cost of $5.5-$6 million, this money will fall short of the 10 year mark. M-1 says in order to raise more money, they will solicit more corporate donors as well as government aid, in addition to selling more advertising, and possibly reselling the naming rights.

Detroit QLine Accident Lawyer

In the meantime, M-1 is continuously working on ways to improve riders experiences on the QLine. In order to shorten wait times, the QLine no longer stops at every station. Rather, it only stops if a passenger signals that they want to get off, or if there are passengers waiting to get on. Also helping to shorten wait times is increased battery power, reducing the amount of time cars need to stop to have their battery charged. M-1 is also working with MDOT to improve traffic signaling at large intersections, and police are issuing more tickets and towing cars in order to keep the QLine track free of obstructions. From a technology standpoint, M-1 is working on further developing the QLine app to let riders know when it is approaching, and they are installing electric maps at stations that show points of interest in the city, in relation to their location from that stop. M-1 also plans on adding directional signage to each station that helps riders find their way to downtown.

The QLine runs along Woodward Ave from New Center to Downtown, passing through Wayne State University, Midtown, and Foxtown. The QLine operates Monday-Thursday 6 AM to 11 PM, Friday 6 AM to 12 AM, Saturday 8 AM to 12 AM, and Sunday 8 AM to 8 PM. The QLine runs extended hours for special events such as concerts and home games at Comerica Park, Ford Field, and the new Little Caesars Arena. 

Systems like the QLine are a great transportation option for cities like Detroit, and an effective alternative to drunk driving. After all, the QLine is cheaper than taking an Uber or a Lyft and still helps people avoid the risk of getting into drunk driving accidents. Having a public transportation system also clears up traffic congestion, which in turn keeps drivers from exhibiting road rage that causes car accidents. However the QLine does add yet another obstacle that drivers must pay attention to on busy city streets. It's easy to get into a motor vehicle accident when a driver is taking a right turn at an intersection and doesn't see the QLine streetcar coming up to the light in the lane the driver needs to cross. 

While it may take Detroit drivers some time to get used to sharing the road with this new public transportation system, the long term benefits of the QLine such as preventing drunk driving car crashes and aggressive driving car accidents, make it worth putting up with a little early on confusion. 


Public transportation systems can cut down on the amount of traffic and therefore the number of road rage car accidents in busy cities and on the number of drunk driving car accidents.  However they can also add confusion and distraction to already busy streets, resulting in distracted driving car crashes. If you have been involved in any type of motor vehicle accident, including one involving public transportation, contact The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM to speak with an attorney experienced in handling these types of cases.

Detroit's New MoGo Bike Share Program

Michigan Bicycle Accident Attorney

Detroit, Michigan is working diligently to expand its reputation beyond being the Motor City. Not only is the Q-Line up and running to the public, but now a bike share program, MoGo, has been added to the Detroit transportation roster. Sponsored by Henry Ford Health System and Health Alliance Plan, MoGo has 430 bikes in 43 stations found in 10 Detroit locations such as the Eastern Market, Woodbridge, the New Center area, Lafayette Park, Southwest Detroit, the Riverwalk, Clark Park, and of course in Downtown. MoGo lists reasons to get behind the bike-share initiative, by saying that it saves money, saves time, is fun, and is green. Not only can people travel throughout the city, while enjoying a more scenic route, getting exercise, and reducing their carbon footprint, but the bike-share program also helps those who are rushing to and from bus stops, the Q-Line, and other transit stops.

The executive director of MoGo, Lisa Nuszkowski told The Detroit News that, “They say it takes a village to raise a child. If that’s the case, then it takes a city to launch a bike share, that’s for sure. Bike share can transform the campus community, and it will transform community health as well.”

The Detroit News also mentions that, "Garry Bulluck, deputy chief of Mobility Innovations for Mayor Mike Duggan, said MoGo, the QLine and improved transit in the city are the building blocks of a transportation network that is going to be world class. “It’s an opportunity just not for people to access different parts of downtown Detroit, but also to increase physical fitness. ... This is about people’s lives.""

How Does MoGo Work?

Since MoGo has bike stations spread out all over the city as far as Southwest Detroit and North End, riders have easy access to a bike station near them. Then, renters can go to www.mogodetroit.org, to see how many bikes are available and how many bike docks are open. MoGo also uses two apps, Transit App and Cyclefinder.

As far as handling the bike return properly, riders will know if the bike is properly docked by waiting to see if the light on the dock turns green. For those who wish to ride as a group, 4 bikes can be rented and removed at a time. Bikes are available to rent 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, and 365 days a year, if weather permits it.

How Much Does MoGo Cost?

For those bicyclists who plan to use a bike on-and-off throughout a day, daily passes are available for $8. There are also monthly passes ($18), annual passes ($80), and access passes ($5) for registered members of state benefit programs. These passes allow for unlimited 30 minute rides for their respective duration. It is important to note that any ride is limited to 30 minutes, unless extra time is needed, in which case riders will incur an additional $4 for every extra 30 minutes, or $2 with any of the passes. In case a bike is lost or stolen, renters will have to pay a $1,200 fee.

For a limited time, MoGo is offering a Founders Pass ($100) that includes a MoGo Founders T-shirt, four Daily Passes to give to friends and family, and the opportunity to ride in their launch event, in addition to an annual pass.

Bicycle Safety

Detroit Bike Car Crash Lawyer

The MoGo bicycle was manufactured in New York, and is reddish in color with black seats, relaxed handlebars, a basket, plastic protected fenders, and lights. At this time however, bike helmets and other safety equipment do not come equipped with the MoGo bikes, and nor are they handicap accessible. MoGo is waiting on additional grants so that helmets, hand bikes, and tandems will be available for the public at-large. MoGo users and bike riders in general are asked to be careful while out during anytime of day, but especially at night. So, until MoGo implements safety features, it's important for MoGo renters, to wear reflective and protective gear while riding and to be mindful of other bike riders and motorists on the road. This is actually a good rule of thumb for any bicylist and not just MoGo renters, as taking such safety precautions can help bicyclists avoid getting into car collisions and bicycle accidents.  


MoGo Bike share is an awesome addition to the revitalization of Detroit. Hopefully, with the bike share program in use, added tourism and fitness excursions will further help the health and economy of Detroit. With the soon to be flourishing bicycle scene in Detroit however, it is important for motor vehicle operators and bicycle riders alike to be extra mindful of road safety in order to avoid serious injuries from bicycle car accidents. If you or someone you know have been injured in a bicycle accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation. 

Detroit Looks to Ressurect Once-Booming Transportation System

Detroit, Michigan has not had the best luck when it comes to earning a positive reputation around the country. The once-booming city has become infamous for its declining population and high crime rate, and now, its transit system is being called out. 

Detroit Car Accident Lawyer

At the end of World War II, Detroit was home to the largest municipally owned streetcar system in the United States. State of Michigan records show that between regional streetcars, buses, and commuter rails, Detroit had an annual ridership of 490 million. Today’s Detroit tells a much different story as the annual ridership on urban and suburban transit systems is now 36 million. Until the QLINE opens up in the downtown area, Detroit stands as the largest American metropolis without a surface rail transit, according to Slate. For perspective, the entire city of Detroit has lower weekday bus ridership than two of the busiest individual bus routes in New York City. 

As Slate’s Henry Grabar explains, it’s not for a lack of need that the transit system has failed so miserably in the Motor City. Detroit, known for its autocentric economy, ranks 8th nationally in its percentage for car-less households. There are approximately 66,000 Detroit residents that are car-less, and many of them can’t find a way to get to work, or get anywhere else for that matter. Studies have shown that a lack of transit access can be linked to unemployment, low income, and low economic mobility.  The city spends $69 per capita on transit each year (Atlanta spends $119 per capita, Cleveland $177, and Seattle $471).

A BRIGHTER FUTURE 

Detroit Car Crash Lawyers

Last week, the Southeast Michigan Regional Transit Authority (RTA) unveiled a $4.6 billion plan to connect Detroit, its suburbs, the Wayne County Airport, and nearby Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti into one large network. Following a public review period in June and a RTA board review next month, the proposal will be placed on the ballot for a vote this November across four counties in Southeast Michigan. 

“If it passes, the plan would double per capita transit funding in the region- and represent a rare instance of cooperation in the vitriolic political history of mostly black Detroit and its largely white suburbs. Its approval would signify popular recognition that Detroit and its surrounding counties share a common interest. And it would make it a whole lot easier to get around without a car,” Grabar wrote. 

It is still too early to tell if this type of proposal has a chance to pass come Election Day, but many of its supporters are feeling optimistic. The divide between Detroit and the suburbs still remains, but it does not run as deep as it once did. Millage for SMART bus service is consistently renewed by suburban voters, and the idea of transit connecting the counties is now more favorable to residents of Macomb and Oakland county. “The fundamental difference between now and even five years ago is that Detroit is rapidly becoming a city that the region can be proud and is proud of,” Sandy Baruah, CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber, explained.


Navigating the roads of Southeast Michigan can be difficult, especially during rush hour times. As frustrating as it may be, drivers should be patient and cautious when making their way to and from work. The consequences of road rage far outweigh any positives. If you or somebody you know has been injured in an auto accident because of another driver's careless driving on the road, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. Our attorneys have experience handling cases of all scales and will work to get you the help you need. Call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.