Great TRU Spring Meeting on Transit Service and Coordination

Thanks so much to DDOT, SMART, M-1 RAIL, Detroit People Mover, and AAATA The Ride for presenting at TRU’s Spring Meeting April 3! All provided great updates on service improvements, funding challenges, coordination efforts, and plans for the future:

  • SMART Deputy General Manager Jim Fetzer explained that has been struggling to survive financially, but has been able to get federal grants to add cameras to buses, improve their Connector Service, and order several more efficient hybrid buses. If county leaders and voters approve a 1.0 millage rate in August, they will overhaul their entire fleet of buses and hopefully expand service.
  • New DDOT management is working to overcome decades of deferred maintenance and to improve middle management with the goal of 100% scheduled buses operating and 90% on-time service, but would not commit to when that would occur. Director Dan Dirks also committed that Rosa Parks will be open all hours that buses are operating.
  • Ann Arbor Area Transit Authority “The Ride” Director Michael Ford explained their five year effort to understand rider needs and develop a Transit Improvement Plan. On May 6, voters in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and Ypsi Township will vote on funding More Buses, More Places, More Often.

Transit providers DDOT, SMART, AAATA The Ride, and Detroit People Mover are all working on ways to better coordinate their service through the RTA’s Providers Advisory Committee. At the meeting, M-1 RAIL’s new CAO Tim Fischer committed to fully participate as well.

Presenters participated in a Q&A led by Ruth Johnson, during which riders were encouraged to call in complaints with specific details on times and routes so management can know what’s going on and take action to make improvements.