Riding the bus in Detroit soon will be quicker during peak hours

Shawn D. Lewis
The Detroit News
Councilman Scott Benson, left, and Mayor Mike Duggan, right, answer reporters' questions on board one of the ConnectTen buses.

Detroit — Relief is on the way for those tired of waiting in sweltering heat and freezing snow for a bus to arrive.

Announced Tuesday, DDOT's ConnectTen service will add 500 trips a week every 15 minutes during peak hours on the 10 most-popular routes beginning Sept. 1. An added perk aboard the buses will be Wi-Fi.

Mayor Mike Duggan announced the service in the parking lot of an east side market, flanked by two of the new, green-and-white buses Tuesday.

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“The world is changing, and transportation also has been important," Duggan said. "Now, we've got a whole generation of people who are not even getting driver's licenses because they don't want to sit 45 minutes commuting, so we'll be providing first-class transit."

ConnectTen Routes

  1. Vernor
  2. Michigan
  3. Grand River
  4. Woodward
  5. Van Dyke/Lafayette
  6. Gratiot
  7. Seven Mile
  8. Warren (formerly Crosstown)
  9. Jefferson
  10. Greenfield

City officials say the routes serve about 60 percent of the city's ridership. 

A ConnectTen map shows the new route numbers.

ConnectTen routes will feature 24/7 service as will Vernor and Greenfield routes for a total of 12 with 24-hour service. 

Duggan said this is only the beginning, noting there will be 30 new buses by the end of October and "an additional 150 going forward.”

“The bus drivers are very excited and now we’re adding to the quality of buses, frequency of service, and I think people are starting to see we’re going in the right direction,” he said.

Peak hours are from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on weekdays for the ConnectTen routes. The routes will be renumbered one through 10.

Following the press conference, Duggan boarded one of the new buses in the parking lot. A blast of cool air conditioning greeted reporters following him onto the bus.

“We want to take the 10 routes to show our customers what this looks like,” he said. “We want to prove what we can do on 10 routes, and within the next two or three years, you’ll see all service upgraded.”

City Councilman Scott Benson, also at Tuesday's press conference, said the upgrades are welcome. 

"I take the bus as well, proudly," he said. "This will be an example of what world-class transportation looks like."

Detroit entrepreneur Bree Gant said she is excited about the new buses and schedules.

“I take the bus every day, all the time because insurance is too expensive,” she said. “I am really looking forward to this.”