Thursday, 27 August, 2009 2:39 PM
vent their frustrations about bus cuts inside Rosa Parks Transit
BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com
public hearing was held about the proposed bus cuts inside
the Rosa Parks Transit Center on Aug. 25, 2009.
The Buses! That is what could be done if Dave Bing and the Detroit
City Council have their way, as they and the Mayor of Detroit
propose starting September 26 to cuts the weekend services of
the Detroit Department of Transportation (D-DOT), which includes
no buses after 6 p.m. on Saturdays, no Sunday services, and
elimanting several routes such as Chalmers (#9), Conant (#12),
Fort (#19), Grand Belt (#20), Oakland (#36), Michigan (#37),
Puritan (#39), Russell (#40), Schoolcraft (#43), Southfield
(#46), Tireman (#47), Vernor (#49), Holbrook, Wyoming (#54),
and Imperial (#78).
ride the Oakland bus, I ride the Russell bus," said Katherine
King, a Detroit resident who takes the bus to her job at the
Detroit Medical Center. "Just as I spoke just recently
up there at the forum, it's very important that they keep these
lines going because Oakland and Russell those are major lines
to get to the Detroit Medical Center. If your children get sick,
our seniors need to get to their doctor's appointments, that
is very important. They were telling us they have compassion
now they need to really show it."
However, these cuts may be starting this weekend, with the recent
layoffs of the 113 bus drivers that do the weekend runs, angering
those who work at Comerica Park, Ford Field, and Hockeytown
-- especially when it comes to working Tigers and Lions home
"People's lives don't stop at 6 o'clock on Saturday night,"
said Transportation Riders United director Megan Owens to The
Metro Times last weekend. "They need to get to work,
go grocery shopping, go to church."
Public hearings are being held this week, which include two
meetings during the day (10 a.m. to 12 p.m.) and during the
evening (6 p.m. to 8 p.m.). The most recent hearing was at the
Rosa Parks Transit Center out on Michigan Avenue and Cass. Bus
drivers represented not only themselves, but also their Local
"I'm concerned about what's going on here downtown,"
said Olumba-John Olumba, a Democratic candiate for Charter Commission
who attended the meeting. "I'm concerned about city services
being cut. I have a serious problem with cutting any integral
city service. Adam Smith wrote in The Wealth of Nations
that people need certain things in order for a society to grow
in wealth. Taking away our transportation is a serious mistake
in terms of regular plain economic theory."
The next meeting will be at the Southwest District Neighborhood
City (7400 W. Vernor) Wednesday, followed by the Northwest Activities
Center (18100 Meyers) the next day. Besides the meetings, you
can contact Mayor Bing's office at 313-224-3400, and let him
know how you feel about him making these drastic steps, which
may include you and your loved ones such as your children being
the victims of crime, or worse living a life of it. As much
as there is politics and corruption within office, the police
department, and the system, it's an even bigger injustice to
cut down the bus services, with the potential of crime going
up in Detroit at the hands of our youth, who needs the bus to
go to school so they can get an education, use their minds,
and have a future, not a death sentence.
"I've been riding the bus since I was eight years old,"
said Krystal Cryttendon, a Detroit resident who takes the bus
to her job at Comerica Park. "Now that I'm 25, it is affecting
everybody in our community. To me it is time for the city of
Detroit to wake up. The residents of the city must wake up.
We have to stand up for what's right. If it means fighting for
our bus services, then that's what we have to do. We already
have a high rate of crime here. But if they cut the bus system,
it's going to be a higher rate of crime. There are senior citizens
that don't have the money to afford a car."
If Bing's proposal goes through after September 26, people will
be waiting for the bus a little bit longer as well as may have
to take a cab on the weekends, which will eat up their salary.
The possibility of these cuts will affect the employment of
retail workers that takes the bus everyday to go to work, with
the risk of losing their job in the process.
"Whoever told him to shut down the DDOT from 6 o'clock
Saturday through Sunday not only needs to be fired, but they
need to put them before a firing squad," political consultant
Adolph Mongo told The Detroit Free Press last Wednesday.
"Why would you lock down thousands of people when you don't
have retail or grocery stores in the city? People have to take
the bus to work. Bing lives in a gated community and has a chauffeur.
He certainly doesn't get it."
There are three questions Mayor Bing, the city council, and
us the people need to ask ourselves: where are the Rosa Parks
and the Martin Luther King, Jr's. of the world today? What would
they do? The battle of civil rights, social justice, and equality
must be fought once more, as we may enter into a Depression
if this proposal for bus cuts is enforced.
"In order for me to get to work, I have to catch the bus,"
Katerine King said. "Those people are not really in that
situation so they really don't care. They have the power to
make a difference. They should make a difference. If he [Bing]
is in the city of Detroit, he is supposed to be for us. He is
supposed to be for the city of Detroit."
But the first question we must ask is "What Would Jesus
Do?". As the son of God came to serve God and people, so
should Dave Bing as Mayor, so should the City Council, and so
should we, the people of the Motor City known as Detroit.