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 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.
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 Colburn, 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.
D.S.R. Route #97
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).
|The route map for DDOT Route #52 Woodrow Wilson during its final days of operation.