DETROIT (WXYZ) — Almost 60 DDOT buses didn't leave the Gilbert Terminal on Detroit's west side for their morning routes on Wednesday, according to Glenn Tolbert, president of ATU Local 26, the union that represents the DDOT bus drivers.
“I had people report to work today and they just didn’t have anything to drive," he told Action News.
Tolbert said the 56 buses held back were physically at the terminal.
“They weren't allowed to leave the terminal for some reason," he said.
Tolbert said all the buses held back were equipped with special protective shields on the driver's side; the city's been installing them to better protect drivers during the pandemic. The buses that did leave the terminal on time did not have the protective shields, according to Tolbert.
Around 10 a.m. Wednesday the city released the following statement to Action News from Executive Director of Transit, Mikel Oglesby.
“We are in the process of transitioning to the deployment of buses That have the new protective barrier for drivers. There was a one day glitch in beginning that deployment which has been resolved.”
We asked for specifics, and what exactly the "glitch" was that caused the buses to be held back. We're continuing to reach out to the city for more details.
“We’re already short-staffed. And to have 50-60 drivers off the road in the early peak of this brisk morning is out of hand. It’s really not ideal," Tolbert said.
The buses are now running as scheduled and the issue has been addressed, according to city spokesperson John Roach.