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Detroit adds bus service, but still plenty of frustrated riders

A DDOT bus in Detroit.
Sarah Hulett
Michigan Radio
A DDOT bus in Detroit.

Detroit is tweaking bus service again as the city plugs away at revampingits notoriously bad transit system.

The latest changes kick in this coming weekend.

They include schedule modifications, some additional trips and other adjustments across eight bus routes, to “increase reliability” and “alleviate crowding.”

The #12 Conant route will also add a new pilot service to Belle Isle state park.

The Detroit Department of Transportation has made some gradual but real bus service improvements under Mayor Mike Duggan.

DDOT added 80 new buses last year, and is actually putting nearly all those buses on the road most days for the first time years.

It’s also slowly restoring service gutted by years of cutbacks, including 24-hour serviceon some major routes earlier this year.

But Detroiters who rely on the bus every day, like Yanisha Monroe, say the experience is still lackluster at best.

“It really sucks. They made it all beautiful, ‘Oh we got all these new improvements, everything’s going to be faster’…but we still can’t get no bus on time,” Monroe said.

Arthur Harrison says the buses have improved “to a degree” over the past year or so. But he’s still frustrated about what he sees as a lack of overall coordination, leading inefficient bus “pileups” that pit frustrated drivers and riders against each other.

“Things can be made a whole lot easier if a person didn’t have to stand out and wait, thirty, thirty five minutes for a bus, and have to be to work at a certain time. Your employer doesn’t want to hear that the buses were late,” Harrison said.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Public in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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