Transit Guide: Corktown Detroit

Here’s how to get to and around Detroit’s oldest neighborhood using public transit.

David Gifford
6 min readJun 14, 2018
Photo by Ethan B Allen

Corktown Transit Options

Although the last streetcar left Michigan Ave in 1956 and the last passenger train departed Michigan Central Station in 1988, the buses have never stopped running through Corktown. There are several bus routes that connect Corktown to Downtown Detroit, Dearborn, DTW Airport and other parts of Detroit. Why ride the bus? Buses are a great option rather than paying for an Uber or for parking.

Click here for interactive map

DDOT (Detroit Department of Transportation)

$2.00 - four hour pass, $0.50 w/DDOT Student ID, $0.50 Seniors/Disabled. $5.00 24/hr pass. Pay with cash or use Token Transit App.

Click here for interactive map, schedules & stops

#2 Michigan Ave is a *24–7 service bus route that runs between Downtown Detroit (Rosa Parks Transit Center) & Fairlane Town Center with stops in Corktown, East Dearborn, Ford World Headquarters & Fairlane Town Center. *After midnight, the bus only runs between downtown & Schaefer in Dearborn.

Popular destinations include: Downtown Detroit, Westin Book Cadillac Hotel, PJ’s Lager House, James Oliver Coffee & Bagels, Brooklyn Street Local, Ottova Via, Detroit Axe, The Godfrey Hotel, Nemo’s Bar, McShane’s, UFO Factory, The Corner Ballpark-PAL, Alpino, Bobcat Bonnie’s, Corktown Tavern, Ima Izakaya, Sugar House, Motor City Wine, Mercury Burger & Bar, Slow’s BBQ, Cork & Gable, Two James, Takoi, Supergeil, Hygrade Deli, El Barzon, Senate Theater, Rincon Tropical, Telway Hamburgers, Adonis Restaurant and Banquet, M&M Cafe, Arab American National Museum, City Hall Artspace Lofts, Baba’s Grill, Sheeba Restaurant, Habib’s Cuisine, Ford Community & Performing Arts Center, Ford World Headquarters, Fairlane Town Center, UofM Dearborn & Henry Ford College.

Bus Schedule

Other bus routes

Other transit guides: Movie Theater Transit Guide, Brewery By Bus Guide, SE Michigan Transit Guide, QLine Transit Guide, FAST Bus Transit Guide and SMART Bus Route Guide.

SMART ( Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation)

SMART bus primarily operates in the suburbs but does run buses into and out of the city. Fares are $2 for adults, $1 for students (6–18), $0.50 seniors/disabled.

Click here for a more detailed blog on the FAST buses.

#261 FAST Michigan runs every 30–40 minutes between Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) and Downtown Detroit. This service takes about one hour to reach Detroit traveling on Michigan Avenue. It makes select stops in Inkster, West Dearborn, John D. Dingell Transit Center, East Dearborn, Wyoming Park & Ride, Senate Theater, Corktown, Rosa Parks Transit Center, Grand Circus Park and Downtown Detroit.

Popular destinations include: The David Whitney Building (Aloft Hotel), Comerica Park, Ford Field, Detroit Opera House, The Gem Theater, The Fillmore, Fox Theater, Little Caesars Arena, Coleman A Young Municipal Center, Spirit Plaza, Hart Plaza, Campus Martius, Cobo Center, Foundation Hotel, Westin Book Cadillac, American & Lafayette Coney Islands, Capitol Park, Corktown, Hygrade Deli, Senate Theater, East Dearborn, Dearborn Transit Center, Greenfield Village, The Henry Ford, West Dearborn, Inkster, Romulus Amazon Fulfillment Center & DTW Airport.

Bus Schedule

#200 Michigan Avenue Local runs between Wayne (Ford Truck Plant), Fairlane Town Center (seven days) and Downtown Detroit (weekdays only). During peak commute hours, the buses run all the way to Larned & St. Antoine. Off peak hours the buses only run to Fairlane Mall and back. This is a good route for commuting into and out of the city. Saturdays and Sundays the bus doesn’t go east of Fairlane Mall.

Popular destinations include: many of the same as #37 DDOT & #261 FAST Michigan as well as Wayne, Phoenix Theaters State Wayne and Ford Truck Plant.

Bus Schedule

MoGo Detroit

Detroit’s bike sharing system is a great way to get around. $8 grants you 24 hrs of access to 30 minute rides. This is perfect when you are on foot and need to get from one neighborhood to another. No bikes available? Contact them and they’ll bring more!

About Corktown

Corktown, Detroit’s oldest neighborhood, was founded in 1838 primarily by immigrants from Cork County Ireland. The neighborhood is about to get a massive booster shot named Ford Motor Company, a name long synonymous with Detroit. Ford recently announced the purchase of the long abandoned Michigan Central Station which will bring sweeping changes to the neighborhood. Ford recently moved 200 employees into a nearby industrial building signaling a return to the city the company was founded in. As you can see in the images below, automotive infrastructure really did a number on Corktown. As more commuters return to Detroit we’d like to educate them on how they can get around Corktown to downtown using existing transit.

Corktown, Detroit. Before and after the installation of I-75 and M-10.

Corktown’s Main Street: Michigan Ave.

“Potawatomi Trail, The Great Sauk Trail, Chicago Road, Michigan Ave, M-12.”

This ancient road runs through the heart of Corktown. In my blog “Cars Are Returning to Detroit,” I included a link to local historian Paul Sewick’s blog on how Michigan Ave came to be 120 feet wide and devoid of many buildings. Before Detroit dug highways, it widened its spoke roads: Jefferson, Gratiot, Woodward, Grand River, Michigan Ave & Fort Street to try and relieve congestion. This had devastating effects on commercial districts which are still visible in Corktown today. As the corridor gets rebuilt, these extra wide avenues are perfect for multi-modal transportation including protected bike lanes and bus stops.

Open Streets Detroit