Detroit People Mover
The Detroit People Mover is a 2.9 mile driverless, fully automated light rail rapid transit system operating in a single-track, one-way loop through downtown Detroit, Michigan, USA. A siding allows the system to be used in a two-way by-pass manner when part of the circular track is closed. The system, opened in 1987, uses the same technology as the Vancouver SkyTrain and Toronto's Scarborough RT. The system has 12 cars and 13 stations (8 of which are built into pre-existing buildings). The train crosses through the Cobo Hall exhibit space allowing views of the conventions and exhibits like the North American Auto Show below the train.
The People Mover is the only rail transit in Detroit with the closure of the 1-mile trolley line in 2003. (Amtrak runs into the city but only allows travel between Detroit and Ann Arbor.) Detroit's close ties to the automotive industry are seen as the cause of its lack of mass transit.
The People Mover is the widely viewed as a failure with high cost, low ridership and frequent need of repairs. In fiscal year 1999–2000, it had a ridership of 1.5 million, although the system has a theoretical capacity to carry 15 million. Daily ridership was only 5,000 people. The Detroit News that year computed that the city was subsidizing the system $3.00 for every $0.50 rider fare. Ridership expanded to 2.2 million in fiscal years 2001 and 2002. In October 1998, the implosion of the Hudson's building damaged the track, closing the People Mover completely for two months. Full service was not restored unil November, 1999, more than a year later. Renovation at the General Motors headquarters at the Renaissance Center kept the People Mover from a full circuit operation for two years from September 2002 to September 2004.
See also People mover