History of the Detroit People Mover

An iconic Detroit landmark, the Detroit People Mover connects 13 stations and serves as a popular mode of transportation for Detroit residents, visitors and sports fans across the city.


The 2.94-mile loop takes approximately 12-15 minutes per rotation and only costs $0.75 a ride—it’s a perfect way to get to and from the GMRENCEN.


In 1966, the Urban Mass Transportation Administration (UMTA) wanted to develop cheaper public transportation systems across the U.S. However, only two cities saw this project come into full fruition—Miami and Detroit.


Unfortunately, the project failed in 1975 and the UMTA settled for a smaller solution which lead to the construction of the Detroit People Mover, which began in 1983.


In 1985, The Detroit Transportation Corporation (DTC) was established to complete and manage the Detroit People Mover.


The Detroit People Mover finally opened to the public on July 31, 1987, costing $0.50 a ride. The price changed to $0.75 in 2011.


In 2008, the trains were switched to run clockwise to prevent the trains from traveling uphill, ultimately allowing it to run faster at a full speed of 56 mph.


With more than two million passengers every year, the Detroit People Mover truly is an iconic Detroit landmark. 


The 14 stations of the People Mover include:

  • Times Square
  • Grand Circus Park
  • Broadway
  • Cadillac Center
  • Greektown
  • Bricktown
  • Renaissance Center
  • Millender Center
  • Financial District
  • Joe Louis Arena
  • Cobo Center
  • Fort/Cass
  • Michigan Avenue


GMRENCEN Station Fast Facts:

  • In 2014 the GMRENCEN was the second most heavily trafficked stop for the People Mover, coming in at 487,758 passengers.
  • The GMRENCEN station features art, funded by GM and created by two artists by the name of George Woodman and a Michigan artist by the name of Marshall Fredricks.
  • The tile mural, Path Games, is a replacement for the first tile mural created by Woodman, Voyagers Come to Detroit when the Renaissance Center station underwent some construction changes.
  • The tile work by Woodman contains 2,625 pieces and features Detroit’s historic Pewabic.


Check out our Food Under Five blog post featuring quick bites near each stop of the Detroit People Mover.


Looking for help with parking and transportation at the GMRENCEN? Check out our guide here.