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Council Hears Debate On Bus Service Slowdown

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Gene Hardy tells City Council "It's dangerous out there...". (WWJ Photo/Pat Sweeting)

Gene Hardy tells City Council “It’s dangerous out there…”. (WWJ Photo/Pat Sweeting)

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DETROIT (WWJ) – Detroit City Council heard from officials and the public Friday in a hearing looking into the bus service slow down.

Detroit Transportation Group Executive Terrence King lays the blame on the shoulders of certain union bus mechanics.

King said the mechanics want the city to resume paying them overtime. He adds that some mechanics are using bully tactics, in a push to get their way.

“Our mechanics have told us, and we’ve investigated it, that they’re being intimidated,” said King. “They’re being intimidated by approximately seven to eight wannabe thugs who work for Local 312,” King said.

According to King, some have been followed home, while others have been approached in the parking. He has called upon internal affairs to investigate.

Meantime, union spokesman Lehman Wilson said none of this is true.

“That’s nothing but a lie, and if you listen to what King said in there, he was upset that some DOT mechanics had decided not to work the overtime,” said Wilson. “So, what is it? Is it they want us to work the overtime or they don’t?”

“No, overtime is not the issue. It’s a manpower issue and a total mismanagement of the department,” Wilson said, adding that bus service has been bad for over a year, and overtime stopped just one month ago.

Meantime, DDOT bus riders just want to see city officials resolve the issue.

Gene Hardy said that one Sunday after church she was forced to wait more than an hour for a late bus on the city’s east side. “It’s dangerous out here. Peoples are robbing peoples. Peoples are killing peopels. So, I think there should be something done,” said Hardy.

“I don’t know the problem with the mayor. I don’t know the problem with the city council. I don’t know what y’all have against one another or how the dispute come about, but I think y’all need to get to working together,” he said.

Friday’s hearing was called after City Council members received numerous complaints about the bus system.

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