DDOT changes cutting some bus routes & reducing frequency of others go into effect

Posted at 5:46 AM, Nov 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-19 12:27:24-05

(WXYZ) — The temporary changes the Detroit Department of Transportation (DDOT) announced for some bus routes go into effect on Monday.

Detroit is cutting three routes and reducing the frequency of some others.

The three routes that will no longer be in service are:

  • Route 11 Clairmount
  • Route 26 Junction
  • Route 27 Tireman

Fewer drivers and riders have DDOT downsizing, and as it continues to be short-staffed, the system is looking to hire 90 bus operators and 50 mechanics.

There will also be 18 DDOT bus routes that will have services reduced. All routes are scheduled to operate every 20 to 60 minutes.

Mikel Oglesby, the city's executive director or transit, said they are "right-sizing" the service.

He said some of the routes they have only have about 10 riders per day on them, which accounts for 1% of their service.

By "right-sizing," he said the service will be less frequent but more dependable.

"If you're expecting the bus every 15 minutes and we don't have the capacity to handle it, you'll be standing out there up to 45 minutes," he said. "But if we take that same service and we create 20 or 25-minute headways, they are called, that we can actually produce the service than you'll know that the bus is actually coming."

But the move is frustrating riders who are dependent on the service.

"This will just further diminish our access to transportation," one rider said.

"So I'm going to lose my job depending on the buses," another added.

ATU President Glenn Tolbert said the changes will increase wait times, and the new schedule is unwarranted.

"I wish they had come to the union and maybe we could have helped them find routes and times that can be cut and we could've worked together, but it didn't happen," he said.

DDOT said they are planning to restore service levels in early 2022, building it back better than before.

"Our problem is not entirely a bus shortage problem. Our problem is a bus shortage and attendance problem coupled with the reduction in ridership, and really that is why we are taking the current scheduling and adjusting it the way that we are," Oglesby said.