A new 27-mile bus route in Metro Detroit could significantly improve the efficiency of public transportation in the area. The route would start in downtown Detroit on Woodward Avenue and end at the loop in Pontiac. It would take a long time to build and a lot of money to completely set up, but it could do wonders for the City of Detroit and surrounding areas.
According to the population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau in 2012, Detroit has 701,475 residents within its borders, making up a large portion of Michigan’s population of 9.88 million. With this many people in a confined area, it is vital to have efficient and effective public transportation. Detroit is not in the best economic state at the moment, but a bus route like this is still considered a necessary development.
Putting up a 27 mile bus route will not be easy. The city must first establish federal funding for the project, which could take years to complete. The proposal will also need to pass a public vote set for 2016. Upon the approval of the citizens and other parties overseeing the project’s budget, the city can start working on its new bus route.
The buses for the new routes will not be the same as other Detroit buses. Former Regional Transit Authority CEO John Hertel told WDET FM (101.9) in 2013 that, “These vehicles look like rocket ships. You can’t see the tires. They run in dedicated lanes. They run at the same speed as light rail. They control the signals so they don’t have to stop for red lights.” Not only could this proposal improve transit opportunities in the metro, but it could also launch an exciting new design for Detroit buses in the future.
The public vote may still be two years out, but it is exciting to see that there could be changes to come. As long as the budget matches the overall outcome we could see from the new bus route, this could be a development worth keeping an eye on. Hertel envisioned a harmonious system that could truly modernize Detroit: “110 miles of a modern system running in all four counties and finally running people back and forth to the airport… It would change everybody’s attitude and reality about what mass transit can do for them.”