Saturday, November 05, 2011

DDOT is Detroit's poster child

DDOT has a lot in common with the city it serves, and the messages it sends are consistent with the city's, and the message DDOT drivers are sent Friday is, "We aren't safe down here, so we're refusing to show up."

That's not too much different from what many suburbanites feel, and if even the bus drivers feel unsafe, how are folks living outside Detroit supposed to feel safe, or endorse regional mass transit?

Channel 2 (Fox) is reporting today that DDOT bus drivers are refusing to work today because of safety concerns.
Earlier Friday, hundreds of bus drivers haulted their routes after several DDOT employees were attacked by passengers at the Rose Parks terminal on Thursday. "It was a melee," said union spokesperson William Williams. "It was bad."
The Detroit Free Press reported:
A walk-out by at least 100 Detroit Department of Transportation bus drivers today has crippled service for bus riders across the city of Detroit.  About 100 drivers came to work early this morning but refused to get on the buses, (Henry) Gaffney said [president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 26 in Detroit, the union representing the bus drivers]. He said they're scared to drive without law enforcement presence.
And The Detroit News added
Dan Lijana, a spokesman for Bing, ... says the safety of passengers and drivers is a top priority.
The problem with cheering on Detroit is that despite the cheers, the story remains the same.  Or at least the story hasn't changed much since May 23 2007 when I wrote,
While Detroit's city council took the time to pass a resolution in favor of impeaching Bush and Cheney they couldn't find the time to debate and resolve DDOT's request for officers on buses to stem assaults and robberies on city buses.
Of course, needing police or sheriff deputies on buses increases the cost of public transportation, just as needing metal detectors and police inside schools increases the cost of public education.  If every public service requires police escort the services will always cost more than they should, or at least more than they do in cities where the customers of public services don't need the police to maintain civility.

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