Unfounded fears spanning multiple generations are hampering the progress of mass transit in Detroit. The automotive industry changed the psyche of Detroit society during its height and even upon pulling out of Detroit in the 70s then global outsourcing in the 90s – refused to heal the deep wounds made in the quest for automotive domination. As the world grows more globalized commuting across metro Detroit needs to be seen as socially and environmentally healthy. We need to celebrate the rolling communities of Detroit – our bus services.
The following guest post was written by Joel Batterman of MOSES, a Trans4M member.
A couple years ago, waiting in line at a hip Ferndale restaurant, I started talking to a cosmopolitan young woman who’d lived in a number of metro areas around the U.S. She said she’d taken public transit to get around in all of them – except metro Detroit. “It’s just not safe,” she said. “DDOT or SMART – I would never take either.”
At that time, I had been commuting to Ferndale from Detroit by the Woodward SMART bus for a while, and I had not been mugged, assaulted or otherwise endangered. The least safe part of my commute, in my opinion, was trying to cross Woodward Avenue. My fellow riders didn’t seem too concerned for their safety, either, as best as I could tell. They sure didn’t show much reluctance to tap away…
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