Robert Rippy of Detroit waits for a DDOT bus at Woodward and State Fair in Detroit on Monday during an apparent sick-out by drivers. (David Coates / The Detroit News)
Detroit — City buses are back in service Tuesday a day after an apparent sick-out among bus drivers caused city leaders to shut down the system.
More than 150 drivers called in sick Monday, just hours before a downtown protest, and the bus system was shuttered because of a lack of drivers.
After a meeting with union officials Monday afternoon, Police Chief James Craig promised to create a transit safety unit to ride city buses to deter crime.
Craig said at least 10 uniformed officers from the Tactical Services Section will ride Detroit Department of Transportation buses in a few days. Then, in November, more than 1,000 security cameras will be installed that transportation officials say will equal “eight per vehicle.”
Fred Westbrook, president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 26 that represents the more than 450 bus drivers, welcomed the chief’s announcement, but said the union will take a wait-and-see approach.
“No, I am not satisfied. Action speaks louder than words,” Westbrook said after Craig’s news conference. “When I see it happen, then I will be satisfied.”
The shutdown affected more than 100,000 riders — including thousands of school students — and it was the second since September. Drivers also held slowdowns in 2011 and 2007.