Meet Mo Primus
“Good afternoon, how are you today? May I see your pass or your ticket? Is this your first time riding the QLINE?”
Riders who board Detroit’s streetcar during Mose Primus’ shift as an ambassador/fare inspector, are challenged not to smile when Mo turns his attention on them.
“I love my job. I love people. I love this city,” said Primus, a lifelong Detroit resident who also serves as president of the Yorkshire Woods Community Organization in his Eastside neighborhood. “I just try to make people smile. You don’t know what kind of day they’re going through so you give them a second to try to brighten up their day.”
Mo, who worked as a meat cutter for 42 years before launching his second career on the QLINE, remembers downtown at its most vibrant. He also lived downtown when it became what he calls a “ghost town.”
“To see all the construction going on it just amazes me, the different restaurants, the people actually downtown shopping, all the different events,” he said. “I’m happy, truly happy to see how Detroit is rebuilding itself.”
Mo started working as an ambassador on the QLINE in September 2017. He helps riders figure out how to purchase their tickets, find the right stop for their destination, or simply get around. He enjoys meeting new and different people every day – and developing relationships with repeat customers.
“I met this one young man – a college student – and we had a couple conversations. I told him about the community garden [4 Angels Garden] I started in my neighborhood. Now he’s recruiting some people from school to volunteer in my garden,” Primus said.
Working on the QLINE has been like having a front row seat to Detroit’s revitalization. For Mo, it’s inspired him to do more in his neighborhood.
He also likes to venture out to places on the QLINE route that riders recommend.
“As long as I had lived in the city, I had never been to the Whitney,” Primus said. “During my shift break one day I went to the Whitney and got brunch. It was off the chain.”
For the record, he had the chicken and waffles.