Detroit officials say for the first time in two decades the city has enough functioning buses to properly staff all routes.
And Mayor Mike Duggan says that’s in large part because of federal assistance in buying about 50 new buses and refurbishing nearly 100 more, help Duggan says was guided to Detroit by Vice President Joe Biden.
At the bus system’s headquarters Biden stood next to Duggan with some of those new buses as a backdrop.
Biden says Duggan made it clear just how important a fully functioning transit system is to the city that put the world on wheels.
“(About) 77 percent of Detroit’s jobs are 10 to 35 miles away from the people who can fill those jobs and need those jobs,” the Vice President said. “And what’s good having a job if you can’t get there, if you can’t get there on time? They need a bus.”
Biden says he was initially surprised when Duggan told him how imperative it is for the roughly half of all Detroiters who do not have a car to have decent public transit that can deliver them to jobs or schools.
The Vice President said, “This isn’t an investment in buses. This is an investment in the people of Detroit. This is an investment helping them move into the middle class.”
Biden says the federal government will also base a research project in Detroit designed to create new, ultra-strong, ultra-light materials for use in cars and other manufacturing developments.
But the Vice President did not touch on the issue that follows him everywhere he goes of late: Whether or not he will throw his hat in the ring of candidates seeking the presidency in 2016.
Biden made no mention of how close he may be to making a decision on whether to seek the highest office in the land.