Tag Archives: qline comerica park
Posted by Kurt Smith
If you’re going to Comerica Park to see a Detroit Tigers game (or any event), there’s great ways to get there without driving and parking. Not that there’s anything wrong with driving; I offer some useful parking tips here, and here’s a few sports bar locations that will offer you a ride. (Also, definitely use my friends at SpotHero to book your parking in advance!)
However, this post will cover plenty of options for you…mostly public transportation in downtown Detroit, but also some unusual methods for getting to the home of the Tigers.
There’s a lot here, so I’ve broken it down for you:
The QLine Streetcar
The Detroit People Mover
Detroit Bus: DDOT Bus
From Suburbs: SMART Bus (including the FAST Bus)
From Canada: Transit Windsor
Detroit Party Bus
Party Bus Detroit (yes, it’s different)
From Other Cities: Amtrak
Also From Other Cities: Megabus
For Exercise: By Bicycle
Bikeshare to Comerica: MoGo
OK, let’s get started…after this quick word from our sponsor:
QLine Streetcar. The “QLine” streetcar is a light rail route that runs along Woodward Avenue through the business districts and downtown, with dedicated lanes and traffic signals in spots to speed up the ride. The Montcalm station is right there at Comerica Park main entrance. Best of all, it’s free! The QLine stops running at midnight weeknights and at 9:00 Sunday nights; if it’s not running you should be able to take a DDOT bus back.
The QLine is great for making a day of Detroit without getting shafted on parking; you can park at the Fox Theatre garage across the street from Comerica and pay the early bird rate, and use the QLine to visit other Motor City attractions before a game. There are also numerous parking lots along the route. (Remember, book your parking spot in advance with SpotHero!)
The QLine is also a convenient option if you’re coming from the Amtrak station…and makes Amtrak a much easier option to get to games from out of town, say if you’re using that ultra-fast Wolverine from Chicago.
Remember though, free attracts everyone, so cars can be crowded and you may be standing for much of the ride.
People Mover. The Detroit People Mover is an elevated monorail system that carries folks to the main downtown attractions in a compact area. The monorail runs counterclockwise around the area, costs just 75 cents a ride as of this writing and moves from stop to stop quickly. The Broadway and Grand Circus Park stations are a short walk through a small park to Comerica.
The People Mover, like the QLine, is good for folks making a day of visiting Detroit attractions like Greektown (there’s a lot of great eateries near the People Mover); again, try the Fox Theatre garage or another lot with an early bird rate close to Comerica.
There are parking locations near stops, but you’re not likely to find a bargain that makes the hassle worth it except for the easy out. You should be able to find baseball parking cheaper and closer to Comerica than the People Mover.
The DPM runs till 10:30 on weekdays, so it might not be a good idea for weeknight games. It does run until midnight Fridays and Saturdays. It is generally safe during the day and before and after games, but at other times you should be reasonably careful.
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By Bus. There are plenty of buses operated by DDOT (Detroit Department of Transportation) and SMART (Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation) that get you to the front door of Comerica or somewhere nearby.
Both DDOT and SMART have “Trip Planners” on their websites; or you can use Google Maps from your destination to find the route to Comerica and back. Fares are inexpensive as big city transit goes.
DDOT. The DDOT system is for people within the city limits. These buses are white with green and yellow and have two-digit numbers.
The 4 DDOT bus stops at the front door of Comerica on Woodward Avenue (as does the QLine, which you’d probably prefer). Multiple other routes come within a block or two; Google Maps can help you find one. There are numerous other buses that have stops near People Mover and QLine stops, which, while inexpensive, is a convoluted way to get to a ballgame.
Bus service on busier routes like those on Woodward is usually 24 hours a day; with other routes you should check the schedule first.
Not a lot of baseball fans use DDOT to get to Tigers games, especially now with the QLine being a better option. If the QLine and People Mover aren’t convenient, it might be a way to have a look around the city on the way, but otherwise you usually have better options.
SMART. SMART buses are generally for people coming from the suburbs from Wayne, Oakland and Macomb Counties. SMART’s downtown buses all stop either at Comerica, or a People Mover/QLine station. Can save you quite a few bucks over driving and parking at the ballpark.
Most buses run throughout most of the night, and the routes that go directly to the ballpark run more frequently than others. Not all of their buses run late enough to take you back after a night game, so be sure to check the schedule.
SMART buses are a bit better maintained than DDOT, but like DDOT buses, they take time getting through Detroit.
SMART also operates FAST buses, with several routes that stop at or near Comerica. FAST routes arrive more frequently than others and are designed for going to events. SMART even lists park-and-ride locations for you, and there’s Wi-Fi on the buses. If I were doing a bus to Comerica, I’d probably use a FAST bus.
From reviews I’ve read, neither SMART nor DDOT are held in very high regard by locals. There are complaints about unreliability with SMART and sharing the bus with strange characters on DDOT. Nothing out of the ordinary for big city public transit, I suppose. But some people are happy with being able to get to the ballpark more cheaply than if they had driven.
$$$ Tightwad Tip! $$$
$ – Both SMART and DDOT have discounts for students, seniors, disabled riders, and young children. Kids under 44” can ride DDOT for free with a paying adult. With the discount the ride is darn near free, so if you have a Medicare card there’s no need to drive to the game.
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Transit Windsor. From Windsor, Ontario, the Transit Windsor Special Events buses run every game day starting at the Windsor Transit Terminal, 75 minutes and 45 minutes before the game. The buses go through the Windsor-Detroit tunnel and drop riders off near the Broadway-Grand Circus Park garage, near the Detroit Opera House. Nicely walking distance to the right field entrance.
After the game (or fireworks), the buses return to Windsor until 30 minutes afterward, so don’t dawdle getting out. You can pay with American or Canadian money.
There are several parking garages at the transit center in Windsor, and lots of metered parking as well. Garages charge an hourly rate until 6:00 PM and then a small flat fee for the rest of the evening, while most metered parking is free after 6:00 PM.
This is a fairly convenient and inexpensive way for Canadians or those staying in Windsor to get to the game, but remember that it will cross a border and thusly have to pass through customs, so you’ll need proof of citizenship. If there’s a problem at customs it could delay the trip a while.
There are Tunnel bus services to Detroit throughout the day, so you can get there earlier if you like, and doing so to avoid rush hour is a good idea. You can take any bus to downtown and get on the People Mover, but be sure it will be available for the way back.
Detroit Party Bus. The Detroit Tigers Party Bus is a popular way to both enjoy a ride to the game with other Tigers fans and not have to worry about driving at least until you’re back in Royal Oak, Novi, or Partridge Creek.
Two buses depart from each location, one and two hours before game time, and include Labatt’s beer and Tito’s vodka cocktails. You can BYOB. They only serve water on the return trip.
The Tigers Party Bus includes packages that include a game ticket to the Kaline’s Corner section for an extra few bucks, so you can sit with the people you’ve met on the bus…great for mingling or perhaps even meeting a Tigers fan mate. You can get the cheaper bus ride without the ticket too. It’s a great deal if you like to socialize with fellow fans, and avoid the traffic and parking hassle too.
I don’t see anything from Social Connection about 2024 party buses, but I don’t see that they’ve cancelled them either. You can contact them here.
$$$ Tightwad Tip! $$$
$ – If you help the Tigers Party Bus people, they’ll help you…they offer free rides (drinks included) to folks who are willing to volunteer their efforts to help seat people and make sure they have drinks. Kind of like being a bartender and getting to go to the party for free. They will also reward people who bring a group with free ride tickets.
Party Bus Detroit (not to be confused with the Detroit Party Bus…the two are different entities). The folks at Party Bus Detroit has a fleet of high end limo buses that carry groups ranging from 16-22 passengers; buses feature a cooler and a bar and some crazy neon lighting inside for that dizzy feeling. Obviously you’re allowed to have a drink on the bus. The driver is a professional chauffeur, so he probably knows how to avoid the bumps that spill drinks.
The buses are not cheap, but this is a limo service after all, and if everyone chips in it could be a great deal and a blast of fun. They do have a separate website just for Tigers game goers, so I expect it’s a popular thing for them.
Renting a limo to get to a Tigers baseball game is a popular thing…Epic Party Bus, Varsity Limousine and several others offer luxury buses to events. There’s even a party bus outfit coming from Lansing. Someday I’ll do a separate post on that.
Amtrak. The Amtrak station in Detroit is located on the corner of Baltimore and Woodward Avenue, north of I-94. Should you be using the Wolverine train from Pontiac or Kalamazoo (or Chicago, but that’s a long ride), the station is about two miles from Comerica, and can be reached using the QLine or a DDOT bus. (It’s also not far from Z’s Villa, if you’d like to try their excellent pizza.)
The Wolverine coming from Chicago passes through a high-speed corridor and reaches 90 MPH in spots, which is pretty cool and would make the ride from Chicago much quicker than the five hour drive that it normally is. It doesn’t run very frequently, however, so a game would probably require an overnight stay.
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Megabus. Megabus is a bus service that brings people to Detroit from Kalamazoo, Ypsilanti, Elkhart, Indianapolis and other metropolises in the region. Google Maps currently lists the Megabus stop at West Forest Avenue, near Woodward Avenue. You can use a 4 bus or take a short walk to the QLine stop at Canfield Street.
Megabuses are relatively comfortable as buses go, with air conditioning, wireless Internet and whatnot. Prices can be as low as a dollar, although it’s tricky pulling that one off (in fact prices seem a bit high to ride a bus to Detroit). You may want to grab an earlier bus, because all bus services get behind schedule.
Bicycle. The Tigers say nothing about bicycle racks, so you’d have to find some place to park it…and I can tell you that it’s not easy. The team did offer a bicycle valet for games in the past; we’ll see if that gets offered again in the future. (It should be in the Tigers ticket alert newsletter if so.)
In my searches I did see a small rack on Montcalm Avenue, where the Tigers’ McLaren garage is. This is right at the home plate gate, so finding your way back to your bicycle is easy. It doesn’t open until the lot does though.
Here’s a useful map for bicycling downtown, if that helps. There are also bicycle racks on DDOT and SMART buses, and bikes are allowed on the QLine streetcars. You cannot take your bike onto a Transit Windsor bus unless you can put it in a bag, which is a bit of a challenge.
In other words, you might as well use a bikeshare service…
MoGo. Detroit has a bicycle-sharing system called MoGo; you can buy a pass at any station or with the app, and they have several options for your needs.
MoGo isn’t generally cheap enough to make this a money-saving alternative to parking. A one hour pass is $10 as I write this. This is mostly for cycling enthusiasts or people who don’t want to ride their own bike in Detroit. They have monthly and yearly passes too.
Most of the 75-plus stations where you can borrow or return bikes are downtown, including two stations near Comerica. A few stretch into neighborhoods like Mexicantown or along Woodward Avenue. MoGo plus the Q-Line could make for an economical ride that includes exercise and an easy exit after the game.
Taxicab/Rideshare. There is a taxi stand just outside of Gate B on Witherell Street, past right field. Generally you should have no problem finding one in this area after the game. The problem is there will be post-game traffic that you’ll be sitting in with the meter running. The taxi fares in Detroit are state regulated, but that still won’t be cheap.
According to the Lyft people, Comerica is the top event space destination for riders. It wouldn’t hurt to see if they run any specials from time to time. The Tigers recommend Metrocars as a ride service; they offer some really nice vehicles.
So, does all that help? Hopefully I’ve offered some of the best ways for you to get to the home of the Detroit Tigers without using your car. But just remember, I’ve included parking tips and sports bar shuttles on this blog as well. Oh, and here’s how to pick a great seat!
Incidentally, Comerica Park is part of District Detroit. These tips can help you with getting to Little Caesars Arena and Ford Field too. So bookmark away.
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