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Detroit receives $26 million to fix bus system

Sep 23, 2014

The Rosa Parks Transit Center is one of many bus stops in Detroit.
Credit Dwight Burdette / Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. Department of Transportation is awarding the city of Detroit $26 million to buy 50 new buses. 

Long wait times and broken-down buses have been a problem in the city, as it's struggled to keep its aging fleet in working order. 

"Like any good triage, you've got to tackle the biggest things first," Megan Owens said. Owens is executive director of Transportation Riders United, a non-profit that aims to improve public transportation in downtown Detroit. "The biggest things are having enough working buses, and having enough people to drive them." 

The 50 new buses, plus the Detroit Department of Transportation's recent driver hiring spree, are the first steps in the right direction for public transit. However, some worry that even 50 more buses won't be enough to make the current system function as it should. 

"It's not a silver-bullet solution," Owens said. "They still have a lot of work to do." 

Paige Pfleger, Michigan Radio Newsroom