Public Transporation in Detroit

Wait, wait, that;’s a joke right? I mean, this is the Motor City we’re talking about here.  A city built (and then slowly killed by) the auto industry, where people drive to the corner store, where the People Mover goes in a circle – there’s really no public transportation here, is there?

Yes, and no. Detroit does have a (inefficient) public transportation system that services the city and connects the downtown area with nearby suburbs like Royal Oak, Dearborn and St. Clair Shores. But the amount of time and frustration you’ll waste taking public transportation just isn’t worth it. There’s also the People Mover, but that just covers a portion of the downtown area (and one that you could easily walk). If you can drive and you want to see more than the downtown core, just suck it up and rent a car. You’ll be better off.

But, that’s not to say you absolutely need a car to visit Detroit. You could certainly enjoy a visit to Detroit without a rental car under these circumstances:

  • you are arriving via Megabus or train and will be getting off at the downtown Amtrak station (if you’re coming by plane, once you factor in the cost of a cab ride from the airport to downtown, you may as well rent a car)
  • you are only staying 2-3 days and want to explore downtown Detroit only
  • you are comfortable taking the bus once or twice and you don’t mind paying $10 or so for a cab if you do decide to venture further away (of course, you may have to wait about 30 minutes for a radio-dispatched cab, as they are hard to hail on the street)
  • you are staying in a hotel in the downtown area; suburban hotels will require a car to go anywhere

Photo by Urban Adventures