Detroit city bus drivers have ratified a new contract that gives them a 6 percent increase in their base hourly wages. It also includes a one-time bonus of 4 percent, and 30 percent of fare box revenues if annual ridership grows each of the next four years. Amalgamated Transit Union Local 26 President Fred Westbrook says it’s the best deal drivers could get under the Plan of Adjustment that came out of the city’s bankruptcy settlement.
“It’s not the best deal as far as we’re concerned for bus drivers,” Westbrook says. “We would never be satisfied until we are (at) parity with SMART and any other transportation system in the Metro Area. But Dan Dirks and Mayor Duggan say this is a step, and that’s the way and the route we’re headed. So we’re okay with that.”
Westbrook and Detroit Department of Transportation Director Dan Dirks say the city has put 80 new buses on the road, hired more drivers, and improved security for passengers and drivers. The contract must be approved by the City Council and the Financial Review Commission before it takes effect.