City Transformation, Neighborhoods, News, Transportation

Detroit’s bus service expands, gains 1,500 trips a week and more 24 hour lines

buses cropped

by Daily Detroit staff

In the Motor City, depending on who is doing the estimate, between 26% and a third of households do not own a car in the city of Detroit. That’s roughly the same percentage as Chicago or San Francisco – but we obviously don’t have the same transportation infrastructure.

Here in Detroit our comparably lackluster system often locks people into poverty as they reasonably can’t get to or from work without a car.

So what happens to transportation – especially the Detroit Department of Transportation (DDOT) – has a direct effect on hundreds of thousands of people’s daily lives.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, utilizing dollars he says were in the bankruptcy plan of adjustment, announced some large service changes including the addition of 1,500 more bus trips per week for DDOT in the shadow of St. John’s Hospital on Detroit’s east side.


There are three main points that were talked about. One has been previously mentioned, but bears repeating – the addition of a “Fresh Wagon” service to and from Eastern Market and into the neighborhoods. The other two are the addition of 24 hour bus service on nine routes to help riders who do not have a standard 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. work assignment, as well as five additional express routes to serve the neighborhoods and get people to where the jobs are within the city.

The city is in the process of hiring of 80 new bus drivers – 30 of which start work tomorrow. There also is an expected arrival of 20 new DDOT coaches (or busses) in spring 2017.


The remaining 50 new bus drivers are expected to be hired by the time the Phase 2 expansion begins in January 2017.

Here’s the breakdown of the new 24-hour routes, adding to the existing lines Woodward, Gratiot and Grand River:

Effective Sept. 3:

  • #14 Crosstown
  • #16 Dexter
  • #45 Seven Mile

 Effective January 2017:

  • #25 Jefferson
  • #37 Michigan
  • #48 Van Dyke-Lafayette


As we mentioned, there are also five new express routes that will help connect Detroiters to the city’s key job centers. The city says that users of these routes will see their commute time cut by up to 30 minutes in each direction. Two routes will roll out this Saturday, and three more in January of 2017.

Effective Sept. 3:

  • #95 Ryan Express – Connects to Downtown via East Outer Drive, Ryan, Nevada, Conant, Caniff, Lumpkin, Holbrook and I-75.
  • #96 Joy Express – Connects to Downtown via Evergreen, Joy and I-96.

Effective January 2017:

  • #80 Villages Direct – Connects to Midtown via Jefferson, Lafayette, Rivard, Russell, Wilkins, Brush, Canfield and Cass.
  • #89 Southwest Direct – Connects to Midtown via Bassett, Schaefer, Fort, I-75, Springwells, Vernor, Michigan, Trumbull, Warren and Cass.
  • #92 Rosedale Express – Connects to Downtown via Pembroke, Evergreen, Grand River and I-96

Another interesting development, though previously talked about, is the Fresh Wagon to Eastern Market. Although Eastern Market has a lot of of affordable and healthy produce, it’s generally tough for Detroiters who do not have a car or live outside of biking distance to access.

Fresh wagon

The Fresh Wagon aims to help solve that with trips from each of the city’s council districts on Saturday mornings, starting this Saturday, September 3.

  • Honeycrisp Route: 
    Pick Up Point 
    9:30am Cambridge Towers: Evergreen & 7 Mile
    Depart Eastern Market for return trip
    11:55am Russell & Wilkins
  • Fuji Route: 
    Pick Up Points 
    10:00am Northwest Activities Center: Curtis & Meyers
    10:08am Nicky D’s Coney Island: Livernois & McNichols
    Depart Eastern Market for Return Trip 
    12:30pm Russell & Wilkins
  • Gala Route: 
    Pick Up Points 
    10:30am Farwell Recreation Center: E Outer Dr & Eureka
    10:35am Hotline Cleaners: Seven Mile & Dequindre
    10:45am Cameron Court: Chrysler Service Dr & Hague
    Depart Eastern Market for Return Trip 
    1:00pm Russell & Wilkins
  • Ida Red Route: 
    Pick Up Points 
    8:25am Peace Lutheran Church: Warren & Chatsworth
    8:30am Bethany Lutheran Church: E Outer Dr & Chatsworth
    Depart Eastern Market for Return Trip 
    11:05am Russell & Wilkins
  • McIntosh Route: 
    Pick Up Point 
    9:00am Waterfall Church: Visger & Beatrice
    Depart Eastern Market for Return Trip 
    11:35am Russell & Wilkins
  • Granny Smith Route: 
    Pick Up Points
    7:56am YumYum Donuts: Warren & Greenfield
    8:00am Boys and Girls Club: Tireman & Grandmont
    Depart Eastern Market for Return Trip 
    10:35am Russell & Wilkins

If we haven’t made you go cross-eyed with details yet, there are also some routes that are going to be seeing some additions starting this weekend:

Effective Sept. 3:

  • #14 Crosstown – Extended to Warren & Telegraph
  • #17 Eight Mile – Expanded Morning and late night service 7 days a week

Effective January 2017:

  • #22 Greenfield – Expanded Morning and late night service 7 days a week
  • #25 Jefferson – More Frequent Service 7 days a week
  • #37 Michigan – More Frequent Service 7 days a week
  • #42 Mid-City Loop – This is a new route connecting residents to commercial corridors and major tran­sit routes via Manchester, Oakland, Beaubien, St. Antoine, Canfield, Second, Grand Boulevard, Rosa Parks, Webb and Hamilton
  • #49 Vernor – Extended to Michigan and Schaefer with more Frequent Service 7 days a week

– Reprinted with permission from Daily Detroit



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