I am optimistic a federal grant to replace the heavily used, outdated buses with newer ones for the Detroit Department of Transportation (DDOT) will be approved. Cutting DDOT bus stops where Metro Detroit's Suburban Mobility Authority for R...egional Transportation (SMART) also stops to pick up passengers is beneficial to prevent overlapping of the two cooperating transit systems. Also, DDOT buses can be used to fulfill demand in other routes or restore services or frequencies nixed because of budget cuts and shrinking revenues. I also like the idea of investing money on the transit system for police and security cameras on buses to improve rider and driver safety. I am happy DDOT is hiring people after cutting 300 drivers and mechanics following a decision by then-Detroit Mayor Dave Bing. I didn't like his decision yet am empathetic to Mayor Bing's action because of budget cuts following the Great Recession and its negative blowback to the city in tax dollars collected. I think the demand is robust for bus services throughout the city of Detroit, including areas outside of Downtown, Midtown, and Corktown, and increasing the bus services in the city will allow those in the city to commute without spending a lot of money for gasoline. I am concerned where and how DDOT is going to acquire the money needed for improvements to its services besides the aforementioned federal grant for new buses. The city is still under bankruptcy and tax dollars for the city and from the state are still not sufficient for the upgrades the DDOT proposes. The new chief, Dan Dirks, is correct on his opinion better transportation and services in general take time to be better for the common good. I do not think quick fixes to problems will solve them in the long term. I think a key factor for major cities and areas to attract and keep businesses and investment is public transportation for its convenience of workers and reduction of congestion and reliance of individual automobiles on roads.
Dan Dirks is the new director of the Detroit Department of Transportation, who returned to metro Detroit in January to lead the city's beleaguered bus system. By the fall, Detroit bus riders should be able to see significant changes in service. In a few years, he said, the system should rival some of the best in the country.
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