2014 in Transit: Best of the Bus, Worst of the Waits

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As the year comes to a close, the Freedom Riders have a lot to be thankful for. Hundreds of thousands of people cast votes for transit, a clear signal that the public wants progress. At long last, there are signs of progress for the long-suffering Detroit bus system as well as the Regional Transit Authority. At the same time, there’s no denying the disappointments: the RTA’s decision to postpone a regional vote on transit funding to 2016, and the continuing reality of ragged bus service in Detroit and the suburbs. Here’s a quick take on the best bus news, and the worst of the waits, that we experienced this past year. Continue reading

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DDOT’s Dirks Says Detroit Bus Service Will Get Better, But Cuts Need to Be Turned Around

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Rider Regina Dubose (right) shares concerns with Dirks.

In his fourth meeting with the Motor City Freedom Riders this year, Detroit Department of Transportation Director Dan Dirks said the Motor City’s long-suffering bus system is on its way to recovery.

The Freedom Riders had a request for Dirks this past November 21: make DDOT’s bus performance information public, so Detroiters know whether we’re making progress towards on-time buses. On our previous visits, we’d seen this information posted in the DDOT headquarters building, but Dirks had said he preferred to wait before releasing the information publicly.

“It’s like the doctor taking your pulse,” said member Glenn Maxwell. “We want to see demonstrated improvement.”

Dirks agreed to post the information on the DDOT website. (You can find it there under News and Events.) He also told us he’d ask Mayor Duggan to make DDOT performance information a part of the Mayor’s Detroit Dashboard. The Dashboard currently lists things like streetlight installation, demolitions, and emergency response times, but not DDOT information – despite the fact that Duggan has said improving DDOT is his top priority.

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