DDOT Launches '415' Plan To Bring Frequent Bus Service On Four Most-Used Lines

The Detroit Department of Transportation is rolling out its new "415" plan Monday, promising bus service every 15 minutes on the city's four busiest routes.

The new "415" policy affects weekday service between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Dexter (Route 16), Grand River (Route 21), Gratiot (Route 34) and Woodward (Route 53). DDOT will also offer increased service to those lines after 6 p.m. These four routes account for 34 percent of DDOT's ridership.

Earlier this month, DDOT CEO Ron Freeland told The Huffington Post the department was increasing bus service on those routes to "accommodate customer demand." Under the new plan, fares will not increase.

Last week, the advocacy group Transportation Riders United gave DDOT a D- on its bus service "report card." TRU found riders received on-time service on the city's eight busiest bus lines only 63 percent of the time, a slight improvement from the 50 percent timeliness reported last fall.

Wait times may decrease on the "415" routes, but riders are seeing less service on the city's other bus lines. In February, DDOT announced a series of major cuts that reduced weekday and weekend coverage on most routes and eliminated overnight bus service entirely.

The city is looking to save as much money as possible and has outsourced the department to private management. On April 23, Mayor Dave Bing's administration proposed a reduction in DDOT's city subsidy from $55.6 million to $43 million for the 2012-13 fiscal year, raising the possibility of further service cuts.