By Vickie Thomas

DETROIT (WWJ) – D-DOT riders fed up with poor service say that Detroit Mayor Dave Bing won’t understand how bad the city’s public bus system is until he spends some time waiting for a bus.

Pharastina Finley of Detroit is among those not happy with the D-DOT service.

“It’s terrible. People losin their jobs. It’s terrible,” Finley said. “I know people who have lost their jobs because they couldn’t get to work because the buses don’t run right.”

Finley, who recently switched to using SMART buses, wishes Mayor Bing would take the bus to experience these issues first hand.

“He needs to ride the bus. He needs to be a people person. He’s not a people person,” Finley said. “He don’t care about us people out here who don’t drive.”

Citizens have been waiting for hours at bus stops in Detroit while Mayor Dave Bing accused city mechanics of deliberately slowing down repairs to disabled buses and the union accused the mayor of laying off too many mechanics.

“I waited two hours yesterday for a bus,” Finley said. “It’s terrible, I didn’t get home ’til six o’clock yesterday and I get off at three-thirty.”

Finley isn’t the only one who feels Bing should ride the bus, fellow Detroiter Dwight Meadows feels Mayor Bing is out of touch on the issue.

“He need to catch the bus,” Meadows said. “Let the Mayor sit out here for about two and a half hours.”

Though this seems to be the consensus among Detroiters, not all D-DOT riders share in the negative sentiment. Detroiter Errol Clark said it’s been smooth sailing for him.

“The particular bus that I ride I think is nice, I think it’s very good, matter of fact I think the service is excellent,” Clark said.

Detroit City Council recently unanimously passed a proposal from Councilwoman Saunteel Jenkins that would suspend furlough days for bus mechanics. This is so more buses can be repaired and put on the streets.

Jenkins’ resolution urges Bing to hire private contractors to fix the buses if the problem is not corrected in 30 days.

The Mayor planned to meet Wednesday with unions and department heads at D-DOT.


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