Friday, May 9, 2014

Dan Dirks as New DDOT Director

February 16, 2014 Mayor Duggan brought in a former working partner from his days at SMART as the new director for the Detroit Department of Transportation. The press conference acknowledged things aren't working well with DDOT. Dirks related waiting 35-40 minutes for a Woodward bus, which according to schedule should be every 15 minutes. Detroit is going through bitter cold temperatures with wind chills 30 degrees below freezing - since the bus shelters have been removed in so many places those waiting are quite upset and its let to violence against several bus drivers in the past few weeks. ATU 26 held a rally around the Coleman A Young Municipal Center requesting safe working conditions for its drivers and assistance for the riders.

Things to do as soon as possible:

  • Take care of uploading scheduling information to Google, Bing, Mapquest and other mapping services. This ensures riders can plot a ride route that likely is to include connecting between buses and estimated times for travel and waiting.
  • Maintenance contracts and parts suppliers need to be paid and orders change from delayed to expedited.
  • Hire more mechanics or bring those laid off back if still available.
  • Check on supervisors to ensure their job of regulating the flow of buses to serve rider needs is being performed.
  • Calibrate GPS tracking systems on buses so we don't have invisible buses or ghosts tracked early or late through Text-My-Bus
  • Make sure Text-My-Bus is available not only through the dial code 50464, also make it a local phone number for cell phone service providers that haven't linked up the code or don't offer dial codes.
  • Ensure public notices of meetings are very visible on all buses at least a week in advance, so riders can schedule attending.
  • Stop any planned removal of bus shelters and go back to INSTALLING rather than removing. Funding for shelters is available through State and Federal funding - reference FTA SAFETEA-LU Discretionary Grants (5309)
Eligible capital projects include the purchasing of buses for fleet and service expansion, bus maintenance and administrative facilities, transfer facilities, bus malls, transportation centers, intermodal terminals, park-and-ride stations, acquisition of replacement vehicles, bus rebuilds, bus preventive maintenance, passenger amenities such as passenger shelters and bus stop signs, accessory and miscellaneous equipment such as mobile radio units, supervisory vehicles, fare boxes, computers and shop and garage equipment.

Additional press:

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