Transdev Selected to Operate and Maintain QLine Streetcar in Detroit
M-1 Rail announced in July that its QLine streetcar on Detroit's Woodward Avenue will be operated by Transdev. The contract is for the start-up and operation of the six-vehicle streetcar system that's expected to begin passenger service in the first half of 2017.
Transdev will handle the day-to-day operation of the $140 million streetcar line, including scheduling, fare equipment maintenance, fare enforcement, vehicle maintenance, the line's tech center, track, switches, platforms and vehicle cleaning. It will also handle staffing, training and creation of the systems and standards of practice to manage the entire system, along with some marketing to passengers and businesses.
Paul Child, M-1 Rail's COO said, "We don't have any true experience in operating a streetcar. Transdev has a national and international presence with streetcar operations. They brought an immediate amount of experience and credibility."
Transdev will eventually hire 14 operators for the Detroit streetcars, and they will undergo up to eight weeks of classroom and in-vehicle training. Total Transdev staffing is expected to be about 25 people, and they will be hired in phases over the next year. Other hires will include maintenance personnel, supervisors and management. Transdev has been working with M-1 Rail's streetcar manufacturer, and has four people working on the project now.
M-1 Rail has said expected annual operations costs will range from $5.1 million to $6.5 million. M-1 is estimating 5,000-8,000 riders a day, with a basic one-way fare of $1.50. Construction on the line began in July 2014. The QLine, whose naming rights were purchased earlier this year from M-1 Rail by Quicken Loans Inc., is a mostly curbside fixed-rail streetcar circulator system, co-mingled with traffic, with 20 stations at 12 stops between Grand Boulevard and Congress Street.
Transdev Rail / Streetcar Track Record
Transdev Operating Contracts