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DDOT Officials: 1 In 5 Bus Fare Boxes Are Busted

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Detroiters board a DDOT bus (Credit: Vickie Thomas/WWJ) File

Detroiters board a DDOT bus (Credit: Vickie Thomas/WWJ) File

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DETROIT (WWJ) – The city of Detroit bus system reportedly losing money because of broken equipment plaguing the system.

Detroit Department of Transportation officials say one of every five or six DDOT buses that go out every day have broken fair boxes.

It’s small change that can add up, considering, they say, that this has been a problem for years —long before the city of Detroit filed bankruptcy.

“I don’t know how bad the problem is right now, but I know there’s still a problem that exists with fare box repair due to a lack of manpower,” said Fred Westbrook Jr, with the union that represents DDOT bus drivers.

The good news is the department is hiring mechanics to help with repairs and the vendor who provides fare box parts is back on board, according to DDOT.

Officials say the Chicago-based vendor stopped sending parts because they weren’t getting paid by the cash-strapped city.

Meantime, Police Chief James Craig said his department has been and will continue to assign officers to ride buses, amid safety concerns. Within the next few months, the chief said, there will be 35 transit cops in place as well as a security camera on every bus.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan has said he’s in talks with the Obama Administration about money to buy 50 additional buses to improve service in the city.

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