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Detroit adds more bus service upgrades

Sarah Cwiek
Michigan Radio

Detroit officials say they are continuously upgrading bus service after it was gutted by years of cutbacks and bankruptcy.

Thecity announced Tuesday that starting September it will offer 15-minute service and new buses with Wi-Fi along the city’s ten busiest routes next month.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan says it’s another step in a gradual rebuilding process.

“We are building a first-class transit system right here in the city of Detroit, a step at a time,” he said.

Duggan says the idea is to start along the busiest routes, then expand service upgrades to neighborhood lines over the next couple years.

Artist Bree Gant relies on Detroit buses as her main transportation. She says transit advocates and city officials worked together on some of the new improvements.

“It’s very hopeful,” said Gant. “And it has me very excited about the future of Detroit, not just as a mobility epicenter of the world, but also just as a metropolis, where community and government can work together.”

Gant says she’s most excited about the new Line 4, which will “keep Woodward [Avenue] on Woodward.”

“We haven’t had bus service [down Woodward] in downtown Detroit since the Q Line construction disrupted it years ago,” Gant said.

Last week, the city announced new options for bus passes, and asimpler fare structurethat covers both Detroit and the separate, suburban regional bus system, SMART. The city has also recently expanded 24-hour bus service on certain routes.

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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