Discuss Detroit Archives - January 2008 Airport express bus? Previous Next
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Otter
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Username: Otter

Post Number: 34
Registered: 12-2007
Posted on Saturday, March 15, 2008 - 2:03 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I was out of town this week and I did not feel like paying $45 for parking for the week, so I had a friend give me a ride to the airport and took the bus back since no one was available to pick me up when I arrived. The experience was pretty much as advertised by the friend who suggested it to me - cheap and slow (he doesn't mind the slow, apparently) and pretty convient.

But holy cow is it slow! Service was prompt - I waited mere minutes at the LC Smith terminal before the 125 arrived, and mere minutes at downtown for the DDOT 53 to arrive - but I can get to midtown (where I'd left my car) from the airport in about 15 minutes, where it took me a good 2 hours on the bus(es). I wasn't in a hurry, so I ddin't mind that much.

An express bus was a sort of obvious thought as I was sitting there.

Was there ever an express SMART line from the airport? Could there be? A run to a few central nodes in, say, Dearborn, midtown or downtown and Grosse Pointe would seem reasonable. But I get the impression there isn't enough airport-commuter traffic to support this. At the same time, I suspect there could be if a well-designed route was created and it was advertised and supported well enough. It's certainly more achievable than a light rail line.
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Neilr
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Username: Neilr

Post Number: 679
Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Saturday, March 15, 2008 - 4:04 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Until a few years ago, there were Commuter Express (small) busses that went to Metro. They had scheduled stops at various hotels downtown. Depending on your pick-up location, it was almost an express route. It cost $15, one-way, IIRC. It was a very convenient transit for me. I think the company stopped service when Metro Cars got an exclusive contract from Wayne County.

(Message edited by Neilr on March 15, 2008)
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Rocket_city
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Username: Rocket_city

Post Number: 710
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Saturday, March 15, 2008 - 4:21 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Interesting story. I attempted to do this a few months ago when I flew back from Chicago. I tried finding the bus transportation (in Det.) while in Chicago to get me from the airport to midtown. My planning fell through and I just ended up having my sister pick me up from Ann Arbor.

How nice would it have been to know exactly the route that could take me directly downtown or midtown. I wouldn't have minded a taxi from downtown to midtown either.
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Mwilbert
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Username: Mwilbert

Post Number: 130
Registered: 11-2007
Posted on Saturday, March 15, 2008 - 4:23 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

There used to be full-size Greyhounds that went to/from the airport to downtown hotels. I used to use them fairly often.
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Livernoisyard
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Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 5526
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Saturday, March 15, 2008 - 4:42 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

If carrying minimal luggage, I would be satisfied taking the SMART to DTW for $1.50 one-way from downtown or SW Detroit or the suburbs along that way. Just bring a good magazine or newspaper to read. The time would go by rapidly. The little extra time saved wouldn't be worth paying any more to me.
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Jhartmich
Member
Username: Jhartmich

Post Number: 82
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Saturday, March 15, 2008 - 5:17 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I use the SMART bus every 2 weeks to get to/from the airport from midtown. It's not fast but it is convenient and cheap. I'm usual traveling back to Florida. The time on the bus from midtown to the airport is about the same as flying from DTW to Tampa. lol - Go figure.
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Livernoisyard
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Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 5529
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Saturday, March 15, 2008 - 5:36 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

There's much more time involved in flying somewhere than the actual flight time. Especially when transferring to another plane. And the SMART bus still runs when the weather minimums get too low to fly...
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Otter
Member
Username: Otter

Post Number: 36
Registered: 12-2007
Posted on Saturday, March 15, 2008 - 10:53 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Jhartmich,

I was struck by the same thought :-) I was flying to Ft. Myers, FL and my trip home took just as long as the trip from Ft. Myers to Detroit! That includes boarding and deboarding the plane and leaving the terminal, too.

I tried to read my book on the bus but the poor ride (shitty roads) and just enough sensitivity to motion sickness meant I couldn't pull it off. Way too bad to pull out the laptop.

I could (and did) live with eating up most of my afternoon getting home, but my flight out was at 7:15 AM, and taking the bus to the airport all the way from home would have meant getting up at 3:00A for the entirely hypothetical 4:15A 610 SMART from GPP - hypothetical since that's 30 min. before the first bus, and it's a bit ridiculous when you have a time deadline. It can make travel seem rather epic.

I had minimal luggage - briefcase/shoulder bag and a duffel bag - and this was fine on the SMART but even that was a bit ridiculous on the DDOT bus. Lke LYard, if I had a lot of luggage I wouldn't bother.

I can't help the comparisons to Chicago, where you can take the CTA straight into the terminal of either airport. Even Atlanta gives you that option!

(Message edited by otter on March 15, 2008)
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Smogboy
Member
Username: Smogboy

Post Number: 7295
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Sunday, March 16, 2008 - 1:51 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Wasn't Detroit & Denver given some pretty lousy marks recently for their commuter un-friendly service recently?

Don't get me wrong, both airports internally are top of the line but for anyone that's got to get to & from there, I can't see any easy methods at all.
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Fmstack
Member
Username: Fmstack

Post Number: 50
Registered: 06-2007
Posted on Sunday, March 16, 2008 - 4:39 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Seriously, why hasn't Trainman been kicked off the site? He's smart, but he seriously needs to take time off from dyes to seek some medical attention.

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