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Group: Detroit Bus Service Not Improved As Promised

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Waiting for the bus at the Northland transportation center (WWJ Photo/Vickie Thomas, File)

Waiting for the bus at the Northland transportation center (WWJ Photo/Vickie Thomas, File)

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DETROIT (WWJ) – A local public transportation advocacy group has given the Detroit Department of Transportation a poor grade for timeliness and service.

Transportation Riders United Assistant Director Ruth Johnson said Mayor Dave Bing has not kept his promise to improve service within 30 days.

“Despite many promised from the Bing administration to dramatically improve DDOT service, they are still providing poor bus service,” said Johnson.

“This not only affects riders but it affects our entire community and region, because when people aren’t able to take advantage and access educational and employment opportunieis, it hurts us all,” she said.

TUR put volunteers on various bus routs in March to observe bus service.

Based on their observations, TRU says DDOT buses are on time only 63-percent of the time. TRU says the national average is 85-to-95-percent.

City Council has been flooded with complaints about DDOT — some riders saying they waited 2 or 3 hours for a late bus.

The group’s Executive Director Megan Owens offered suggestions on how DDOT and save money and improve service.

“Something like $9 million in fares are being … either not collected or otherwise disappearing,” Owens said. “We also call on DDOT to address their excessive maintenance costs.

“As we’ve noted before, their maintenance costs are dramatically higher than comparable cities elsewhere, and that has to be addressed,” she said,

These most recent complaints come following Bing’s promise last fall, and bus service changes recently announced by DDOT.

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