New regional bus service for Downtown Detroit, suburbs unveiled by SMART

FAST buses will be rolled out New Year's Day 2018

SMART's new FAST buses will be unveiled on Jan. 1, 2018. (WDIV)
SMART's new FAST buses will be unveiled on Jan. 1, 2018. (WDIV)

DETROIT – A new regional bus service connecting Downtown Detroit and the suburbs will be rolled out by SMART on New Year's Day.

Officials said the new FAST buses will be unveiled Monday. FAST stands for "frequent, affordable, safe transit."

Riders can catch the FAST buses along three of Detroit's busiest corridors: Gratiot, Woodward and Michigan avenues. They will run seven days a week.

"SMART is excited to introduce to the region its first major service upgrade in over 20 years," SMART General Manager John C. Hertel said. "The new FAST service will make the commute from the suburbs to downtown Detroit quicker and more convenient for riders. By creating a limited-stop route, we are able to streamline the service and provide better commuting options to help connect people to work, school, medical facilities, shopping and the growing entertainment district that downtown Detroit has to offer."

The FAST buses are red, blue and green with the logo on both sides.

SMART said free Wi-Fi will be offered on FAST buses, in addition to improvements along the corridors such as new shelters and other amenities.

Major destinations

FAST will also provide a direct connection to Detroit Metro Airport. Each new FAST route is designed to connect residents to both airport terminals.

FAST Woodward will serve Pontiac and Troy, four hospitals, the Detroit Zoo, Midtown Detroit and Downtown Detroit.

FAST Gratiot will connect people to 23 Mile Road, Mt. Clemens, Macomb Mall, Midtown Detroit, Eastern Market and Downtown Detroit.

Officials said FAST buses will translate to a quicker commute for riders, who can only board and get off at official FAST stations.

"Local routes can be used to transfer riders to a FAST station or in-between bus stops," SMART said in a release. "Using this new service is easy and the fare is the same as SMART’s regular service, only $2.00 one-way. Transfers are only 25 cents."

For more information about the FAST buses, customer service workers will be available at 866-962-5515 from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday.