Thursday, September 27, 2012

Regional Transit Authority: Let's get serious.

Ok, so has anyone tried to drive around the Metro-Detroit area in the past few weeks?

I know the answer is probably close to 100% of our dear, wonderful 2W4W readers. We all know the limits on our transit options.

So, what's been going on lately?

Traffic has been like LA-style (ok, maybe a *tad* dramatic) parking-lot-moving-nowhere-it-now-takes-me-almost-one-hour-to-go-12-miles.

Lines of people waiting for the bus have been CRAZY. A bus-commute down Woodward = a bunch of people waiting and ONE bus spotted during morning rush hour. ONE BUS. BOTH WAYS. WHAAAT.

So the region is growing (awesome), people are working (alright, alright), needing to get hmmmm.
What could be next...??

Maybe, just maybe a Regional Transit Authority (RTA) for SE Michigan? So we can move forward and take the region to the next level?

Local business and higher education leaders confirm what we all know and live:

There's a hearing TODAY in Lansing on these important bills. If you can't make it to Lansing - no worries! Here's a great opportunity to email your legislators to let them know (and remember - they work for YOU) that you support the RTA.

And pass this info on to your family, friends, lovers, neighbors - anyone and everyone!

Every major metropolitan city in the world has seen the major and amazing benefits of an RTA. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Let's do this!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

People of the bus: Big hat. Plastic bags.

Anyone that rides the bus or commutes or runs errands in a regular way is sure to run into the same people. I usually am on the same bus routes each week - and probably 50% of the bus contains familiar faces. These segments are meant to highlight these amazing characters, especially as you learn something fascinating - as I did this morning.

There is this short-ish man that always gets on the bus in Pleasant Ridge. He's older, kind of hunched over, and is always wearing some sort of huge hat. Khakis and a jacket. He's also one of those people I see all over downtown Detroit - sometimes in my office building, sometimes on the street at lunch or after work. One thing I always have noticed is that he has an insane amount of plastic grocery bags full of stuff with him. Like dude bought groceries for the week, and decided to drag them all over on the bus and downtown. Every. single. day.

Today, I happened to get off the bus in behind him and noticed that there were many people kind of standing and maybe waiting for him. When he stepped off the bus, these folks kind of descended quickly upon him - so I was kind of keeping an eye out (he's a bus buddy, gotta watch out for each other!). Then he opens the plastic bags and he starts handing things out. Food from what I saw. Sandwiches. He's asking people what they'd like - was there a specific sandwich they wanted. Wow.

And here I just thought he was a crazy dude that really loved his grocery shopping.

The people of the bus. The people of Detroit. Full of surprises - and compassion.


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Holy DDOT Has Entered the 21st Century, Batman!

Amazing news!!!

First, on my way home this evening I saw Batman (in cape) riding his bike east across Woodward, north of downtown.  On his way to meet Robin for happy hour?  Beware bad guys?!  BOOM!  POW!  CHOP!  DRINK!

One Batman.  One Robin.  Two Wheels.

Second, DDOT has entered the 21st century!  Yes, they launched a text message service that allows you to find out when the next bus will arrive.  This is amazing!!!  Too amazing to believe, so I tested it immediately.  And guess what?  It worked!!!  So how does it work?

  1. Text the cross streets where you are to 50464 (message rates do apply).
  2. You will receive a text message back almost immediately (for real - I tested it out), that asks which direction you are heading.  Respond with your direction
  3. Receive a text message that lets you know how many minutes you need to wait until the next bus arrives.  
  4. AMAZING!!!
Kudos to DDOT for this step forward!  And here's to hoping that SMART will follow in DDOT's bus tracks...