Detroit Today: How Detroit is reimagining its bus system

“It’s the first time DDOT has done something like this in quite a while,” says reporter Malachi Barrett of the city’s plan.

Photo of a DDOT bus in Detroit, Michigan.

Photo of a DDOT bus in Detroit, Mich in 2022.

Since the pandemic struck, Detroit’s transit agency has had low ridership, hiring challenges and consistent service disruptions.

This is partly a result of less people need transit services due to the rise in popularity of remote work. It’s also due to the department’s inability to recruit and retain drivers.

To better meet the needs of riders, DDOT’s director released a draft plan this week that starts another round of public engagement to ultimately redesign the transit system .

“The problem is that the drivers are underpaid, and everyone acknowledges this.” — Malachi Barrett, Bridge Detroit

Listen: What a better Detroit bus system could look like.


Malachi Barrett is a reporter for Bridge Detroit covering the city of Detroit. He has been covering Detroit’s transit agency.

Barrett says DDOT has struggled because its staff isn’t well compensated.

“The problem is that the drivers are underpaid, and everyone acknowledges this,” says Barrett.

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