D.S.R. Route #97
From McNichols Road and Twelfth Street via Twelfth to Webb, to
Woodrow Wilson, to Seward, to Third, to Colburn, to Second, to
Peterboro, to Park, to Woodward, to River; returning via
Woodward to Witherell, to Adams, to Park, to Peterboro, to
Second, to York, to Third, to Seward, to Woodrow Wilson, to
Webb, to Twelfth to Puritan, to Log Cabin, to McNichols, to
|- Source: Detroit Street Railway Car and Bus Routes - 1941
By early 1938, the DSR's campaign of converting over to an all–bus operation was still in its very
beginning stages, with the Myrtle line becoming the DSR's first full–time rail line to be abandoned on
October 11, 1937. Meanwhile, on Monday, February 14, 1938 — the same day its second streetcar
line, Van Dyke, was converted to buses — the DSR introduced two new downtown-bound bus routes.
One was the east-side Vernor route, while the other was the Woodrow Wilson bus route, which, for the
most part, paralleled the Hamilton streetcar line. This new Woodrow Wilson line provided service into
downtown, all the way to the foot of Woodward Avenue at Atwater Street, near the Windsor Ferry and
Bob-Lo boat docks.
The northern portion of the route began at Six Mile and 12th (present–day Rosa Parks Blvd.) and traveled
via Twelfth, Webb and Woodrow Wilson. After turning via Seward, Third and Col-burn, the southern portion
operated via Second, along with Peterboro, Park, and Woodward Avenue to the River. But with traffic
congestion increasing in the city, a number of streets became one-way. When Second Avenue became
a one-way northbound street on October 13,
1939, Cass Avenue was then used south of Baltimore instead of Second, while Cass, Temple and Second
to Seward was used northbound. Beginning on Monday, November 2, 1942, the Woodrow Wilson
downtown service to the Riverfront was cut back, and the Old City Hall, at Woodward and Fort Street,
became the route's new downtown terminus.
By June 1950, evening service after 7:00PM and all day on Sundays had been discontinued. During those
hours, that portion of the line north of Oakman Boulevard was serviced by the Fourteenth Street bus line.
But effective June 19, 1951, the rerouted Linwood line began providing that service up until the mid–
seventies. Also on June 19th, service into downtown was discontinued, and the line now operated along
Grand Boulevard to John R., two blocks south to Baltimore.
During the route's early years, headways on the Woodrow Wilson
line were as frequent as 2½ minutes during peak hours and six
minutes during the base. But it should also be noted, that prior to the
post-WW–II years, the entire DSR bus fleet consisted primarily of the
27-passenger small–size Ford Transit buses, and the frequent
headways were more of a necessity. However, by the time DDOT
had taken over operations in 1974, headways had increased to 20
minutes during peak hours and 30 minutes during off peak hours.
Except for a few changes through the years –– including the one-way
street changes along 12th and 14th streets during the early fifties —
the route north of Seward had remained basically unchanged since
the mid–fifties, including the use of a private-right-of-way turn into
Inverness and McNichols.
However, under the DDOT years, a number of adjustments south of
Grand Boulevard were made. In December of 1973, the route was
extended further along John R. and Brush to Mack (Medical Center
area), with minor changes following.
But a major route adjustment south of the Boulevard would occur
during the mid-nineties. Effective June 25, 1994, two years before
launching the #3 Medical Center Shuttle (also known as, Cultural
Attractions Trolley), Woodrow Wilson service was extended to
include the New Center, University and Cultural Center districts. The
route now provided direct service to Henry Ford Hospital via the
Lodge Service Dr. and Grand Blvd., and to Wayne State University,
and the various
|Since July 1956, the route assigned to the
DSR #97 Woodrow Wilson line basically
remained unchanged throughout most of
the remaining DSR years.
museums and medical district hospitals. The new reroute would now travel via Cass, Warren,Woodward,
Hancock and St. Antoine, to Mack and John R. However, by the launching of the #3 Medical Center
Shuttle in June of 1996, the line had again been cut back to just south of Grand Boulevard.
One of the last service reductions to the Woodrow Wilson line occurred back in September 2002, when
base hour service between 9:00AM and 2:00PM was discontinued, resulting in service now being limited
to only peak service hours.
However, beginning on April 19, 2003, a different look was in store for the Woodrow Wilson line. On that
day, DDOT's fleet of Chance CNG "trolley–replica" buses began to be assigned full–time to the line. This
was after it was decided that these bus-trolleys should be assigned full–time to light service routes. But the
change was short-lived, as they were later replaced by regular line-haul coaches when the #4000–series
"bus-trolleys" were put out of service in June of 2004.
By December of 2004, according to DDOT survey studies, ridership totals for the line were as low as
nine passengers per hour, low enough to convince DDOT officials to cancel service. Service ended on
Route #52 WOODROW WILSON, after sixty–seven years of service, on Friday, April 22, 2005.
|The route map for DDOT Route #52 Woodrow Wilson during its final days of operation.
(December 26, 1991 Woodward Wilson
D-DOT Transfer courtesy of the Stan Sycko Transfer Collection)
|This map shows the south-end route
the Woodrow Wilson line traveled
through the Cultural and Medical
Center areas, from 1994 thru 1996.
WOODROW WILSON STREET FACTOID:
Did you know??? .....That before being named after the 28th U.S. President, the street we now know
today as Woodrow Wilson was known by two separate names. The portion north of Webb Street was
known as Oakman Boulevard, while south of Webb it was ironically known as Wilson Street.
During the late 1920's, many streets within the city were renamed. Prior to the name changing, what we
know today as Oakman Boulevard was originally Ford Highway east of Twelfth Street, and Metzger
Street between Twelfth and Hamilton Avenue. Meanwhile, the former Oakman and Wilson streets were
renamed during the late 1920's in honor of U.S. President Thomas Woodrow Wilson (1913–1921).
|© 2006 (PAGE LAST MODIFIED ON 11-22-09)
Click on printer icon for the Printer Friendly version