Carmen Harlan to be on-board voice of QLine


QLine riders will be greeted by a familiar voice when the streetcars officially start rolling along Woodward on May 12.

Veteran Detroit newscaster Carmen Harlan has been tapped for its on-board announcements, said M-1 Rail spokesman, Dan Lijana.

Harlan announced her retirement last fall and officially signed off in November after 38 years with WDIV-TV (Channel 4).

“We wanted to make sure we used a Detroit icon, and certainly Carmen Harlan fits the bill based on her history at Channel 4 and everything she’s done in the city of Detroit,” he said. “She’s a natural choice.”

Harlan, a native Detroiter and grandmother of three, got her start in local radio before becoming a WDIV general assignment reporter in 1978. She later climbed the ranks to news anchor alongside Mort Crim. She played a role in some of the station’s biggest stories, from Pope John Paul II’s visit in 1987 to presidential inaugurations and Detroit’s bankruptcy.

Lijana noted Harlan joins Detroit Pistons broadcaster and DJ John Mason, who was recently featured in a QLine safety video.

The goal with all aspects of the QLine, Lijana said, is to speak to the pride of Detroit and individuals with easily recognizable voices.

Lijana said Harlan recorded the announcements Tuesday. He said he’s told she was “really excited about it” and “very generous with her time.”

“She’s a pro,” he said.

The $140 million QLine project stretches 3.3 miles on Woodward between Campus Martius downtown and the New Center area.

It will run from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; 6 a.m. to midnight on Fridays; 8 a.m. to midnight on Saturdays and from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays.