Detroit's got an impressive new Strategic Plan for Transportation

After decades on aimlessness on transportation, the City of Detroit has developed a powerful new blueprint for how they plan to improve the City’s transportation, and with it, the City itself. 

“This is the roadmap to make it easier, safer, and more affordable for everyone to get around Detroit” – Mayor Mike Duggan

It’s built around 5 core values:

  • Increasing Economic Opportunity and Reducing Poverty by delivering a high quality transit service that has been lacking in Detroit… and managing congestion before it cripples our resurgent economy.
  • Improving Public Safety by using a data-driven approach to reduce traffic injuries and fatalities on our streets; making walking and biking as safe as they are affordable; … and making it safer to walk to and wait for transit.
  • Building a More Vibrant and Beautiful City by building streets that work better for everyone whether they’re walking, biking or driving … and knitting our city together with a world-class greenway system.
  • Improving our Communications and Outreach by bringing residents into the planning process early and often; ensuring every resident has a chance to participate in transportation projects big and small; and rebooting the look and feel of our transit system so that everyone can get on board.
  • Strengthening City Functionality by … revamping our bus fleet; running the transit system with precision; and setting clear goals, targets and metrics to get Detroiters where they need to go.

We are pleased that transit is truly a centerpiece of the plan, not an afterthought. The very first goals focus on improving transit service for Detroiters and making it easier for people to access jobs in Detroit.

“Regardless of how the region approaches transit, we are committed to building transit in Detroit that is a first choice for everyone.”

Some of the goals will help ensure the basics of quality, reliable transit service. Others seek to leapfrog Detroit into a leadership role nationally.

“When fully implemented, this plan will transform transportation in our city.”

Exciting strategies and benchmarks over the next four years include:

  • Improve transit service for Detroiters:
    • Prioritize transit in street design and traffic signal timing
    • Make it easier to pay for the bus with mobile ticketing and off-board payments
    • Evaluate feasibility of transit-only lane on Woodward
    • 50 new bus shelters by 2019
    • All new shelters will include maps and real-time arrival information
  • Make it easier to live in Detroit without owning a vehicle
    • Provide first mile / last mile connections between job centers and major transit routes
    • Provide lower-density areas of the City with microtransit services
    • Explore feasibility and funding for free transit pass for public housing residents
    • Reduce parking requirements and incorporate bicycle facilities for new developments near transit 
  • Make our streets safer for all modes of travel
    • Incorporate safety improvements into all street design projects
    • Develop a plan to improve pedestrian access to transit
    • Improve bus stop lighting and expand Project Green Light to high-priority stops
  • Make transit easier to use and more attractive 
    • Increase ridership by 25%
    • Improve cleanliness of DDOT buses
    • Launch new DDOT website
    • Pilot four free fare days to remove initial barrier for entry to new customers
    • Launch Bus Ambassadors program to show new and existing riders how to use the system
    • Conduct comprehensive customer survey every year to measure effectiveness
    • Pilot art integration into transportation initiatives and transit stops 
  • Improve bus system operations
    • Provide real-time bus arrival data
    • Complete 99% of scheduled trips on a daily basis
    • Achieve a 90% on-time arrival rate
    • Restructure DDOT roles to provide more effective customer-focused service
  • Offer comprehensive commuting solutions to City employees
    • Encourage employees to try transit, biking, and walking
    • Offer discounted transit passes to City employees
  • Make Detroit the global leader in mobility innovation
    • Implement autonomous vehicles as a transit solution in partnership with DDOT
    • Pilot new transit signal priority technology
    • Pilot new car sharing model in neighborhoods using pre-owned vehicles

Whew! That’s a lot! Please share your thoughts with us at Anything missing? What do you especially love? What could TRU do to help implement these strategies?
We’ll certainly be watchdogging the City to ensure these great goals are truly achieved!