As of Jan. 1, 2018 Metro Detroiter’s will be traveling FAST with an all-new service powered by SMART. Frequent. Affordable. Safe. Transit., or FAST, is the new high frequency, limited-stop bus service connecting the suburbs to downtown Detroit, and for the first time, provides a direct connection to Metro Airport. Riders will be able to catch the FAST buses along three of Detroit’s busiest corridors: Gratiot, Woodward, and Michigan Avenues, with service seven days a week.
“SMART is excited to introduce to the region its first major service upgrade in over 20 years! The new FAST service will make the commute from the suburbs to downtown Detroit quicker and more convenient for riders,” said John C. Hertel, SMART General Manager. “By creating a limited stop route we are able to streamline the service and provide better commuting options to help connect people to work, school, medical facilities, shopping and the growing entertainment district that downtown Detroit has to offer.”
FAST buses will be easily distinguished from SMART’s current fleet of buses. Wrapped in a vibrant array of red, blue and green colors with the FAST logo prominently displayed on the sides of the buses, riders will know they are boarding the new service. Not only is the exterior design different, SMART is also offering free WiFi onboard FAST buses. In 2018, SMART plans to add other improvements along the corridors with new shelters and other amenities for our riders.
Each new FAST route provides an improved level of service to key destinations on each corridor. FAST Michigan, for the first time, offers a direct connection from downtown Detroit to both terminals at Metro Airport. FAST Woodward serves Pontiac and Troy, as well as four hospitals, the Zoo and midtown and downtown. FAST Gratiot connects people to 23 Mile, Mt. Clemens, Macomb Mall, Midtown, Eastern Market and downtown.
While limited-stop service is not new to SMART or transit, higher frequency combined with limited-stops, located at about every mile, FAST service translates to a quicker commute. Riders are only able to board and deboard at the official FAST stations designated with a new FAST sign. Local routes can be used to transfer riders to a FAST station or in-between bus stops. Using this new service is easy and the fare is the same as SMART’s regular service, only $2.00 one-way. Transfers are only 25 cents.
During the 2014 millage, SMART promised to replace the existing fleet of aging buses, most of which had 500,000 miles or more. As of October 2017, the last bus order was placed and that goal was met. Replacing the fleet put SMART in a great position to expand service, which led to the development of this new service.
To help navigate the new FAST service, SMART Customer Service representatives will be on-hand to answer questions with special New Year’s Day hours on Monday, Jan. 1, from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Call Customer Service at (866) 962-5515.