Post Number: 85
|Posted on Thursday, February 15, 2007 - 4:08 pm: || |
I live in Shitcago at the moment and I ride the busses all the time. The article today about the fight over whether or not security officials will be put back on busses in the News got me thinking. Do any of you use the DDOT busses? How safe are they? How reliable? Do they cover a lot of ground? If I lived in the city would it be reasonable for me to think I would use them on a regular basis?
Post Number: 124
|Posted on Thursday, February 15, 2007 - 4:09 pm: || |
Oh boy... This one's a firestarter.
Post Number: 524
|Posted on Thursday, February 15, 2007 - 4:15 pm: || |
Shitcago? I like it. HAHA
Post Number: 979
|Posted on Thursday, February 15, 2007 - 4:42 pm: || |
I've rode the busses since I was a boy. I'm 40 now and ain't dead yet. Whiole the bus system is far from ideal around here, it does work better than most folks give it credit for. Most of the complainers you find hardly use the system. Are there delays? Do those delays cause inconvienience? YES, but the bottom line is that it will get you from point A to B.
(Message edited by Detroitplanner on February 15, 2007)
Post Number: 2369
|Posted on Thursday, February 15, 2007 - 4:54 pm: || |
Ditto what DP said.
Post Number: 4
|Posted on Thursday, February 15, 2007 - 5:29 pm: || |
The SMART bus system serves the City also. It too is better than it is given credit for. Yesterday morning (Wednesday) at 4:15 AM I took SMART 125 from Woodward and Larned to the airport. I live in Brush Park so it's only about a 15 minute walk. In spite of blizzard like conditions, the ride took only a few minutes longer than usual (about 80 minutes). Was able to catch my flight to Boston on Spirit. After two rounds of de-icing, the flight took off and landed safely only an hour behind schedule. $1.50 and I was able to avoid the hassles and expense of driving and parking.
Post Number: 4765
|Posted on Thursday, February 15, 2007 - 5:41 pm: || |
People on this site somehow overlook the fact there is transit to the airport from Downtown, maybe not convenient as it exists currently but it exists.
How far from the dropoff point to the terminal did you have to walk?
Post Number: 39
|Posted on Thursday, February 15, 2007 - 5:54 pm: || |
I used to take the “iron pimp” to work from my digs on east warren. I took the Cross Town, transferred on Chalmers then doubled to Jefferson. I then rode down to my job at the Jefferson Vet nary Clinic on Belvedere, where I cleaned up dog shit for a clam and a half an hour. (Anyone remember Dr. Jarvis?). After work, I would take the “green limousine” back home again. When I didn’t have the dough, I’d ride my bike. This became a game with me because I could pass the bus on my way. But then it would pass me. Each time I passed the bus, I gave myself a “point”. Each time the bus passed me, it would get two points. I almost always won, except when it rained. Some times I would take the bus to the Eastern Market, or ride a ‘round trip just for the fun of it. Back then it cost 60 cents and 10 cents for a transfer. I rarely got shot or mugged. The best seat is way in the back, in the center of the bench seat. BYOB.
Post Number: 189
|Posted on Thursday, February 15, 2007 - 6:33 pm: || |
I ride DDOT sometimes and I used to be a very frequent (every day) rider. The DDOT system works pretty well, except occasionally a trip is skipped and you're holding the bag. On Woodward or Dexter, say, where the bus comes every few minutes, that's not bad, but on some of the every-half-hour routes it's a pain in the ass.
SMART is a good system if you live and work in its service area, which I don't. The buses are infrequent on most routes, though, and of course going great distances on a bus is a sloooooow way to travel.
Mix in a couple RT corridors and an airport express and we'd have a halfway decent system.
Post Number: 4769
|Posted on Thursday, February 15, 2007 - 6:49 pm: || |
The question arises in my mind is how do we sell what we have now? Yes, it needs improvement, but like many I've learned to use it to get where I need to be.
If the current system is able to sell itself as a legitimate alternative to jumping in a personal vehicle, the rest of the transit system would be a "slam dunk" despite the financial restraints.
Post Number: 131
|Posted on Thursday, February 15, 2007 - 6:50 pm: || |
Ok maybe I'm bus-impaired, but for fun I went to the SMART website and tried to figure out how viable it would be for me to take the bus to work. I work in downtown Royal Oak, and I live at 8 Mile and Inkster. But for the life of me I could not figure out the route. Maybe one of you bus experts can shed some light on this and possibly make a mass transit user out of me. This is the moment you've been waiting for!
Post Number: 50
|Posted on Thursday, February 15, 2007 - 7:49 pm: || |
could you take an DDOT 8-mile bus east to 8/Woodward and then catch a SMART bus north to Royal Oak (there are several that make the trip)
Check out this SMART MAP: http://www.smartbus.org/Smart/ Ride%20SMART/Doc/NewSmartMap.p df
If you have trouble you can always get help from the folks at Transit Riders United who I'm sure could explain things better than me:
Post Number: 5
|Posted on Thursday, February 15, 2007 - 7:52 pm: || |
SMART 125 (Fort Street) runs from downtown Detroit to Metro. Up until about a month or two ago, it only stopped at the Smith Terminal. Fortunately, it now stops at the McNamara terminal For the most part, 125 alternates between the Smith and the McNamara terminals. Why it doesn't stop at both is beyond me.
The Smith and McNamara stops are right in front on the terminals - on the arriving levels. You really can't get a better drop-off point.
Plan to travel light if you take SMART to the airport. There are no luggage racks, so I'd try to limit yourself to one or two small bags - a good idea anyway these days.
The trip from downtown is probably the best $1.50 tour one could take! It travels through the old dock areas, DelRay, River Rouge, Ecorse, stops at the ugly in the extreme Southland sprawl mall, before making its way to the airport.
Another hint...when returning to downtown on 125 late, I get off the bus at Michigan and Shelby, right between the Book-Cadillac and the Holiday Inn Express Hotel. I've easily flagged a cab down there and made it home to north Brush Park in a couple of minutes for $5, including a tip.
Post Number: 136
|Posted on Thursday, February 15, 2007 - 8:02 pm: || |
I dont see where the DDOT runs down 8 Mile on that map. Do I have to go to DDOT's website to figure that out? See, this is way too complicated. I should be able to type in my address and the address of where I want to go, and the approximate times, and get a route. And if DDOT is NOT on that map, why? These systems are supposed to be integrated.
Post Number: 450
|Posted on Thursday, February 15, 2007 - 10:41 pm: || |
The trip from downtown is probably the best $1.50 tour one could take! It travels through the old dock areas, DelRay, River Rouge, Ecorse, ...
Tompage, thanks for the bus to Metro info. However, to me, the best bargain is the M60 bus from LaGuardia Airport in Queens into Manhattan. You get the M60 right outside the front door of the airport. For most of the day, it runs about every 20 minutes.
After touring through the Astoria neighborhood in Queens, the bus crosses into Manhattan on the Triborough Bridge then continues west on 125th Street through Harlem (Apollo Theatre, Bill Clinton's office, etc.) ending up heading south on Broadway in the Columbia University neighborhood in Morningside Heights. The route ends at 96th Street and you can then transfer at no additional cost to the subway system or another bus. All that for a $2 charge on your Metro card!
Post Number: 201
|Posted on Thursday, February 15, 2007 - 10:53 pm: || |
After having to do a simple project for an urban geography class (find out how long it'd take to get to work and to school by riding the bus) I had to use both Smart's and AATA's website to get schedules and such.
To be honest, the route planner on AATA's site makes finding the right route really easy. It's almost overkill for an area as simplified as Ypsi/A2. It'd be nice if Smart had something similar as they serve a much, much larger area.
Post Number: 190
|Posted on Thursday, February 15, 2007 - 11:59 pm: || |
Johnlodge points out a few very serious problems which should be an embarrassment to the people at DDOT and SMART.
First of all, SMART has no on-line trip planner, a pretty basic thing to have nowadays. DDOT has one, when it works, which isn't all the time. Neither DDOT nor SMART, on line or on their phone numbers, can tell you how to make a trip that involves both systems.
Johnlodge, why do you say "these systems are supposed to be integrated"? That would be nice, but it has never really been done. There have been a few halting attempts, but each system seems to believe its own fiefdom is more important than to try and move people around efficiently.
Of course, the chief difficulty Johnlodge has pointed out is this: If you have to be a God-damned expert to use the systems, then the reality is very few people will ever use them.
Post Number: 138
|Posted on Friday, February 16, 2007 - 12:23 am: || |
Professorscott, I guess I said that because I had heard something in the past about these systems trying to be more integrated in order to improve their efficientcy. But I guess not. But for me, SMART has no route going east down 8 mile, so I would have to use both systems. It's not like one is truly competing with each other and they would both benefit from joint use! UGH! Now I'm curious about other bus systems and if they have better websites for route planning. Maybe I will look around out of curiosity.
Post Number: 842
|Posted on Friday, February 16, 2007 - 12:23 am: || |
My biggest complaint, which seems completely illogical: DDOT's website has NO system map.
Post Number: 1
|Posted on Friday, February 16, 2007 - 1:35 am: || |
Some transit web sites in the Seattle area:
http://transit.metrokc.gov (has an automated trip planner that goes across bus systems, but no unified system map that I could find).
http://www.soundtransit.org (has a unified system map somewhere)
Metro is operated by King County (Seattle's county) and funded by county sales taxes and vehicle registration taxes among other things.
Sound Transit is a regional, cross-county organization that operates trains in addition to buses.
Seattle's bus system is about as good as a bus system gets IMO -- it's possible to live in Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, and Renton using only the bus (think of the latter three cities as similar to Southfield, Royal Oak, and Dearborn), even for 20 mile work commutes.
I think the biggest flaw of Seattle transit is discoverability -- once you know how to use it, it is very powerful, but it is not easy for visitors to pick up and many longtime residents are still unaware of how useful it could be to them. In contrast, I visited SF and found that their readily available system map with detailed stops made it possible for me to use their buses with zero research and no knowledge of the SF city layout.
On the plus side for Detroit, the PeopleMover monorail is far more useful than Seattle's two-stop monorail.
Post Number: 142
|Posted on Friday, February 16, 2007 - 1:45 am: || |
When I visited LA I didn't have any problem getting around, even though I had never been there before. I went to Hollywood and Beverly Hills and saw those tar pits and even sat in the studio audience of "The Weakest Link", and never once did I feel lost. And those buses they have that turn the light green as they approach an intersection are SWEET.
Post Number: 3
|Posted on Friday, February 16, 2007 - 2:31 am: || |
And those buses they have that turn the light green as they approach an intersection are SWEET
King County calls that Transit Signal Priority, which they are adding to one of my key Seattle routes:
http://transit.metrokc.gov/up/ archives/nov02/rt48-improvemen ts.html#tsp
The only downside is when you are relying on that red traffic light to give you enough time to cross the street to beat the bus to the stop...
In Detroit though, I'll settle for posting the route #'s on the stop...
Post Number: 206
|Posted on Friday, February 16, 2007 - 10:26 am: || |
I use both DDOT and Smart fairly often [primarily the Woodward and Hamilton lines]. I've also taught others how to use the bus and encouraged friends to do so - especially for special downtown events.
The buses usually run on/or near schedule and the Woodward lines (at least) have pretty good pick up frequencies (during business hours there is a DDOT bus every 8 minutes).
I rode the bus every day for a while and they are pretty safe. I've never personally had a safety issue on them. However, like all frequent Detroit bus riders I have witnessed some strange things like altercations or people who tried to hop on for free. When such a situation occurs the bus takes on a strangely communal mob mentality and dispenses quick justice. I think riding the bus is actually safer than walking the streets and people look out for one another on it.
Deandub, it would be reasonable to use the bus on a regular basis - especially if you are used to using the CTA's bus system. Unfortunately, as Blackhelicopter mentioned, there are no schedules or even route #'s posted on the bus signs so it can be somewhat confusing for newbies.
Some people above have complained about not understanding the routes... all routes and schedules can be downloaded in PDF format from both the DDOT & Smart websites.
[Because I have to say it:
If only we had light rail....]
Post Number: 144
|Posted on Friday, February 16, 2007 - 11:07 am: || |
Spaceboykelly, can you figure out my route? Look at my above post. Cuz I sure can't.
Post Number: 843
|Posted on Friday, February 16, 2007 - 12:58 pm: || |
As I mentioned, sure each route has a map in PDF form on the DDOT website. Incomprehensibly, however, there is no system map. So if you don't know how to get somewhere, feel free to scroll individually through each line's map until you find what you are looking for. Rubbish.
Post Number: 274
|Posted on Friday, February 16, 2007 - 1:01 pm: || |
Based on the 8 Mile bus route as posted on DDOT's web site, Johnlodge would be out of luck because it turns south at Lahser Rd and doesnt go all the way to Inkster Rd.
Post Number: 275
|Posted on Friday, February 16, 2007 - 1:06 pm: || |
The best option i see for Johnlodge would be to ride his bike 3/4 mile over to Beech Rd, catch the 275 (telegraph bus) north and transfer to the 730 (10 mile bus) east. This would take him right to the Royal Oak Transit Center. The bike would go on the bike rack installed on the front of every smart bus.
Post Number: 194
|Posted on Friday, February 16, 2007 - 2:44 pm: || |
Focus, there is no system map on DDOT's web site, but there is a trip planner. It doesn't always work though, and it never works if you venture beyond DDOT's service area.
Post Number: 494
|Posted on Friday, February 16, 2007 - 3:19 pm: || |
I don't live in Detroit, but I have rode on DDOT and SMART.
I rode the DDOT bus on Woodward Ave, and then on Cass Ave from Downtown Detroit to New Centre and back.
I have also rode the SMART bus from downtown Detroit to Royal Oak and back. That route was fine also.
Only problem. Sinage is very bad. I was very stressed out not knowing where the bus would pick us up, due to there being no signs signs at the transit centre. But we made it
Post Number: 45
|Posted on Friday, February 16, 2007 - 3:46 pm: || |
I have a bus question. I have a 15 pack of Tiger tix for Friday night games, and I have decided that its WAY cheaper for me to park either at my girlfriend's house or around Wayne State, and take the bus to the game, rather than pay to park near CoPa. Even some of the chaper $5 lots (which are getting rarer and rarer) get expensive after 15 games.
So my question is, what is the safest, cheapest, and most convient way to do this? The Woodward Line runs 24/7 for the most part so even if I go out after the game I'm good. I figure Wayne State is a safe place to park, but i might get stuck paying a meter for an hour or two.
How is street parking in the Medical Center? The website lists only 10 stops, but is it safe to assume that there are other stops along the Woodward route? Is it safe to assume I can get off right in front of Copa?
What do you all recommend? Thanks in advance!
Post Number: 195
|Posted on Friday, February 16, 2007 - 4:14 pm: || |
Another question: I need to get from Mt. Clemens to the Detroit Greyhound Station. (There is no Greyhound service in the northeast suburbs so far as I can tell.) I know I can get roughly downtown on the SMART 560 bus, but what DDOT bus would take me to they Greyhound station and where would I make the connection?
...and on a higher level, why do I need to ask bloggers this? One might think DDOT or SMART would be able to provide this information. Sigh.
Post Number: 47
|Posted on Friday, February 16, 2007 - 4:56 pm: || |
DDOT has a "Trip Planner" (http://18.104.22.168:1226/hiwir e?.a=ITP&.s=2156aaa1) but I can't seem to get it to work.
Post Number: 196
|Posted on Friday, February 16, 2007 - 5:10 pm: || |
It usually doesn't work, lately, and in any case it only handles DDOT bus routes. A couple years ago I was able to use it; it's not bad when it works.
Post Number: 288
|Posted on Friday, February 23, 2007 - 10:20 pm: || |
Man. We need an "Ask the Experts" trip planning sub-forum up in this. But seriously, I'm starting to think the most effective form of grassroots transit advocacy in Detroit might be the creation of a DDOT-SMART regional trip planner.
Post Number: 19
|Posted on Friday, February 23, 2007 - 11:26 pm: || |
For professor Scott, The Vernor bus, route 49, westbound, will take you to the bus station (Close to it anyway) at the corner of Lafayette and the Lodge Freeway.
Post Number: 217
|Posted on Saturday, February 24, 2007 - 8:52 am: || |
I used to ride the old DSR busses all over town as a kid (Second, Hamilton, Dexter and Linwood mostly) and the service was pretty reliable as I recall.
My most recent encounter with DDOT was a few years ago when my car was in the shop for a couple days. I rode the Dexter DDOT from its starting/ending point in front of Providence Hospital all the way downtown. The trip took well over an hour, but that was ok because I had planned accordingly so I could still get to work on time. My only problem was that the bus stopped at EVERY stop along the route from 9 and Greenfield to Woodward and Congress. This is no exaggeration, somebody got on or off that bus at every stop along the way. Other than that, I read the paper, checked out the street scenes along the way and enjoyed the ride.
Post Number: 211
|Posted on Sunday, February 25, 2007 - 11:04 pm: || |
Thanks Masterblaster. I'm happy to walk the block.
Boy, Greyhound sure doesn't have the same service they used to have, even fifteen or twenty years ago. Sigh.