Thursday, February 04, 2010

Detroit's Mass Transit Hell

The Progressives wet dream of mass transit for Detroit continues to unfold as a nightmare: Assaults, robberies plague new transit center
With great fanfare, the $22.5-million Rosa Parks Transit Center opened in July, promising Detroit bus riders a 24-hour shelter that included rest rooms, a bus fare cashier station, information and security booths, a coffee shop and other retail outlets.

Yet, on any given day or night, riders from around the region are met with "Temporarily Closed" signs posted on the center's doors.
That's because they don't have enough money for security to keep it safe. Really.
In a memo obtained by the Free Press, Detroit Department of Transportation officials admit that the transit center closes at various times during the week and weekends because of the city's current fiscal constraints -- its inability to maintain appropriate staffing levels because of the layoffs of security personnel.
A transit center closed at odd times due to lack of funds for security, leaving people stuck outside of it waiting for the base in likely even more unsafe conditions.
Though there's a need for more security -- not less -- at the transit center at the corner of Michigan and Cass, six of the 16 security guards hired to protect Detroit Department of Transportation properties have been laid off in recent months.

When it becomes evident to DDOT officials that they do not have enough personnel to keep the center open, they close it. The practice has been happening since November, just as temperatures started to drop.

"It seems like it closes when it's at zero or below zero," said Clifford Grose, 59, who rides the bus daily.

The Detroit Police Department has increased patrols of the transit center, which also serves as a hub for SMART, Transit Windsor, Megabus and the People Mover. Still, city officials say drug trafficking, loitering and even assaults are a daily occurrence.
Now that sounds like an attractive alternative to the personal motor vehicle or carpooling with trusted friends now doesn't it?

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