The Detroit Department of Transportation has drawn the ire of some Detroiters who rely on the service daily as it struggles with a driver shortage and curtailed routes.
District 4 City Councilwoman Latisha Johnson and her staffers on Monday got a firsthand look at the issues as they joined riders on the Mack Avenue bus route in her district. BridgeDetroit’s Bryce Huffman also went along, talking with Johnson about her priorities for improving the service and hearing from riders about long wait times and the need for more late-night and weekend service.
Johnson, a first-term councilwoman, said she rode the city bus to school every day when she was younger. She’s urging other members of Detroit City Council to ride DDOT bus routes in their districts.
DDOT has plans to use $50 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds for driver-retention bonuses and to address safety worries and make certain upgrades.
Mikel Oglesby, DDOT’s executive director, updated council members Tuesday on priorities identified by residents and advocates during a series of community input sessions earlier this year. Topping the list, he said, are bus shelters, incentives for bus operators, bus stop seating and transit hubs.
In response to concerns over wait times, Oglesby stressed Tuesday that the department is down over 100 drivers and has restructured its routes to cope with the staffing shortfall.
Hear from Johnson and some frequent east side bus riders here: