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Getting Around in Detroit

By Public Transit

The Detroit Department of Transportation provides mass transit bus service within the city of Detroit. Downtown has a the new Rosa Parks Transit Center. DDOT buses are yellow and green. For safety, DDOT buses may be patrolled by the Wayne County sheriff's deputies. 17 routes serve the central bus terminal, which is downtown at Griswold and Shelby streets. Standard fare $1.50, transfer $0.25.

The People Mover, which was completed in 1987, is a fully automated, elevated rail system that runs a three mile loop in the downtown area. It is the best way to get around the downtown area. A round trip excursion, covering 13 stations, takes approximately 20 minutes and offers great views of the city's downtown landmarks. Signature stops include the Renaissance Center (GM HQ & Retail Complex), Greektown, Joe Louis Arena (Home of the Detroit Red Wings), Cobo (Convention) Center, and Cadillac Center (Campus Martius Park). The stations feature original works by local artists. Standard fare $0.50.

By Car

Detroit's street layout is truly unique, combining wheel-and-spoke, grid, and strip-farm (near the River) layouts. Six major spoke roads radiate out from downtown; they are, in clockwise order, Fort Street, Michigan Avenue, Grand River Avenue, Woodward Avenue, Gratiot Avenue, and Jefferson Avenue. Woodward Avenue runs north-south (more or less) and divides Detroit into east and west; West Warren Street, for instance, becomes East Warren Street when it crosses Woodward. Smaller streets generally conform to a strict grid pattern, although the orientation of the grid and the size and shape of blocks frequently varies to fit better with the spoke roads. Downtown, the layout abandons the grid design, with the spoke roads converging in a confusing but oddly logical arrangement of diagonal, mostly one-way streets.

While several freeways converge outside of downtown, only three have exits directly into the downtown area: M-10 ("The Lodge") has exits along the western edge of downtown, I-75 (Fisher) has exits to the north and I-375 (Chrysler) has exits to the east. Both M-10 and I-375 run south and eventually merge onto Jefferson Avenue along the river.

Detroit spreads over a large area, and getting around may prove to be difficult without a car. Nonetheless, an extensive highway system and ample parking make the region one of the most auto-friendly in North America. Detroit has one of America's most modern freeway systems. Downtown has parking garages in strategic locations.

Greektown Casino, located downtown, has a free 13 floor parking garage. Visitors are welcome to pay to park at the Renaissance Center garage. There are plenty of pay-to-park garages, lots, and valet near the Greektown/stadium areas. Premium parking right next to the stadium is well worth the extra price and usually available during a game. Downtown has an ease of entry from the freeways which may surprise new vistors. Valet parking is available at four Renaissance Center locations, the main Winter Garden entrance along the Riverfront, the Jefferson Avenue lobby, Marriott hotel entrance west, and Seldom Blues entrance west.

By Taxi

While not nearly as prevalent as in other major cities, taxis are available. Taxi stands are located in just a few locations, including MGM Casino, Cobo Hall, Millender Center, the RenCen, Greektown, Comerica Park and the McNamara Building. While it is not impossible to flag a taxi, you’re better off calling to arrange for one. The biggest taxi company in Detroit is Checker Cab (





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