detroit people mover
Fares for the Detroit People Mover go back into effect Oct. 31. Some riders will be eligible for temporary discounts and free service. (BridgeDetroit photo by Christine Ferretti)

Starting Monday, fare goes back into effect for most riders of the Detroit People Mover

The 75-cent rides aren’t higher than the fees of the past – and the system will offer a number of discounted options and free service for seniors for a limited time, officials announced Friday.

Those savings will be in the form of the People Mover’s monthly and annual passes. The Value Pass provides two months of unlimited rides for $15 for November and December or for January and February. Individual monthly passes are $10. An annual pass is $100, which gives rides two months for free. Customers will save an additional $20 for 14 months of People Mover service, instead of the standard 12, officials noted.

Those who purchased passes in 2020 – prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic – will get Welcome Back Passes, free-fare cards effective Monday through the end of 2023 for annual pass-holders, and Value Pass cards for those who bought monthly passes for April to June 2020.

Seniors 65 and up can get free passes to ride the People Mover from November through February.

The People Mover, now in its 35th year, reopened to the public with free fares on May 20.

The 2.9-mile track with 13 stops had ceased operations due to the pandemic. Early plans to relaunch last fall were delayed amid testing, inspection and state certification of the system.

The People Mover last year commissioned an assessment of the system’s capital needs, finding a new fleet of about a dozen rail cars would run about $50-60 million. Overall, officials with the city have estimated about $100 million would be needed to fully upgrade and keep the service relevant in future years.

In the 2018 calendar year, there were about 1.9 million riders, 1.6 million in 2019, and the People Mover served around 270,000 in 2020 before its COVID-induced shutdown.

People Mover officials noted that Halloween will coincide with the first day of paid service and to mark the holiday, passengers can board the “Train for Treats,” which will provide children visiting the Broadway Station with treat bags and entertainment from 3-4 p.m. On-board giveaways on the “Train of Treats People Mover Car,” will take place from 4-6 p.m.

“Our employees wanted to say ‘thank you’ to customers continuing to come back to the Detroit People Mover,” Detroit Transportation Corporation General Manager Robert Cramer said in a Friday statement. “We definitely invite everyone in and around the downtown neighborhood who’s riding to say ‘hi’ during this festive ride.

“It will be a great time to ask myself and other staff any questions or give us comments about the service,” he added. 

People Mover passes can be purchased online or in-person from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday at the DTC Administrative Office, 535 Griswold. For information, call (313) 224-2160.

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