Detroit Department of Transportation opens Jason Hargrove Transit Center

May 14, 2024
The DDOT's new transit center was named after the late bus operator Jason Hargrove, whose advocacy for driver safety resonated deeply with the community.

The Detroit Department of Transportation (DDOT) has opened its newest transit center, the Jason Hargrove Transit Center at the State Fairgrounds. This new establishment will help DDOT passengers to make transfers from one line to another in comfort and out of the elements and enhance public transportation accessibility within the city.

“For years, DDOT riders have complained to me about having to wait for bus transfers in the rain, snow, cold, or the heat of hot summer days,” said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. “Now, our most popular transit center not only will provide our passengers with protection from the elements, the dedicated spaces for DDOT staff to rest and reboot show our continued commitment to our drivers."

This state-of-the-art facility will serve as the nexus for five key bus routes: 4-Woodward, 12-Conant, 17-Eight Mile, 30-Livernois and 54-Wyoming. The closure and decommissioning of the current temporary transfer center on Woodward Ave., just south of Eight Mile Road, will coincide with the opening of the JHTC.

"This is a great day for DDOT, its riders and the city as a whole,” said Interim Director of DDOT G. Michael Staley. “The Jason Hargrove Transit Center represents our commitment to providing safe, efficient and accessible public transportation for all Detroiters."

Named in honor of the late bus operator Jason Hargrove, whose advocacy for driver safety resonated deeply with the community, the transit center stands as a testament to his legacy. During the past year, diligent efforts have transformed a vision into reality, culminating in the construction of a 52,000-square-foot facility designed to accommodate the needs of both passengers and operators.

The interior of the Jason Hargrove Transit Center boasts modern amenities, including retail and restaurant options, an indoor lobby, a ticket office and public restrooms. Additionally, a dedicated lounge and restroom area will provide transit operators with a comfortable space between shifts.

The transit center serves as the centerpiece of a $31-million redevelopment project, encompassing the adaptive reuse of the former dairy cattle barn into a new indoor transit hub. Furthermore, a vibrant outdoor space, anchored by a restored portico of the historic State Fair Coliseum, will serve as a focal point for community gatherings and events, fostering a sense of belonging and camaraderie.

The adaptive reuse of the former State Fairgrounds buildings was something Detroiters asked for during community outreach portion of planning for the new transit center. The architects at DLZ Michigan, Inc., a Detroit-based company, were able to craft a plan to preserve some of this history while still creating a state-of-the-art transportation hub and the plan was approved by Detroit City Council before work on the facility started in 2022.

“This was an amazing project from start to finish, I couldn’t be more proud of DBA Director Donna Rice, who led this project,” said Detroit Building Authority Director Tyrone Clifton. “Working with minority-owned and operated and Detroit headquartered Ideal Contracting and Detroit-based architects DLZ Michigan Inc made all the difference because they understood the history and importance of the site.”

Hillwood Investment Properties and the Sterling Group, renowned developers behind the new Amazon fulfillment center at the fairgrounds, have contributed $7 million toward the construction of the Jason Hargrove Transit Center, underscoring their commitment to the revitalization of Detroit's infrastructure.