New service links communities without stops or transfers
The Detroit Department of Transportation and the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation are partnering with The Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan to launch a new service called Reflex during the Labor Day weekend. Limited-stop service will now connect the City of Detroit and the suburbs along Woodward and Gratiot Avenues, seven days a week, without the need to stop and transfer at the city line. To get started, the Reflex Woodward and Gratiot service will be ‘Fare FREE’ through Sept. 11.
The Reflex service is the result of a partnership between the providers and the RTA. “The new refleX service will allow many Detroit and suburban residents a transfer-free ride to and from suburban and Detroit jobs. It will also significantly cut their travel time,” said DDOT Director Dan Dirks. “That is a very good thing.” The Woodward Reflex route (Route 498) will run from Campus Martius to Somerset Mall and the Gratiot Reflex route (Route 598) will run from Campus Martius to Mt. Clemens. Additionally, the Gratiot Reflex route (Route 599) will offer four daily east side connections to mid-town. Riders can board or deboard the bus at any of the 12 designated stops along either route, making their trips more efficient across communities. “Staff at both SMART and DDOT have spent many months collaborating and working together to bring the Reflex service to fruition,” said John C. Hertel, SMART General Manager, “The extended service hours ensures that riders can get where they need to go any day of the week, day or night.”
Designated buses wrapped with the Reflex logo and colors will be used to differentiate the new service from the existing local bus service currently provided by SMART and DDOT. Both routes will run weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m., Saturdays from 6:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m., and Sundays from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. The availability on weekdays, nights, and weekends is important to employment and entertainment destinations and was one of the most noted needs in the RTA public engagement for riders.
The expanded service follows the recently released and adopted regional master transit plan that outlines a coordinated regional network for transit in southeast Michigan. “This service is a great start to this new era of coordinated, regional transit and works to solving one of the greatest challenges that our region faces: getting people across the city lines to jobs,” said RTA CEO Michael Ford. “I am proud to see this become a reality and thankful for our partner providers SMART and DDOT for their hard work and dedicated planning over the past several months. This will be a valuable opportunity for riders in our community.”
While the service will be FARE Free until Sunday, September 11th, on Monday, September 12th the regular fares go into effect for the Woodward line, operated by DDOT, will be $1.50 and the regular fare for the Gratiot line, operated by SMART, will be $2.00.The difference in fare results from each route operating in partnership with one of the local providers. Currently, SMART and DDOT have different fare structures. Synchronizing fare structures is a likely next-step for Reflex in the upcoming months.
The RTA was created in 2012 to plan for and coordinate public transportation in the four-county Southeast Michigan region, including developing a plan for rapid transit. It has a 10-member board whose members are appointed for three year terms by the county executives of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties, the chair of the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners, the Mayor of Detroit, and the Governor of Michigan. The Governor’s appointee serves as chair and without a vote. For more information, visit www.rtamichigan.org