Opening day crowds on the QLINE. Daily Detroit photo.

The QLINE opened on May 12, and officials at M1 Rail are sharing that initial ridership for the QLINE has “exceeded … projections.”

“We couldn’t be more pleased with the enthusiastic reception the QLINE received from riders during our first week,” said M-1 RAIL CEO Matt Cullen in a statement.. “We significantly exceeded our initial ridership projections. Residents of the Woodward Corridor, Detroiters from across the city and visitors throughout SE Michigan helped make this weekend a success and we’re committed to building on this opportunity. We appreciate all the great rider feedback we’ve received and we’re incorporating a number of suggestions into our operations.”

They also, as part of this free period, will deploy street teams at stops down the line on an ongoing basis over the next six weeks.

Here’s how the numbers break out.

There were nearly 50,000 riders its first week, averaging 8,300 riders per day over its first weekend.

MondayThursday averaged 5,120 riders per day. That’s already within their “break even” ridership projections (if they were charging fares).

Many rode the streetcar from end to end, and officials say that caused large crowds on the platforms and headway times longer than expected.

Due to the high demand, M-1 RAIL will increase the number of vehicles on the route during heavy ridership periods.

In the release, M-1 RAIL says the “gained valuable experience” (which in corporate speak means they learned something from messing up) during the Detroit Tigers home series this week. There had been criticism that the streetcar did a hard shutoff at their scheduled time, leaving passengers on at the station after the game.

M-1 RAIL will operate the QLINE until midnight on Sunday, May 21 to serve riders attending the Detroit Tigers game which starts at 8 p.m.

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