Did you ever have the dream where you came home and found yourself in a really fabulous place? You knew you walked through the right door, but everything was different and better. That’s how I felt, Thursday, when I accidentally got on a SMART bus on Woodward.
First, I noticed the fare-box worked, the bus seemed new, with nice clean seats, and lots of them empty. I was so bemused, I did not notice I got a change card with my transfer, nor until I got to the back of the bus, that it was extra long, with safety doors. That all the seats faced the aisle should have been the give-away but, I guess it had been so long since I caught a SMART bus in the city limits. I just kept thinking, “Wow, someone finally got the message”.
The message NEWCC has been sharing-that we need bigger, better working buses on Woodward, the busiest street in SE Michigan. That fuel-efficiency and working fare-boxes would do more for DDOT’s bottom line than cutting the jobs, benefits and salaries of employees.
That, with buses like this, who needs an expensive street-car running from just past where it will do any good to just where there is already more than enough transportation .
Sure, SMART riders do pay 25 cents more to ride the bus. For their money, though, they get buses that can collect fares and use alternative energy to reduce their running cost. On my dream ride this seemed a lot more appealing than my usual DDOT trip with riders vainly texting for a bus will just roll past them because it is already packed.