Detroit: Airport to downtown transportation

I hope to hear from some natives of the Detroit area…

What is the best way to get a team (30-ish people) from the airport to our hotel in Downtown? I understand that there is a new public bus that will be operational by Championships, but it will be an hour ride each way. Also we will be going from the finals to the airport late Saturday night, kinda outside of the normal public transportation window.

There is talk of hiring private limo/coach services, as well as Uber/Lyft options.

But what would the locals do? Who’s got some Detroit team-transportation experience?

Thanks in advance!

Well the bad news is that there are no trains or subways from Downtown to the Airport.

So offhand you could wait for details from FIRST, hire a private coach and driver locally, rent a pair of 15 passenger Vans through any rental car agency and drive yourself or the 261 SMART bus (highly unrecommended).

Once downtown you’ll be fine, the people mover (a mini train) goes around downtown and there will be shuttles between Ford Field and Cobo Hall.

I personally would put the team on a Luxury Bus from your hometown. Its 11.5 hours and then no worries about getting to hotels and back.

There is an unofficial blog available about the Detroit Champs

Thanks. We already have airplane tickets (gosh I hope we qualify!), and hotels. We are staying downtown for the competition. So far I’ve gotten other recommendations to hire a private coach or limo service, and Detroit has many.

Does anyone recommend one service in particular?

Check that whatever service you choose has rights to go to the airport. They have to pay a fee to the airport authority.

You can get a bus from the airport to Down Town. I recommend using Google Maps. It will tell you what bus to get you to downtown. Here is a link to where you can get information:

For anyone looking for parking, I recommend Qline parking in Midtown for FREE and then take the Qline into downtown. All Parking downtown will be more than $10. All privately ran lots are $20 to park. The Qline has great RocketFiber too.

I work in MidTown and take the Qline when I go downtown a lot so I don’t have to find parking down there.

What would be nice, and who knows, possibly something like this may already be in the works, is if FIRST or FIM offered a free shuttle service for teams arriving at the airport. It’s not a long distance, but it can be a bit of a hassle sometimes.

Dont Forget about the people mover its a cheap and easy way to get around downtown and it has a stop right at the Cobo Center

I’m punching this thread up again.

So, Detroiters, how does a team of 30 to 35 people get from the airport to downtown?

The livery services are smelling a lot of dough here. They want about $1000 per trip. This can’t be normal, is it?

We Michiganders are proud of everything Michigan offers, except the public transportation! Sorry to say this.

Since it sounds like your only needing transportation from the airport to downtown and not while your team is in town try Trinity Transportation. Your cheapest option would be a school bus but they also have charter busses. Our school district did away with transportation several years ago and they are who we use for all district trips. When we did our second district event we traveled about twice the distance from the airport to downtown with 2 round trips. They dropped us off each morning and picked up each afternoon no need for bus to stay it cost approx. $750 total.

Try these guys :

Dean is one of our sponsors …so I would encourage you to try them first and mention FIRST robotics :slight_smile:

So it’s not just me then. I was wondering what the heck…

I HAVE to say that FIRST is being either a bit naive or aloof about this lack of convenience between the airport and downtown. What would it take to arrange for a Robot Shuttle?

Hey, maybe mention to them this upcoming opportunity:

Hundreds of robotics teams arriving at the airport, streaming in from the airport Tuesday and Wednesday, streaming out from around town on Saturday night and Sunday.

That’s a whole bunch of quick easy group fares!

We’re going to call them first though

We used to find a charter bus service to/from the Detroit airport. It’s one of those aggregate travel sites that will show you quotes from many different companies. And there was a wide variation on costs.

We went with Skoot .

If they have any more vehicles remaining for when you arrive in Detroit, I recommend you check them out. Some prices were outragious (sadly, including some of the above recommendations), wanting around $1000 each direction (for a 45 minute ride? We could just Uber everyone for less).

Skoot is going to cost us 1/5 of that. So if money is an issue…

I have no idea about quality, yet.

Best luck

Where are you staying?

Courtyard Marriot Downtown,
Then Hampton Inn at the airport on Saturday night.

Check with the hotel they may have a pickup van, if not i’ll check with the company that handles mist of the valet services and see if they have the big van available. I’ll see the key guys tomorrow night :slight_smile:

I’m pretty sure the Marriott has a valet service but its loading service is in a really busy part of town, so watch out for that. The People Mover is a good idea as well, but make sure to watch your pockets: it’s nicknamed the ‘People Mugger’ for a reason.:ahh:

Side note: since the Marriott is in the GM center, you’re pretty well centered in town. All your food is there and it isn’t very far from Cobo.

Good luck!

Anybody looking for transport, Try
Corey 313-330-3322
He handles most of the downtown hotel transport/valet services.