Biking can make public transit a better option and vice versa. A bike can get you to a transit stop or your final destination faster. Using transit can make a long bike trip more reasonable.
Fortunately public transit in Detroit accommodates bikes.
Bike racks are installed on most of the DDOT buses and there is no additional fee to use them. Space on the rack is available on a first-come, first-served basis. DDOT has a Bikes on Buses User Guide that provides more information on this service.
All SMART Fixed Route buses have bike racks. Like DDOT, there is no additional charge to use them. Note that eBikes are not currently allowed due to their additional weight. For more information, visit their web page on how to use the bike rack or watch their short video.
UM Detroit Connector
The University of Michigan’s Detroit Connector bus service is open to faculty, staff, students, and the general public. The bus service runs between the UM Detroit Center, UM Dearborn, and UM Central Campus in Ann Arbor. Bike storage is available.
Detroit People Mover
Bicycles are allowed on the People Mover. Nearly all of the People Mover stations also have bike racks.
Bicycles are currently allowed on all Amtrak trains in Michigan, including the Wolverine line with stops in Detroit. Reservations are required and space is limited.
Transit Windsor Tunnel Bus suspended service during COVID, but is planning to resume service on November 20, 2022. The cost is $7.50 USD/CAD each way.
Transit Windsor reminds bicyclists of the following stipulations:
- All bicycles entering the United States or Canada must be accompanied by an owner or authorized individual.
- Bicycles making entry to the United States or Canada will remain on the bus rack during the inspection process unless removal is requested by a Customs Officer.
- Bicycle bags or pouches will be removed and brought into the customs office for inspection, unless the Customs Officer determines it is not feasible or prudent to do so.
- The bicycles of individuals found to be inadmissible will be removed from the bicycle rack and remain with the owner or authorized individual until they return to the originating country.
What about Ferry Service?
The Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority has been trying to establish international ferry service for years. We have offered our support for this and have explained the benefits of allowing bicyclists on the ferry. They have told us they want to be the primary crossing route for bicyclists. It would be convenient as their port is on the Detroit RiverWalk.
However, ferry service works best when other alternatives aren’t available or are costly. The existing tunnel and bridge and bridge are inexpensive options (though admittedly less convenient for pedestrians and not an option for bicyclists.) Being an international crossing adds additional wrinkles due to customs. That said, getting ferry service established either on a published schedule or for special events is a challenge.
For additional information, listen to the Life in a Border Town podcast “Ferry Service on the Detroit River”.