Complaints about the Detroit Department of Transportation are common, no doubt, so how about a little props when the agency gets something right?
The buses servicing the Russell Route, No. 40, are now sporting bike racks, just like big brother SMART's vehicles. The trial program, called Bikes on Buses (BOB), will be used to familiarize drivers and riders while DDOT pursues funding, through the state of Michigan, to outfit its entire fleet.
The Russell services downtown, Eastern Market, the Russell Industrial Center and Hamtramck. DDOT planner Wesley King says one reason that the route was selected because at its peak frequency, the agency could ensure that all buses had racks -- and they have six to start. "Woodward gets the most use, but we didn't want riders to maybe see a rack every 30 minutes at peak," he says. "Or maybe see one every hour -- or see four in a row!"
Racks being utilized carry two or three bikes at a time. BOB guides are available on-line at RideDetroitTransit.com
or by calling 313-933-1300.
In other news, look for improved bus stop signs later this year that will include route numbers and names and designated colors; green is used to indicate routes that travel downtown, purple for north/south and blue for east/west. Supplemental signs will be posted at major routes and transfer points with more information, including a map and each route's days and hours of operation.
"With the changes in the region and the economy we’re seeing more riders," says district superintendent Michael McNutt. "What we wanted is to make our service more user friendly to the new riders that we anticipate carrying in the near future."
McNutt says that a few signs will soon debut to generate rider feedback but the bulk will go up later this fall in waves, with Express Routes getting the new signage first.
Source: Wesley King and Michael McNutt, DDOT
Writer: Kelli B. Kavanaugh