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D.S.R. Route #65
MIDDLEBELT
Information for the above article compiled from numerous sources, including "Detroit's DSR, Part 3" — May–June 1993 edition of
Motor Coach Age (MCA) magazine by Jack E. Schramm. Additional information acquired from miscellaneous DSR Service Maps in
the author's possession. Middlebelt schedule, route map, and copy of Middlebelt 1969 transfer courtesy of the Stan Sycko collection.
Route operated under DSR
The former route #65 Middlebelt was a little known DSR suburban bus route that operated from the Livonia Mall (Seven Mile Road at Middlebelt) in the city of Livonia to the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport in Romulus Township. Operations began on November 9, 1964, after the West Warren Shuttle route was extended northward along Middlebelt to the Livonia Mall.

On October 21, 1959, the DSR's West Warren Shuttle route began operations. The route began at the Pierson Loop (Warren and Pierson in Detroit), then traveled via Warren and Middlebelt roads to the Wonderland Center (Middlebelt and Plymouth roads in Livonia) which opened in August, 1959. After the Livonia Mall (located at Middlebelt and Seven Mile roads) opened its doors on October 29, 1964, the DSR extended its West Warren Shuttle route, through the Wonderland Center, four miles northward to the Livonia Mall, beginning Monday, November 9, 1964. That same day, the West Warren Shuttle line was renamed the "Middlebelt" line.

Originally, the Middlebelt line operated from the Pierson Loop (in Detroit), then via Warren and Middlebelt roads to the Livonia Mall. However, all service within the city of Detroit was discontinued effective on July 27, 1965, after the route was cut back from the Pierson Loop, and now turned around at Warren and Middlebelt Road in Nankin Township, which became the city of Westland in 1966. Beginning that day onward, the Middlebelt line would operate exclusively within the suburbs.

Two years later, the line was extended seven miles south along Middlebelt Road to the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, effective Monday, June 26, 1967. The route now serviced the cities of Livonia, Westland, Garden City, Inkster and Romulus Township. DSR connections back to Detroit could be made by transferring to the Second (Six Mile Rd.), Fenkell (Five Mile Rd.), Schoolcraft, Plymouth, Joy Road and Crosstown (Warren Rd.) bus routes all of which operated at least to Middlebelt Road during that time. Headways on the line called for 30-minute service between 5:30am and 10:00pm weekdays, and 8:00am and 10:00pm on Saturdays, with every other southbound coach scheduled to Metro Airport.

But unfortunately, the Middlebelt route never really attracted much traffic and was eventually discontinued on July 27, 1970, during DSR service cutbacks. The route was later restarted by SEMTA on October 1, 1973, through a "purchase-of-service" agreement with the suburban Metropolitan Transit bus company, which was later acquired by SEMTA in January of 1974. The Middlebelt route later became the SEMTA/SMART route #285 Middlebelt-Inkster, which was replaced in November of 2006 by the current #280 Middlebelt-South.

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