New DDOT Director: Dan Dirks

New Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan was (understandably) outraged by the delays in Detroit bus service during last week’s bitter cold. As the Detroit News reported, he went out on the streets with a plow driver, noticed crowds at bus stops, and got “so embarrassed and angry for the people who were standing out trying to get to work in sub-zero weather for hours at a time.”

He used that opportunity to announce he was bringing on a new DDOT Director. On Friday, the Mayor’s office announced “Mayor Duggan Names Dan Dirks as DDOT Director.” Dirks is expected to begin work on January 15th.

“Dirks brings 25 years of local and national experience in public transportation and served as General Manager of SMART from 1998-2007. In his role as DDOT Director, Dirks will coordinate the city’s overall transportation services, including DDOT, the Detroit People Mover and M-1 Rail. . .

“A reliable public transportation system is critical to our efforts to keep Detroiters in Detroit and to make it a welcoming place for visitors and for new businesses to locate,” Duggan said. . . .

Dirks said he was thrilled to be offered the position and looks forward to coming home to Detroit and developing a top-notch transit system. “I look forward to collaborating with the employees of DDOT on an action plan to turn this bus system around and make it a quality service.”

DDOT has been managed by MV Transportation since August 2013 . . . with Paul Toliver as the director. He will now report to Dirks for the duration of the MV contract, which ends in September 2014.

Now, Mayor Duggan and Mr. Orr, make sure you give the new Director the funds and the authority to provide quality bus service!