My son and I took DDOT to a funeral today. DDOT technology typically made a fiasco of a simple trip.
We aimed to catch the scheduled Westbound Plymouth bus at Woodward and Collingwood at 2: 03 pm. No such luck—the bus was at least 15 minutes behind schedule, giving me time to talk to the 20 or so waiting riders. It seemed most were trying to get to work. Typically, Plymouth bus riders are trying to get to jobs in Livonia, either at industries or at stores in the strip mall.
The Plymouth is the only DDOT bus taking riders all the way from the East Side to Middlebelt. In the summer, when I was stuck out there for over 2 hours, I shared the wait with riders who had gotten off work an hour before. They had a more than 3 hour wait to get home to their families, their food, and a well earned rest.
I wonder how well they could rest considering how early they had to leave their homes in order to be on time for the rarely on-time bus, just to keep their jobs.
Our bus was standing-room-only long before my son and I reached our destination at Southfield Rd. By that time, the exit signal had stopped working, frustrating riders who had to push their way to the exit and yell for their stop.
Workers, who live in Detroit, pay taxes in Detroit. Do the out-of-town executives who are getting bonuses for our “improved” service?
Funny, none of the 20 people waiting for the bus with me expressed satisfaction with the “improvements” these DDOT managers keep reporting.
I was not satisfied either, when leaving the funeral home; I checked “Text My Bus”, got a 14 minute arrival time and waited patiently with about 7 other riders for 12 minutes. When I checked again the wait time had become 62 minutes.
This is not the first time the Plymouth bus seems to have been tractor-beamed off its route. The technology of “Text My Bus,” which is supposed to keep us apprised of how behind schedule our buses are, does not seem to extend to sending a shuttle or replacement if a bus breaks down. DUH! If a bus only runs every hour and one comes up missing, that adds at least an hour to a rider’s wait!
Speaking of “improved “service, why are so many fare boxes broken and why have the LED’s at Rosa Parks Terminal been out of service for 2 weeks? Today, I passed through the terminal, and about half were back in service (perhaps due to Channel 2 filming at the terminal?)
The Woodward bus I took back to the North End was unable to collect fares, and was full almost to capacity when it left the terminal, at capacity when it left downtown, and still full when we got to Woodward and Euclid. We are told that the stated improvements are based on figures, which are based on ridership, which is based on fare boxes. As the Queen of Soul might say “Who’s zoomin’ who?”