Wednesday, May 23, 2007

D-DOT Buses Come to a Halt

The Crosstown bus normally serves the Warrendale neighborhood, as do the Tireman, Joy Road and Southfield routes. Early this morning, all of those routes, came to a halt as D-DOT bus drivers have refused to drive until some type of arrangement is made for security on city buses.

Buses are reasonably safe overall but 130,000 people riding city buses every day, incidents are inevitable. For more than a year and a half, D-DOT has operated without any dedicated security force. The labor union representing bus drivers has protested this lack of security repeatedly, but nothing has happened as the City Council dithers over whether Detroit Police or the Wayne County Sheriff should be responsible for security.

All of that came to a head this morning when the drivers refused to drive any longer.

Mayor Kwame M. Kilpatrick announced a tentative deal at noon today, one that would bring in sheriff's deputies on a temporary basis while the City Council continues to debate the issue. However, that deal has already fallen through because Sherrif Warren C. Evans doesn't want his deputies to take on the job unless the majority of council members approve of it.

While all of this is happening, thousands of people in Detroit are without a reliable way of getting around, demand for taxis has skyrocketed and SMART has annouced that they won't be able to pick up the slack. The fact that this matter has gone on for more than eighteen months without a resolution, and that it took a work stoppage to even get people talking about it seriously, is something that both the Mayor and City Council ought to be ashamed of.

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