The Detroit People Mover is one of very few light rail public transit systems in the United States. The 2.9-mile track serves thirteen stations in downtown Detroit, making it easy to move around the downtown Detroit area. It is modeled on the same technology that operates the SkyTrain system in Vancouver and Toronto's Scarborough RT line. Although it has a daily ridership capacity of 288,000, the daily average ridership of the People Mover is about 7,500.
Opened in 1987, the Detroit People Mover is an urban mass transit system which operates on a single track in downtown Detroit. The fully automated system was built to move up to 15 million people annually, but operates far below capacity at around 2 million people a year.
The People Mover grew from 1966 legislation that allocated funds for the development of urban mass transit systems and created an administration, the Urban Mass Transportation Administration, to oversee the development of new types of mass transportation. Nine years later, with no notable results, the UMTA offered federal funds to cover most of the construction and startup costs of Downtown People Movers. While Detroit was not chosen as one of the winning proposals for those funds, the UMTA recommended that that city, along with Baltimore and Miami, be allowed to construct People Mover systems if they could do so without using new federal monies to do so. The four cities that won federal grant money to build People Mover systems eventually dropped out of the program, as did Baltimore, but Detroit and Miami went on to build People Mover light rail systems for their downtown areas. The People Mover opened in 1986 and has been in continuous operation since, though parts of it have been shut down during various construction projects in the city.
The People Mover runs in a continuous clockwise circuit of thirteen stations. Six of the stations are built into existing buildings. Each station is embellished with original art, and provides access to a different part of the downtown area.
The Times Square Station serves as home base for the People Mover. It houses the Detroit Transportation Corporation Operations Center and Maintenance Facility. Other stations include the Michigan Avenue Station, the Fort/Cass Station, the Cobo Center Station, the Joe Louis Arena Station, the Financial District, the Millender Center Station, the Renaissance Center Station, the Bricktown Station, the Greektown Station, the Cadillac Center Station, and the Broadway Station. Grand Circus Park Station is the final stop on the thirteen-station track. It is in the center of Detroit's newly renovated sports and theater district. All of these stations provide access to the most popular parts of the city's downtown area.
The People Mover runs seven days a week, with varying hours. Monday through Friday, the trains run from 6:30 AM to midnight. Fridays, they run from 6:30 AM to 2:00 AM. Saturdays the trains run from 9:00 AM to 2:00 AM, and Sunday they run from noon to midnight. Fares for all rides are fifty cents.