Post Number: 559
|Posted on Monday, March 23, 2009 - 11:36 pm: || |
Funny how we're trying so hard to expand transit in the city, and yet, we're also allowing it to shrink, too. If the end of DDOT Express service doesn't float your boat, make sure you voice your opinion at one of these public hearings. Of course, if you're like the rider interviewed at the end of the article, you don't have to get upset....unless the changes involve cutbacks to YOUR bus route! (PS - can't wait for June when the Rosa Parks Transit Center will open, then the fun can begin in renovating Capitol Park!)
Monday, March 23, 2009
DDOT plans to make bus route changes
Five express routes would be affected; before implementation, seven public hearings will be held.
David Josar / The Detroit News
The city wants to eliminate a number of express bus routes as it moves the system's base of operations to a new transit center downtown.
Before making any changes, seven public hearings are planned, beginning March 30.
The route changes are being done in anticipation of the Rosa Parks Transit Center opening in a few months, said Daniel Cherrin, the press secretary for Mayor Kenneth Cockrel Jr.
The Detroit Department of Transportation has 150,000 daily riders.
Cherrin said the city will consider testimony at the public hearings before making the changes.
Starting in April, DDOT wants to eliminate the express routes on the No. 70 Crosstown, No. 71 Grand River, No. 72 Dexter, No. 73 Woodward and No. 74 Gratiot routes. Express routes stop less frequently.
On the No. 8 Caniff bus, the wait time under the proposal during the off-peak hours would increase from 45 minutes to one hour.
The travel time between Webb/LaSalle and French Road/Gratiot would be reduced by eight minutes.
Also in June under the proposal, downtown Detroit routes would be redirected from Capitol Park, which will be shut down, to the new Rosa Parks Transit Center at 360 Michigan Ave.
The first public hearing will be from 10 a.m. to noon March 30 at DDOT offices, 1301 E. Warren Ave.
Rider Lyla Robinson, 58, who was waiting for a bus at Capitol Park on Sunday, said she was indifferent to the changes.
"I use the bus every day. A couple schedule changes won't be making me upset," she said.
Post Number: 4318
|Posted on Monday, March 23, 2009 - 11:39 pm: || |
I couldn't believe this when I read it in the paper, today. Cockrel has DDOT on the chopping block in a major way. After police and fire, transit should definitely be up there in the second tier of priority, at least.
Post Number: 560
|Posted on Monday, March 23, 2009 - 11:41 pm: || |
Just did some hunting and found this .pdf file with more details about the routes affected, and a full list of all the public hearings regarding these changes. Make your voice heard!
http://126.96.36.199/Portals/0/ docs/deptoftransportation/pdfs /rider_alerts/ddot_march2009_r ideralert.pdf
Post Number: 1940
|Posted on Tuesday, March 24, 2009 - 12:22 am: || |
Guys, face it, the DDOT express routes were an ill-conceived mishmash.
First, they operate these express routes every 30 minutes on lines where the local service buses run every 10-15 minutes. So the time you'd save by taking the express gets eaten up by waiting longer for the bus.
Second, and illegally, they decided to charge a premium fare. DDOT cannot raise fares without City Council approval, which they never even sought, except in very specific cases (which this isn't). They also decided to charge 50c for people on the regional bus pass, even though that pass is supposed to cover all fixed-route fares.
How many people do you think will pay extra for this half-baked service? I can tell you: on very busy routes such as Dexter and Woodward, where the buses run fully loaded much of the day, I never saw more than a handful of people on the express. Many express buses were completely empty (at rush hour, the only time they ran).
SMART runs express buses all the way out from way deep in the suburbs, for a buck fifty, and those buses have decent crowds, because SMART gave some thought to who their riders are and what kind of service would be useful. DDOT, apparently, did not think it through.
Caniff, of course, is one of the lowest passenger count routes in the DDOT system; with Grand Belt and a few others, I think its days are numbered. DDOT is properly focusing its very limited resources on the routes people actually use.
I'm a big-time transit advocate, but I think these changes are very reasonable. The express service wasn't executed well, and so it will go away.
Post Number: 769
|Posted on Tuesday, March 24, 2009 - 12:38 am: || |
I don't think it is a big deal. Running at only 30 min services these express routes probably did not carry many people and that is why they are on the chopping block.
Post Number: 218
|Posted on Tuesday, March 24, 2009 - 11:32 am: || |
The express service was also born out of the $4.00++/gal rage. They should kill the 50 cent privilage tax and test it out over the summer when gas prices naturally rise again. SMART has passed around the idea of operating their buses inside the city limits to this configuration. Instead of loading only outbound and drop off only inbound, you could get on or off at any of the limited stops. Since the dream of light rail has been quietly flushed down the toliet, this type of limited bus service maybe the closest we get to an efficient regional transit service.
Post Number: 563
|Posted on Tuesday, March 24, 2009 - 11:52 am: || |
If they are canceling the express bus service, does this mean they will be able to increase rush hour frequencies on some of the busier routes during this time frame, since these coaches will now be available? I'm thinking Woodward, Gratiot and Crosstown.
Post Number: 1941
|Posted on Tuesday, March 24, 2009 - 12:08 pm: || |
They aren't increasing anything, just canceling the half-dozen or so trips a day on the five express routes.
This whole thing amounts to a very small reduction in service, really.
Post Number: 123
|Posted on Tuesday, March 24, 2009 - 2:32 pm: || |
I was told by one of my DDOT contacts that there's a possibility that the routes will not be eliminated if enough people express their distaste for the removals of the Express routes, at the public meetings.
I myself do not own a car, and I walk/take the bus a lot - But I never took the express bus unfortunately because I don't commute to downtown. I work for the apartment complex that I live in.