Detroit Bus: Creative Response to Critical Condition

If you're in Detroit and rely on public transit you have a long wait as part of your day (even those riding the well-served routes east west along Jefferson by the river, and the north south axis of Woodward Avenue.) In recent weeks, the situation has become even more trying, including a week day during which all bus service was either suspended or encumbered with delays of up to 3 hours (this day followed an incident in which a driver was involved in a physical altercation with passengers.)

As is most often the case, the city's neighborhoods with the fewest resources bear the brunt of these shortages. Further from downtown density, further from the affluence that is providing Midtown with feet on the street and the development around the Wayne State/ Tech Town areas.

In Brightmoor, a neighborhood in the northern fringes, bus service is a vital link--to get to work, to school. Waiting is for the patient. This hand made stop is one of several along Outer Drive that I admire for its creativity. And its padded seats--a nice touch for offering comfort in the cold.

With a physical infrastructure that extends physically and financially beyond the city's current capacity, the public transit system is burdened by a rising cost/declining revenue challenge. I started thinking about how the network of buses, drivers and stops could be utilized in a way to leverage this infrastructure and offer this bus plus scenario, by which buses participate as delivery services, food drops, roving resources.

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