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Michigan's Interurbans

Michigan’s first interurban, the Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor, began operating in 1890. Pulled by a steam engine, the cars went west on Packard Road to the Ann Arbor city limits. Because of the low fares (ten cents one way) and frequent service (cars leaving every ninety minutes), the line was soon carrying over six hundred passengers daily. Electric power was adopted in 1896. In a few years a network of interurbans was built in southern Michigan. The “Ypsi-Ann” became part of a Detroit to Jackson road that carried fifty-three hundred passengers a day in 1902. It became possible to go from Detroit to Kalamazoo or from Bay City to Cincinnati on connecting lines. But the automobile, bus, and truck put the interurbans out of business in Michigan in the 1920s. The last interurban from Ypsilanti ran in 1929.

Plaque via Michigan History Center

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