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Bing Hints He May Privatize All City Bus Repairs

Bing Administration officials say they will consider privatizing all repair work on Detroit buses if an accord cannot be reached within a month between the city and the union representing bus mechanics. A rising tide of public anger has hit city officials in the wake of continuing slow service in the Detroit Department of Transportation – or D-DOT – bus line. The union representing bus mechanics argues the city has cut their personnel so severely that work cannot be done in a timely fashion. The city counters that mechanics are purposely slowing repairs to protest cuts in overtime. But Detroit Mayor Dave Bing says both sides should share the blame. Bing said, “I don’t want to say that it’s a union problem. It’s a management problem also. It’s something that’s been here for the last 20 or 30 years. We got to get to the bottom of it and fix it. If in fact that it can’t be fixed in 30 days going through this process then we’ll do something different, which will be an outside third party.” Privately Bing Administration officials say that third party would be outside vendors – meaning all of the bus repair work would be privatized. The Mayor says U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has also committed to helping solve the bus issue. But the Mayor adds that he cannot say what specific help the Secretary is offering.