On Thursday, I took a very crowded Hamilton bus from the New Center to Highland Park, and got in a conversation with another bus rider who had waited an hour at Rosa Parks Terminal for this bus. I guess at this point I am not surprised that she placed 50 percent of the blame for long waits on DDOT drivers.
I get that she was upset because a Hamilton bus pulled into the terminal while she was waiting, left passengers waiting, headed for the garage. The thing is, that is not “bad attitude”, it is the end of a long work day. The next driver should have been routed to the terminal to meet the scheduled departure, if there was not another driver in the rotation, the scheduler should have arranged for this driver to work over-time. Not bad attitude, bad management.
It is hard to explain to a cold, tired, hungry, DDOT customer that when the drivers shift is over, the schedulers should have another driver on that route. That the same people who do not schedule enough buses for students to be picked up from Cass, from Wayne State, from the Taubman School of Art, put our DDOT drivers in danger, with overcrowded buses, with distraught passengers. On none of the three buses I took,was there a police presence at any point of my ride. I ride DDOT almost daily, and have yet to see an officer on a bus, though like St. Nick, I hear they have been briefly spotted, briefly riding.
The lack of security, like the haphazard scheduling seems to have a deliberate purpose-perhaps to convince riders in a once strong Union city that DDOT drivers do not deserve a fair contract with reasonable wages and just benefits. To pit riders against drivers, to distract both from what is being done with grant and tax money earmarked for improved transportation to enhance employment.
The incomers for whom the warm, safe, Streetcar is being built, would be better served, as would the rest of Detroit by warm, safe, reliably scheduled and cost effective bus service than by a slow moving train that is able to function reliably only because it will just go in a circle. A circle that is already served, for people who will do not need public transportation