Hey friends, let’s get to it. I hope you stayed safe from the ice this morning. It’s supposed to warm up over freezing the rest of the week.

a red and white bus on a city street
Photo by Karthik Sridasyam on Unsplash

📰 What to know

» The QLINE, Detroit's streetcar that runs from Spirit Plaza to Grand Boulevard, exceeded one million riders in 2023. That’s a 50% increase from the previous year. And a 25% increase from the QLINE’s pre-COVID ridership of just over 800k, far exceeding the national average for return to transit.

» Property values are up again in the city of Detroit. The city says every residential neighborhood saw a property value increase, and the average was 23%. State law keeps property tax assessments capped, unless there’s been a sale of the property. I’ve included a map above showing where and how much each area of the city rose.

Recently, a report said that Detroit now has the fastest-rising home values in America, beating out perennial leader Miami, Florida. [CNBC]

a yellow bus is going over a bridge
Photo by LaRon Rosser on Unsplash

» Talk of the Detroit People Mover expanding has people, well, talking. Fantasy maps abound of where to connect the DPM to next. The elevated rail was designed as a “loop” for a wider mass transit system that never came because the city and suburbs couldn’t figure out how to spend the available Federal money. [Urbanize Detroit]

Robin Runyan over at Urbanize Detroit also talked about it on our podcast recently.

I’m going to add a little context here, as this story kind of popped up out of nowhere at the Detroit Policy Conference after a speaker encouraged the crowd to think about it.

One thing to remember is that we’re going to have to spend somewhere near $100 million on the People Mover to modernize it, one way or another. [Bridge Michigan]

So if the bill is coming due soon, why not think about how to make it far more useful, even if it is to downtown attractions? For instance, it only connects to one of three Detroit casinos right now. It does not connect to Little Caesars Arena.

» There’s a new EV technology headquarters coming to Corktown. EcoG, specializing in interoperable EV charging stations, is opening its US headquarters in Detroit with a $1.5M grant from the Michigan Strategic Fund. The deal would bring private investment of $14.4 million and create 45 high-wage jobs, according to press materials.

They’ll be in the Book Depository building, across from Michigan Central Station. The German-founded company has a strong presence in Europe and works to speed up the rollout of EV fast-charging infrastructure.

I’m working on scheduling their CEO and co-founder, Joerg Heuer, to talk on the podcast.

lighted red text signage
Photo by Mohammad Metri on Unsplash

🎧 On the podcast

» Although a lot of the conversation locally is about transportation in the city of Detroit, the reality is the vast majority of people live in (or work in) the suburbs. And if, in fact, transit is something people care about — and it’s clear from feedback that it is — we need to talk about serving the suburbs.

At the Detroit Policy Conference, I caught up with SMART Deputy GM Tiffany Gunter. From new service lines, to flexible on-demand service, to better bus stops and more; we talk about transit in Metro Detroit in a big way.

» Broadcasting legend Mike Tirico joined the podcast for a segment on the Friday show. He lives in southeast Michigan, and shared why people should really look at visiting Detroit.

» Can Michigan grow? And how do we feel about the auto show moving back to January? We discussed. This was also a wrap-up of the Detroit Policy Conference, where we had a live studio on site.

» Where are we now with battery technology? And how does Michigan fit into that picture? Me and Bloomberg’s Gabrielle Coppola had quite the conversation about it, including how a Chinese firm bought technology made in Michigan out of bankruptcy — and are now using it to advance their electric vehicles.

» Can the Detroit Lions defeat the 49ers? Yes. Will they? Me and Fletcher Sharpe discuss.

💙 My favorite thing today

Starting a new thing where I highlight my favorite thing of the day. It might not make it into every edition, but this piece by Annalise Frank out of Axios made me want to share it starting today.

🔗 “An icy stroll through Jefferson Chalmers' canals” [Axios]

This story of walking out on the ice of the canals in Jefferson Chalmers made me smile.

As a fan of the east side — and often visitor of said canals — I love the different ways people experience this unique Detroit thing.

…and we’re done for today. If this is your first time, here, don’t forget to sign up for future notes for free.

If you really love what we’re doing and can spare it, consider chipping in a coffee or two.

We’ll talk soon.


Share this post