DETROIT TRANSIT ROUTES

CONCISE HISTORY

Parentheses indicate discontinued routes. Not included are downtown shuttle routes.

Detroit's streetcar routes were known by name, with no use of route numbers. DDOT introduced the present route numbering system in 1975, basically in alphabetical order. Most bus routes replacing the streetcars resemble the streetcar routes, others were changed. In addition, several bus routes were at one time through routed with certain other bus routes, with the through routes since discontinued.

Streetcar Route Names/Changes

Further information on how Detroit's streetcar routes evolved to today's bus routes. Also included are major changes in Detroit's bus routes.



D-DOT  Route                  Original  First First     Bus      Notes
Route  Name                   Company   Horse Electric  New or
Number (streets)              Initials  Car   Streetcar Convert

 (5) Broadstreet                  DSR      NEW BUS   1/25/25  discontinued 1988
 (6) Buchanan                     DSR      8/25/21   7/17/49  discontinued 2002
  7  Cadillac-Harper              PMC      NEW BUS   3/19/25  acquired  7/ 1/26
     (Kercheval)                  DR          1895  12/15/49
     (Harper)                     DSR      NEW BUS   9/17/25
  9  Chalmers                     DSR      NEW BUS   6/ 1/25
 10  Chene                        DCR   1889  1895   4/ 6/52
     (Jos. Campau)                NDER     8/ 1/01   4/ 6/52
     (Nevada)                     DSR      NEW BUS  11/30/42
 11  Clairmount                   DSR      10/25/21  7/29/51
     (Junction-south)             DSR      10/28/14  6/24/48
     (Junction)                   DUR      11/30/16  7/29/51
     (Epworth)                    DUR      8/10/19   7/29/51
     (St. Jean)                   DSR      2/ 1/21   7/29/51
 12  Conant                       DSR      NEW BUS   1/18/25
     (Mt. Elliott)                DR          1896   6/24/48
     (Belle Isle)                 DPB      NEW BUS      1909  acquired  6/11/24
 13  Conner                       DSR      NEW BUS  11/25/40
     (Essex)                      DSR      NEW BUS   3/ 8/25
     (Hoover)                     DSR      NEW BUS   2/ 5/40
 14  Crosstown                    DR          1895  10/26/47
     (Warren-East)                DSR      NEW BUS   1/ 4/25
 15  Chicago-Davison              DSR      NEW BUS   9/22/26
     (Oakman)                     DSR     12/22/18  12/ 9/45
     (Davison west)               DSR         1895   7/18/48
     (Davison east)               DSR     12/22/18  12/ 9/45
 16  Dexter                       DMB      NEW BUS      1921  acquired  1/ 1/32
 17  Eight Mile                   DSR      NEW BUS  11/16/24
     (East)                       DSR      NEW BUS   5/20/40
 18  Fenkell                      DSR      NEW BUS   4/ 5/25
     (Twelfth/Rosa Parks)         DR          1895   6/19/51
     (Fourteenth)                 DR          1895   7/18/48
     (Davison-Wyoming)            DSR     12/15/21   6/19/51
 19  Fort                         FSE   1865  1893   6/23/49
     (Monroe)                     FSE   1866  1893   6/23/49
     (Rouge River)                DRRD        1889   6/23/49
(20) Grand Belt                   DUR     11/30/16   6/24/48  discontinued  9/26/2009
     (McGraw)                     DSR      NEW BUS   9/28/25
     (E. Grand Blvd.)             DMB      NEW BUS  12/11/23  acquired  1/ 1/32
 21  Grand River                  GRSR  1868  1895   5/ 5/47
     (Grand Blvd.-Farmington)     GRER        1898   5/ 5/47
 22  Greenfield                   DSR      NEW BUS   5/11/42
 23  Hamilton                     DUR         1914   4/28/47
     (Grand River-Warren)         GRSR  1889  1895   4/28/47
(24) Holbrook                     DSR      NEW BUS  10/ 6/41  discontinued  9/26/2009
 25  Jefferson                    DCR   1863  1892   2/ 7/54
     (Mt. Elliott-Burns)          HSR   1868  1892   2/ 7/54
     (Burns-Grosse Pointe)        JAR   1881  1892   2/ 7/54  steam dummy 1881-1892
(26) John R/North                 DSR      NEW BUS   2/ 1/25  discontinued 1988
 27  Joy                          DSR      NEW BUS   3/13/49
     (West Grand Blvd.)           DMB      NEW BUS      1922  acquired  1/ 1/32
(28) Lafayette-Green              DMB      NEW BUS      1921  acquired  1/ 1/32/disc. 2008
 29  Linwood                      DUR         1911   7/18/48
     (Trumbull)                   DCR   1886  1895   6/19/51
 30  Livernois                    DSR      NEW BUS   9/28/25
     West Jefferson               FSE   1866  1893   7/18/48
 31  Mack                         DCR   1889  1892  11/11/51
     (Cadillac-St. Jean)          EDGP        1888  11/11/51
     (Alter-Moross)               DSR      NEW BUS   1/ 1/25
 32  McNichols                    DMB      NEW BUS      1921  acquired  1/ 1/32
     (East)                       DSR      NEW BUS  10/26/25
(33) Meyers-Northlawn             DSR      NEW BUS   3/24/27  now route 35
 34  Gratiot                      DCR   1863  1895   3/25/56
     (Van Dyke-Harper)            GR          1891   3/25/56
(35) Meyers                       DSR      NEW BUS   3/24/27  discontinued 4/2005  
(35) Mt. Elliott                  DUR      9/12/21   6/19/51  discontinued 1988
 37  Michigan                     DCR   1863  1895   9/ 7/55
 38  Plymouth                     DSR      NEW BUS   1/11/25
 38  Caniff                       DSR      NEW BUS   7/10/39
     (Hayes)                      DSR      NEW BUS  11/ 2/42
 39  Puritan                      DSR      NEW BUS   4/ 5/25
 40  Russell                      DSR      NEW BUS   5/27/40
 41  Shaefer                      DSR      NEW BUS  10/ 6/41
(42) Schoenherr-Redmond           DSR      NEW BUS   1/ 7/46  discontinued 1988
 43  Schoolcraft                  DSR      NEW BUS  11/27/26
     (Oakman)                     DUR     12/22/18  12/ 9/45
(44) Second                       DMB      NEW BUS      1921  acquired  1/ 1/32
     (Third)                      CMCT  1873  1895   4/28/47
 45  Seven Mile                   DSR      NEW BUS   1/ 3/27
     (East)                       DSR      NEW BUS   9/17/25
 46  Southfield                   DSR      NEW BUS  10/ 6/41
 47  Tireman                      DMB      NEW BUS      1922  acquired  1/ 1/32
     (Myrtle/ML King)             GRSR  1868  1895  10/11/37
     (Third)                      GRSR  1889  1895   4/28/47
 48  Van Dyke-Lafayette           DURO        1899  10/26/47
     (Harper-Charlevoix)          DSR      8/25/21   2/14/38
     (Charlevoix-Lafayette)       DSR      NEW BUS   2/14/38
     (Lafayette-Downtown)         GRSR        1886   2/28/39
 49  Vernor                       DSR      NEW BUS   3/11/28
     (West Vernor)                DGTJ  1873  1895   4/ 6/52
     (Oakland)                    DR          1895   6/19/51
     (Dequindre)                  DSR      NEW BUS   6/ 7/37
     (Springwells-Ford Motor Co.) DUR     12/ 1/18   7/18/48  discontinued 2/8/2014
     (Charlevoix)                 DSR      2/ 1/21   7/17/49  discontinued 2/8/2014
(50) Warren East                  DSR      NEW BUS   1/ 4/25  combined into route 14
(51) West Jefferson               FSE   1866  1893   7/18/48  combined into route 30
(52) Woodrow Wilson               DSR      NEW BUS   2/14/38  discontinued 4/2005
 53  Woodward                     DCR   1863  1892   4/ 8/56
     (GT RR-Palmer Park)          HPR         1886   4/ 8/56
     (Palmer Park-Pontiac)        OR          1896   4/ 8/56
 54  Wyoming                      DSR      NEW BUS  11/30/25
 60  Evergreen                    DDOT     NEW BUS      1988
(70) Cadillac-Harper Express      DSR      NEW BUS   8/19/35  discontinued by DDOT
(71) Crosstown Express            DDOT     NEW BUS    1970's  discontinued 7/20/81
(72) Dexter Express               DSR      NEW BUS   8/30/37  discontinued by DDOT
(73) Fenkell Express              DSR      NEW BUS  11/ 7/57  discontinued by DDOT
(74) Grand River Express          DSR      NEW BUS  10/15/45  discontinued 7/20/81
(75) Gratiot Express              DSR      NEW BUS  10/22/45  discontinued 7/20/81
(76) Hayes Express                DSR      NEW BUS  11/ 5/62  discontinued 6/25/11
(77) Hamilton Express             DSR      NEW BUS  10/18/47  discontinued by DDOT
(78) Imperial Express             DSR      NEW BUS   5/26/58  discontinued 3/ 3/12
(79) Jefferson Express            DSR      NEW BUS   9/13/54  discontinued 7/20/81
(80) Joy Road Express             DSR      NEW BUS  11/21/55  discontinued 7/20/81
(81) Oakland Express              DSR      NEW BUS   2/ 3/47  discontinued 7/20/81
(82) Plymouth Express             DSR      NEW BUS   1/31/55  discontinued by DDOT
(83) Rouge Express                DDOT     NEW BUS    1970's  discontinued 7/20/81
(85) Second Express               DSR      NEW BUS   9/17/45  discontinued 7/20/81
(86) Van Dyke Express             DSR      NEW BUS   3/29/54  discontinued by DDOT
(87) Mack Express                 DSR      NEW BUS  10/ 1/45  discontinued 7/20/81
(88) Woodward Express             DSR      NEW BUS  10/14/57  discontinued 7/20/81
(95) Woodmere                     DR          1895   7/18/48  discontinued 6/14/73
     (Dix)                        DER         1886   7/18/48  discontinued 6/14/73
 95  Northeast Express            DDOT     NEW BUS   9/ 3/16
 96  West Express                 DDOT     NEW BUS   9/ 3/16
 99  Lahser                       DSR      NEW BUS   5/20/40

In addition, five express routes were experimentally introduced 6/16/2008, but were discontinued 4/18/2009.


Original Streetcar and Bus Companies

CMCT - Central Market, Cass Avenue & Third Street Railway
DCR - Detroit City Railway
DER - Detroit Electric Railway
DGTJ - Detroit & Grand Trunk Junction Street Railway
DMB - Detroit Motorbus Co.
DPB - Department of Parks and Boulevards, City of Detroit
DR - Detroit Railway
DRRD - Detroit Rouge River & Dearborn Railway
DSR - Department of Street Railways, City of Detroit
DDOT - Detroit Department of Transportation
DUR - Detroit United Railway
DURO - Detroit Utica & Romeo Railway Co.
EDGP - East Detroit & Grosse Pointe Railway
FSE - Fort Street & Elmwood Railway Co.
GR - Gratiot Avenue Railway Co.
GRER - Grand River Electric Railway
GRSR - Grand River Street Railway
HPR - Highland Park Railway Co.
HSR - Hamtramck Street Railway
JAR - Jefferson Avenue Railway Co.
NDER - North Detroit Electric Railway
OR - Oakland Railway
PMC - People's Motor Coach Co. (DUR)

All railway companies eventually became part of DUR or DSR. The Detroit Motorbus Co. introduced bus routes competing with the streetcars beginning in 1921, until DSR took over the routes in 1932. The People's Motor Coach Co. was a bus subsidiary of DUR, mainly providing suburban and interurban bus service. The bus service on Belle Isle was operated by the city Department of Parks and Boulevards, until DSR assumed operation in 1924.

In addition, DMB operated service on East Jefferson from 1921 until 6/1/34, coexisting with the streetcar route there. Also, DMB operated a few bus routes under contract for DSR at various times, when DMB was more suited to operate the routes.


Express Bus Routes

Further information on the various express bus routes which have existed in Detroit. Only two of these routes remain.


Trolleybus Routes

After two unsuccessful experiments with trolleybuses in the 1920's, Detroit had three successful trolleybus routes in later years:


Route Name   Period Of Trolleybus Operation

Plymouth      6/14/30 to  8/ 8/37
Crosstown    12/15/49 to  3/31/61
Grand River   9/ 5/51 to 11/16/62


Go to Chicago Transit & Railfan Web Site