Discuss Detroit Ľ Archives - January 2008 Ľ Fix the transit we already have. ę Previous Next Ľ
Top of pageBottom of page

Deteamster
Member
Username: Deteamster

Post Number: 82
Registered: 07-2007
Posted on Sunday, February 24, 2008 - 8:28 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

A few things have come to my attention regarding our transit situation. Why don't we make little improvements and take baby-steps before we start talking about high-speed magneto-powered laser-equipped bullet trains(especially since no government body in Michigan has any money anymore)??
I directed a woman from out of town the other day to a Woodward bus stop, but she was confused and ended up at the Crosstown stop.
Also, I used to wonder why the Hamilton bus would cruise by me when I wanted to get home from work, until I found out it only stops at Adams, not Beaubien and Jefferson, for unknown reasons.
You practically need a degree in SE MI transit to figure out these shit buses. I still get confused, and I'm a regular rider.
Why the hell don't we have route postings on our bus stops?! Just how much would that cost? And that would make riding the bus far less confusing and intimidating to residents and out-of-towners alike.
Bike racks. SMART has bike racks, DDOT doesn't. Seeing as a good percentage of residents don't have a car, I'm not quite sure why. They can't be that expensive.
How about websites that aren't crap? DDOT and SMART are full of dead links. Hire some doofus to fix your website. Or at least take out that f*cking trip planner option that hasn't worked for about a year.
Night service- or at least more frequent night service. I've gotten on buses at night after waiting for an hour that are totally packed. Plus, it seems like it would be for the public good, since I never feel quite safe waiting forever for the bus at night, and often I do it after a night of drinking. It could be a nice stunt to cut down on drunk driving.
The only place I've seen pocket schedules is online, which is a pain in the ass, and a random assortment at the main library and a neighborhood city hall. Why not put those things everywhere, especially along their respective routes? It's like they're treasure maps, and riding the bus is supposed to be secret and mysterious.

Finally, I think this is stupid:
http://www.crainsdetroit.com/a pps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/2008 0224/EMAIL/898898114/1070
During peak hours during the day, the DDOT Woodward bus comes about every ten minutes. Often there will be one Woodward bus right behind the other one. On top of that, this area is served by 2 SMART buses, and the Dexter bus(also extremely frequent). These also run essentially all night, and rather frequently except for the wee hours and on weekends. It just looks to me like the bus isn't fashionable enough, and like it could be another people mover, essentially.

Fine tune what we already have so it isn't ghetto and stupid before we start building the People Mover Phase II or dreaming about warpspeed trains. Rant over!
Top of pageBottom of page

Livernoisyard
Member
Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 5353
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Sunday, February 24, 2008 - 8:37 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The bus drivers always make excuses to me why it's so hard for them to carry schedules in those slots up front, which are almost always empty. SMART or DDOT.
Top of pageBottom of page

Deteamster
Member
Username: Deteamster

Post Number: 83
Registered: 07-2007
Posted on Sunday, February 24, 2008 - 8:40 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Agreed. Of the few times I've seen schedules there, for example, it was Plymouth schedules on the Woodward bus. Hell, I don't want to go to Livonia.
Top of pageBottom of page

Danindc
Member
Username: Danindc

Post Number: 3907
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Sunday, February 24, 2008 - 8:48 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Deteamster, I think you're being short-sighted. Yes, it's frustrating that DDOT (and SMART) can't apparently enact some very simple and inexpensive improvements to their service. That doesn't mean these things have to happen in a vacuum and preclude developing more substantial improvements.

I'm not sure if it's a cultural trait or what, but it always seems that Detroiters want to take one step at a time and wait for it to pan out, before taking the next step. In a region beset with as many problems as it has, holistic solutions with multiple strategies need to be developed simultaneously.
Top of pageBottom of page

Mwilbert
Member
Username: Mwilbert

Post Number: 97
Registered: 11-2007
Posted on Sunday, February 24, 2008 - 11:35 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I don't see why these things should be exclusive either, but the signage should absolutely be improved.
Top of pageBottom of page

Deteamster
Member
Username: Deteamster

Post Number: 84
Registered: 07-2007
Posted on Monday, February 25, 2008 - 12:00 am: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'm not advocating not doing anything but tweaking the current system, I just think it would be foolish to start on a new transit project without first or concurrently improving our existing system. Of course I could be wrong.
DaninDC, I completely disagree with your other claim, though. The opposite is true. The prevailing mindset here has been that Detroit has always been just one big project away from a renaissance. Rather than reinforce neighborhoods, we tear them down for freeways and assembly plants. Renaissance and Civic Centers, arenas and casinos, trains to nowhere go up, while blight, illegal dumping, and property crime are allowed to proliferate. It has never been one step at a time here; just one giant leap of faith after another.
Perhaps since you've been in DC you've forgotten what Detroit and Detroiters are like.
Top of pageBottom of page

Danindc
Member
Username: Danindc

Post Number: 3910
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Monday, February 25, 2008 - 9:03 am: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

^^^Please re-read what I wrote. I agree with you whole-heartedly on this one. In fact, I have a name for it--"The Monty Python Method of Economic Development", based on the wooden rabbit / wooden badger bit in "The Holy Grail".

Frankly, I think that's a huge reason why so many older Detroiters (like Livernoisyard) are highly skeptical of spending money on transit improvements like light rail and commuter rail. They see it as the next big failed, expensive gimmick. In reality, there are a whole host of other policies, such as rezoning, that would need to be enacted in concert. Unfortunately, as you implied, Detroit has a long and proud history of considering Projects in isolation from any context.
Top of pageBottom of page

Transitrider
Member
Username: Transitrider

Post Number: 47
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Monday, February 25, 2008 - 9:30 am: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Deteamster, good points, but I agree with MW that the 2 are not mutually exclusive. And I've noticed from my experiences riding DDOT and SMART, current service IS getting better, but there is still much improvement to be made.

DDOT has new signs and maps, but they are not widespread yet, which needs to be fixed. I heard from one driver that the signs have to go through DPW, which is causing the delay. But DDOT could also redo its website, distribute the new schedules, and publish the new map (only copy is at Fairgrounds? since the last one is from 2004.

SMART seems to be a bit more proactive lately. Their new director seems like the right guy for the job, and they've been cooperating and coordinating with DDOT like never before.

So what to do about it now? Call 933-1300, Call 866-962-5512. Tell 'em what you think. Go to a public advisory meeting and tell the staff in person so they know you're watching. Get involved or donate to the group that has been putting constant pressure on them to change and getting results, TRU.

Also, note that this new project appears to be privately funded. This could allow the current agencies to continue basic improvements like timeliness, signage, maps and information, and better coordination. And it's not PM2 or maglev, it's simple light rail that easily integrates with and improves our current bus-only system.

(And yeah, you're right on about the mysterious pickup points: 53 is north of Congress, but 16 is south? Supposedly this is some "custom" going back to who knows when, but put a sign up and make it clear, right?
Top of pageBottom of page

Fmstack
Member
Username: Fmstack

Post Number: 42
Registered: 06-2007
Posted on Monday, February 25, 2008 - 9:56 am: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Does anyone have any historical info on why DDOT and SMART haven't always put up route numbers and schedules at their stops? This is the first city I've ever lived in where that wasn't a given. Do the agencies just assume that schedules will be taken down by vandals, or what?
Top of pageBottom of page

Evelyn
Member
Username: Evelyn

Post Number: 131
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Monday, February 25, 2008 - 10:23 am: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Iím curious about that as well. Why arenít the bus stops in Detroit numbered? Or even labeled? Were they ever?

Bus maps and schedules should be easier to get, too. I agree, Detamster- getting ahold of a specific, current map often feels like a scavenger hunt.
Top of pageBottom of page

Trainman
Member
Username: Trainman

Post Number: 645
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Tuesday, February 26, 2008 - 10:04 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I just updated my website in DETROIT LINKS.

I think we should improve what we have to get cities like Livonia to opt. back in and then get Canton and the rest of Wayne and Oakland County to opt in so we can have sensible routes. Also, I think we should have multiple revenue sources and not just property taxes so we can have frequent service to the airport and downtown Detroit because the far out suburbanites do not want to pay all the costs. So, if the costs are shared with state revenue sharing then we can move more people and lower the costs.
Top of pageBottom of page

Living_in_the_d
Member
Username: Living_in_the_d

Post Number: 89
Registered: 01-2008
Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2008 - 8:24 am: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yeah, Positive change is coming soon from D.D.O.T., All the issues in this thread are actually being addressed, and being a rider also, I look forward to them.
Top of pageBottom of page

Bc_n_dtown
Member
Username: Bc_n_dtown

Post Number: 56
Registered: 09-2006
Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2008 - 1:41 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

Does anyone have any historical info on why DDOT and SMART haven't always put up route numbers and schedules at their stops? This is the first city I've ever lived in where that wasn't a given.


To my knowledge, with the exception of the downtown area, and at certain end of the line layover stops on some lines, the city of Detroit has never used route identification signs along its transit routes.

However, it appears that newly designed bus stop signs are on the way city-wide. According to a recent DDOT employee newsletter, DDOT plans to focus on making its bus stops more customer-focused under a new Bus Stop Amenities Project begun earlier last year.

In a quote from that newsletter, it was stated.....
"Current research has found that the easier public transportation is to understand, the more people will ride it. For that reason, the objectives of the project are to provide our customers with easy-to-read bus stop signage and route information displays."

The article also mentioned that plans are to begin installing the new bus stop signage by December, 2007. A few of the new signs are already in use in Capitol Park.

Here are a few conceptual sample signs that were found in that recent DDOT employee newsletter:

sample bus stop signs
Top of pageBottom of page

Fmstack
Member
Username: Fmstack

Post Number: 43
Registered: 06-2007
Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2008 - 1:59 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks for the info -- that looks fantastic! (especially the two at the ends -- the middle one is a bit hard to read.)

I can tell you, though, anything like this would be great, especially for people new to town or to transit. I've always been a mass-transit rider, but I can tell you that one look at the information-free DDOT/SMART signs told me that I wouldn't be on the bus in this town too often. The impression the current ones give is that if you haven't been riding a route your entire life, you don't have any business being on that bus at all.

On a semi-related topic, I've noticed a few of the SMART stops along 9 have some scheduling info posted (real basic stuff, just telling the frequency of each route, but every little bit helps). What's weird about it is that it seems arbitrary which stops have schedules and route numbers and which don't. At first I thought it was just stops in Ferndale that were enhanced, but I've noticed a couple over in Hazel Park that have info too. Anyone know if this is the start of a system-wide rollout?
Top of pageBottom of page

Jams
Member
Username: Jams

Post Number: 7717
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2008 - 3:23 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Wow, such a small thing that will make using the system so much easier.

I can't even begin to count the number of times I've run around Capital Park looking for the bus I needed and it's been worse the last few years with the street closures causing relocation of of so many stops.

One question though, will the alternative stops be designated for the rerouting that happens several times a year for events between Campus Martius and Hart Plaza? I've come to accept long walks and missed buses because of those events.
Top of pageBottom of page

Detroitpetanque
Member
Username: Detroitpetanque

Post Number: 74
Registered: 09-2006
Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2008 - 3:57 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"Current research has found that the easier public transportation is to understand, the more people will ride it. For that reason, the objectives of the project are to provide our customers with easy-to-read bus stop signage and route information displays."

Current Research?! What are they implying, that there was previous research that stated:

"The more confusing we make the transportation system, and the less signs we use, the more people will use it."

I wonder how much that "current research" cost? Probably the same research lab that, for $500 million dollars tells us if we eat less and exercise we'll lose weight!
Top of pageBottom of page

Professorscott
Member
Username: Professorscott

Post Number: 1133
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2008 - 3:59 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Come, Petanque, we profs need to eat too :-)

At least my current research shows that we do...
Top of pageBottom of page

Jams
Member
Username: Jams

Post Number: 7725
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2008 - 4:27 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Not according to a few that post here. :-)
Top of pageBottom of page

Living_in_the_d
Member
Username: Living_in_the_d

Post Number: 92
Registered: 01-2008
Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2008 - 7:06 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yeah, Long Live D.D.O.T.
Top of pageBottom of page

Karl_jr
Member
Username: Karl_jr

Post Number: 216
Registered: 06-2007
Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2008 - 7:48 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Here, Here, Long Live D.D.O.T.!
Top of pageBottom of page

Living_in_the_d
Member
Username: Living_in_the_d

Post Number: 94
Registered: 01-2008
Posted on Thursday, February 28, 2008 - 3:00 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yeah, Right on Karl jr., I concur
Top of pageBottom of page

Gsgeorge
Member
Username: Gsgeorge

Post Number: 584
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Thursday, February 28, 2008 - 3:37 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Every major American city has some kind of public rail transportation system that is used by all types of people and all classes. One of the reasons is they don't have the stigma of busses. Detroit is very, very far behind, and the more we dwaddle around and try to "improve" our "existing system", the more this city will falter and fail time and time again.

It's time for Detroit to smarten up, stop complaining, and stop thinking that their bus system can be improved -- take the leap, make the smart choice, and install the first leg of a region-wide mass transit rail system. Trolley, light rail, elevated, expand the People Mover. I don't care, just do it already!

I was just in Chicago. Here's an example of what Detroit could--and SHOULD--be. A midwestern financial and economic hub, the arteries of which are an easy, extensive rail transportation system that is used by multi-million-dollar condo dwellers and southsiders alike. And their system is not even considered one of the best. The L is noisy, intrusive. But it gets the job done. And businesses and people clamor to have easy access to an L stop. Detroit should be ashamed, embarrassed. Stop mucking with nasty, dirty, loud, dangerous busses. Get smart and go rail.
Top of pageBottom of page

Deteamster
Member
Username: Deteamster

Post Number: 89
Registered: 07-2007
Posted on Thursday, February 28, 2008 - 3:50 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

What a great bunch of responses, aside from the elitist shitbomb above.
Yes those icky buses, full of poor people! Gross!
I know of no city where rail exists without buses. Buses go places rail can't, and are a necessity, pretty or not.
Just because you're too much of a snob to ride a bus doesn't mean other people aren't- in fact, many people have to. I'm all in favor of any kind of new transit, but not in some scheme that neglects our bus system as a prerequisite for new growth, which so many rely on.
Top of pageBottom of page

Living_in_the_d
Member
Username: Living_in_the_d

Post Number: 97
Registered: 01-2008
Posted on Thursday, February 28, 2008 - 3:56 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yeah, Very well said, Deteamster.
Top of pageBottom of page

Gsgeorge
Member
Username: Gsgeorge

Post Number: 586
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Thursday, February 28, 2008 - 4:02 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

i never said get rid of the busses. I ride them too! Can you believe it!

I'm just saying it's about time Detroit stopped dragging its feet.
Top of pageBottom of page

6nois
Member
Username: 6nois

Post Number: 668
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Thursday, February 28, 2008 - 6:30 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I have considered riding the buses, but its a tad intimidating, There isn't really any schedules, I see people waiting for hours, the same people at a bus stop when I head out and when I head back from a chore, and overall it just seems very difficult and stressful as someone with no experience with bus systems. I have done rail but its hard to mess that up. So I think some much needed improvements mentioned here would get me to be a happy transit rider.
Top of pageBottom of page

Mackinaw
Member
Username: Mackinaw

Post Number: 4465
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Thursday, February 28, 2008 - 7:42 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I agree Deteamster...and I think you misinterpreted Gsgeorge.

I kinda had an epiphany about transit in Detroit today. You see, I just got back from NYC/NJ...

While I maintain that Detroit and Ann Arbor must be connected with more frequent rail travel, on the issue of comprehensive metro area transit, we need to beef up the bus routes, and go through massive marketing efforts to make the buses appeal to the masses. Eventually, the masses will have to turn to them when gas is 5 bucks, but until then, a marketing might be neccesary to change perceptions, because that has a lot to do with it.

Transit in general has been something for the urban poor in the eyes of most metro Detroiters, since the 70s. When you're in one of the commuter rail stations in NJ, the people waiting for the various trains and buses are, well, all types of people. Businessmen, young people, students, old folks, of all color. Nobody thinks about who is around them. They just do their thing. I think that notion is impossible for so many in this area to wrap their minds around.

The other part of the ephiphany is this: there isn't enough of a demand for transit yet. Even in the face of high gas prices, the fact is, there is little congestion in and around Detroit. This will only continue to be the case since the population is now shrinking and we have roads as big as we do (unless downtown gets 5-10 new corporate HQs and becomes a bigger destination). Even in the denser parts of New Jersey, people are driving if the routes they take aren't too backed up. You see a lot of roads that are horrendously busy, but since they move well and get people to where they need to be, people drive if it suits them. Or they'll drive to a major hub and take a train to their end point. For metro Detroit, a good 90-100 percent of places are easily reached, with little daily congestion, by car. This very much includes downtown. If you live in SCS or GP and work downtown, even though there are 2-3 bus lines that could serve you, it's a totally optional thing-- and it comes down to if you really want to save a dollar or two on gas by replacing that with bus fare-- because you can drive Jefferson during rush hour and move along pretty damn well. Even when this city had street cars, it was built for efficient driving.

So, the main premises for building up transit here is that people should have options, that we should be prepared for when $5 gas comes, and that we should ensure that the poor can have th dignity of mobility. More transit might also invigorate the service economy, enhancing the mobility of the poor. That's a small consideration. And even smaller one that is still key is the prestige the area might gain from having an extra set of mobility options, over and beyond good roads.

We should start by hyping the bus system and making it better (with A2-Detroit proceedings going on separately), and if there are positive signs, look into commuter rail for OC-Detroit. Meanwhile, the Woodward Ave. streetcars should occur regardless-- I think that would be internal to DDOT, as it would replace lower Woodward bus service. Meanwhile, it would enhance the prestige and visibility of transit in the area, since many people who don't now take transit might be enfranchised by such a visible and modern system. And this all factors in to changing the perception we have of transit here.
Top of pageBottom of page

Frankg
Member
Username: Frankg

Post Number: 185
Registered: 08-2007
Posted on Thursday, February 28, 2008 - 7:46 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I would like to see a high-speed rail between UM in Ann Arbor and Wayne State. I think that would help the economy transition to a knowledge-worker economy. The high-speed rail would give Detroit access to researchers from UM and allow for better collaboration on research projects.
Top of pageBottom of page

Parkguy
Member
Username: Parkguy

Post Number: 232
Registered: 04-2007
Posted on Thursday, February 28, 2008 - 8:03 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

1. Signage on bus lines is a must.
2. Make bus stops real bus stops, not a "board coach here" sign stuck in a mud hole. Keep the snow cleared, and add shelters. That may mean cutting down on the number of stops. Make the stops every four block instead of every two blocks if need be.
3. Riders need to be able to count on the bus coming when it is supposed to. (Is the bus late? Check the fast food places on the route. I see busses parked in front of fast food places on a daily basis.)
4. Make the busses frequent, and 24-hours. If I'm going to use the bus system, I can't stand around for an hour waiting. 10 minutes... OK.
5. If I'm going to use it for anything other than local travel, the bus system has to feed rapid transit that will take me where I need to go in a reasonable time.

If I can get a monthly pass on a fast, safe, clean, convenient, and predictable system for $50, then I'll use it all of the time. I need to be able to get passes at many places in my neighborhood. I see that they are available at CVS now, but that is not enough. NYC uses automated kiosks and refillable cards, and have for years. In Europe, ticket packs are available at every "tabac" shop, and have been for decades. This is nothing new or revolutionary.

Why don't people want to use the bus system? When they have to stand in the mud in somebody's front yard, or get so frustrated that they pace around in the second lane on Grand River looking into the distance for a bus that isn't there yet, you can see why anyone would prefer a car, regardless of the expense.
Top of pageBottom of page

Living_in_the_d
Member
Username: Living_in_the_d

Post Number: 101
Registered: 01-2008
Posted on Thursday, February 28, 2008 - 8:40 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yeah, Long Live D.D.O.T.
Top of pageBottom of page

Professorscott
Member
Username: Professorscott

Post Number: 1138
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Thursday, February 28, 2008 - 11:34 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

All of Parkguy's legitimate issues come down to exactly one thing: we are starving our transit systems. Put the same kind of money per capita into them as in real cities, we get the results Parkguy and I want. Don't, we don't.

One exception to Parkguy's comments, though: the Linwood bus sits in front of the U of D Coney for twelve minutes each trip because it is supposed to; that is it's layover location. Each route has one. If you see buses in front of fast food joints mid-trip, then I agree, their bad.

By the way Park, I buy my passes online, have done this for over a year. My house is a fast, safe, clean, convenient place, and the system is predictable. Come on over.
Top of pageBottom of page

Parkguy
Member
Username: Parkguy

Post Number: 233
Registered: 04-2007
Posted on Friday, February 29, 2008 - 9:51 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Great point, prof!
Top of pageBottom of page

Livernoisyard
Member
Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 5446
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Friday, February 29, 2008 - 10:11 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I've been on SMART buses on rare occasions when the driver might park the bus in midblock and go shopping for a few minutes in Detroit party stores while northbound on Woodward. Other SMART buses might pull over and inquire where the driver went and remain there until the driver returns with his "shopping." Only in Detroit...

(Message edited by LivernoisYard on February 29, 2008)
Top of pageBottom of page

Living_in_the_d
Member
Username: Living_in_the_d

Post Number: 106
Registered: 01-2008
Posted on Saturday, March 01, 2008 - 8:04 am: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yeah, In the near future, The city of Detroit will be a world class city, And it's transportation system, D.D.O.T., will be world class also, Just a matter of time. We've made strides, that are leaps and bounds over where we were, So we are on the right track, despite all the setbacks.
Top of pageBottom of page

Ray
Member
Username: Ray

Post Number: 1101
Registered: 06-2004
Posted on Friday, March 14, 2008 - 9:01 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Like the rest of the city, them managment of the transit systems is horrific and this sabatouges the efforts of well meaning people.
Top of pageBottom of page

Miketoronto
Member
Username: Miketoronto

Post Number: 812
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Friday, March 14, 2008 - 10:27 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I do agree that the simple issues should be worked out first.
That is why I proposed that Woodward Rapid bus idea. It is an improvment that can be done with the buses that are operating right now.

These huge improvments will not do anything, if the whole system as a whole is not good.
That is why we must start with the buses we have now, and build out from there.
Top of pageBottom of page

Spaceboykelly
Member
Username: Spaceboykelly

Post Number: 282
Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Saturday, March 15, 2008 - 6:13 am: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Deteamster, in your first post you write,
"Also, I used to wonder why the Hamilton bus would cruise by me when I wanted to get home from work, until I found out it only stops at Adams, not Beaubien and Jefferson, for unknown reasons."

The Hamilton line, route 23, makes its final/first downtown stop at Beaubien and Jefferson. It can usually be found there (across the street from Tom's Oyster Bar & The Renaissance Center) ready to take off.

I don't think the bus lines are very unclear, although it would be helpful to have a functional trip planner or full route map on the DDOT & SMART websites as I would rather not go through every route map to find out how to get somewhere.
Top of pageBottom of page

Miketoronto
Member
Username: Miketoronto

Post Number: 815
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Saturday, March 15, 2008 - 8:03 am: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

As a visitor to Detroit, I think the bus lines are very unclear. My friend and I could not figure out the bus stop for the SMART bus along Woodward. The DDOT and SMART signs are all mixed up, and the only way we got on the right bus, was because the driver saw us looking confused, and let us on. And then told us we had to wait a half a block up at another stop, that was unmarked. Very confusing.

The Royal Oak Transit Centre was just as bad. No signs tell you where to wait for each route. It was a guessing game.
Top of pageBottom of page

Spaceboykelly
Member
Username: Spaceboykelly

Post Number: 283
Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Saturday, March 15, 2008 - 10:01 am: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Oh, yes! Miketoronto brings up a good point:
why can't the bus stops have signs that print a miniature version of the route or routes (at least route numbers) served?

Good point.
Top of pageBottom of page

Lowell
Board Administrator
Username: Lowell

Post Number: 4619
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Saturday, March 15, 2008 - 11:50 am: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Good discussion all and I agree with Deteamster's initial analysis. Making what exists work is the first step.

The starting point is ending confusion. I have always advocated, after seeing this during a prolonged stay in Stuttgart a few years ago [an auto city with great mass transit BTW], is 1-placing signs at every stop that list the time times of all buses and 2-having inspectors who spot check that the buses are arriving on time. Inside the buses along the upper walls were big line charts with big dots for all the stops, carried over consistently to trams and light rail.

Another nice efficiency was no fare collection when you got on. Instead you bought your ticket and just climbed on saving delay from people fumbling in their pockets and purses. Random inspection, which I would guess was about a 1 in 7 probability, occurred and you better have your ticket or get tossed off at the next stop with a stiff fine. [And, of course, bike racks everywhere.]

The overall idea of this thread, making what little we have work efficiently, is a solid idea and would build incentive for broader public support and extension.
Top of pageBottom of page

Chow
Member
Username: Chow

Post Number: 456
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Saturday, March 15, 2008 - 12:02 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Proper signage is a must for successful transit. I would argue for a schedule in addition to route listings. Just as important as which lines serve a stop is when it has service.

For a while I would post routes and schedules at my neighborhood bus stop, to make it easier for everyone. But the would rarely last the day.
Top of pageBottom of page

Otter
Member
Username: Otter

Post Number: 32
Registered: 12-2007
Posted on Saturday, March 15, 2008 - 1:45 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I took the 53 bus up Woodward from downtown to the DIA yesuerday and things did ont seem very well marked. I walked to the shelter at Larned at Woodward and when the bus showed up a few minutes later I and a couple of other people started to get on when the driver told us his stop was actually a block further up....where there was much less signage. Fortunately he let us on anyway, as there were approximately 1x10^23 people waiting at the real stop. Works OK if you know the system already, I suppose, but not too well if you don't, which suggests poor information/experience design. And boy was that sucker crowded...sure, it was the afternoon rush, but within two blocks even most of the standing rom was taken.
Top of pageBottom of page

Jsmyers
Member
Username: Jsmyers

Post Number: 1964
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Saturday, March 15, 2008 - 2:10 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I agree as well.

There is a lot that DDOT and SMART need to do. They are making progress but not fast enough. If we spent the money, improvements would be faster. (And the improvements may help reduce the subsidy over time.)

But these improvements aren't opposed to major investments like the Rosa Parks Center or LRT on woodward. Those things help motivate and coordinate change. From what I've seen, the DTOGS work will lead to a lot of DDOT route changes.

Pay attention to what transit rider wrote:
quote:

So what to do about it now? Call 933-1300, Call 866-962-5512. Tell 'em what you think. Go to a public advisory meeting and tell the staff in person so they know you're watching. Get involved or donate to the group that has been putting constant pressure on them to change and getting results, TRU.


Ranting here doesn't do as much as many of us might like.
Top of pageBottom of page

Trainman
Member
Username: Trainman

Post Number: 660
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Sunday, March 16, 2008 - 7:14 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Support my efforts to educate the public.

The TRU and other groups want rail and that is good if we can get good industry support and jobs to support this but we need to improve public bus service. Thus, I want to debate SEMCOG and MDOT and SMART and DDOT on television and get them all to take actions to fill up the buses with fare box paying customers. We can't support mass transit at the fare box according to transit tax supporters, but we can do better then what we are doing now, if we all work together and take all our ideas seriously as opposed to cutting people down on this board.

Add Your Message Here
Posting is currently disabled in this topic. Contact your discussion moderator for more information.