You can find on this page the Detroit tram map to print and to download in PDF. The Detroit trams map presents the network, zones, stations and different lines of the tramway of Detroit in Michigan - USA.

Detroit tramway map

Map of Detroit trams

The Detroit tram map shows all the stations and lines of the Detroit tramways. This tramway map of Detroit will allow you to easily plan your routes in the trams of Detroit in Michigan - USA. The Detroit tram map is downloadable in PDF, printable and free.

Although Detroit is known the world over as the Motor City, it has always had public transportation and it used to be really good. It was slow going on Detroit muddy streets until rails were built. The first streetcars, which were pulled by horses, began service in 1863 (see Detroit tramway map). By the 1890s, all lines were electrified which sped things up significantly. In 1922, Detroit purchased the streetcar lines from the Detroit United Railway, a privately owned company, making Detroit the first large American city to own and operate its own transit system. Its mostly been downhill since then. In 1956, the last three remaining streetcar lines in Detroit were discontinued and replaced with buses despite objections from many streetcar riders. The streetcars were less than 10 years old.

Presidential Conference Committee Streetcars (PCC tramways) were the result of a meeting of streetcar presidents from across the country in the late 1920s who needed a new streetcar that could compete with the growing popularity of automobiles and buses—and they succeeded as its mentioned in Detroit tramway map. Cities across the country started ordering these fast new streamlined vehicles. But not in Detroit. Although the city had purchased the streetcar system just twelve years earlier, Fred Nolan, new general manager of the Detroit Department of Street Railways (DSR), had plans to replace all of Detroit streetcars with buses by 1953. Buses were cheaper to maintain and operate, and it was less costly to add bus routes than streetcar routes.

Ridership was so high that decommissioned tramways were put back into service. With the pressure from increased ridership, DSR had no choice but to purchase 186 new PCC streetcars in 1948. But by 1950, there were only four streetcar lines left—Michigan, Woodward, Gratiot, and Jefferson avenues—as most streetcar routes had been replaced by buses. The new general manager, Leo Nowicki, vowed to improve the streetcar system, but in 1953 he began an aggressive campaign to phase out the last remaining streetcars with buses. In 1956, the last streetcars to parade down Woodward and were sold to Mexico City where they continued to run for almost 30 years. In 1985, the PCC streetcars were being restored when an 8.1 magnitude earthquake flattened the building they were being housed in as its shown in Detroit tramway map. Only a few survived and one was actually returned to Detroit—but that is another story.