DDOT Adds 20 New Buses, Security Cameras To Fleet

November 13, 2017

According to the Michigan Chronicle, the Detroit Department of Transportation (DDOT) has officially added a total of 20 new buses to its bus system in order to increase reliability and safety.

U.S. passenger bus travel increased by 7.5% from 2011 to 2012, making it the fastest growing form of travel in the country, according to a study by the American Bus Association. This new addition will help to facilitate a number of service improvements in addition to providing assistance in hopes of enhancing the “rider experience.”

“This is another important step forward for DDOT and it strives to continually provide better service to its customers and younger, more reliable buses on the road,” said DDOT director Dan Dirks. “Our plan is to purchase at least 20 new buses each year for the next five years to get the age of our fleet in line with other major transit systems.”

Currently, there are a total of about 300 buses in DDOT’s fleet. At peak times, however, only 240 buses are on the road while the rest receive typical routine maintenance. While this does help the buses maintain safety and performance, it can often lead to overcrowding of the buses that are on the roads.

The current average age of DDOT’s buses is more than 12 years. After the new buses arrive, however, they’ll reduce the average age to around eight years. According to Dirk, the ideal average age for DDOT’s buses, as well as those of other cities of similar size, is about six years.

However, the new buses will bring more than just better service. The new models, Flyer CD40, are replacements that are being officially decommissioned and removed from DDOT’s fleet.

The new buses come with a number of upgrades, including large rear windows, skylight roof hatches, and destinations signs on the rear.

The DDOT also added 80 new buses back in 2015, but it has enacted a large number of service-related improvements in almost 20 years. These include adding 24-hour routes, express routes, a mid-city loop root to connect more lower-income neighborhoods, and more.

Another upgrade the DDOT has made to its buses is installing security cameras on both the interior and exteriors of all of its vehicles. Today it is estimated that about 72% of all state patrol vehicles utilize in-car video systems, and implementing recording devices on public transportation systems can help to deter crime and enhance safety as well.

Furthermore, the DDOT has designated a ‘transit police force,’ which, when combined with the recording devices, has “significantly improved safety across the transit system.”

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