Detroit adds flexible buses for more passengers, no change in rates

Detroit is a city on the upswing and now more residents are getting a lift as new buses were added to the DDOT fleet that will change the way you navigate through the city.

The Detroit Department of Transportation unveiled the new coaches Thursday. Designed to be safer and carry more people around the city, the 60 foot buses have two sections that bend around corners.

Carla Miller was waiting for a DDOT bus to arrive Thursday when she aired her one complaint about waiting for the bus: waiting for the bus!

"They take too long. Long wait." Miler said

Miller and countless others who use DDOT bus service may soon find those wait times decreasing. 

The buses have two sections and are longer than the current buses in fleet, the middle sections bend around corners, and they'll be able to transport 100 sitting and standing passengers versus the current 60.

"When you look at a Woodward corridor where we have 8-9,000 customers a day, we'll be able to get more on than with the current 40 foot buses." Dan Dirks with DDOT said.

The buses will make their debut after Labor Day to the Grand River, Gratiot and Woodward lines.

Between now and then? Training. Gene Hill will be training drivers to handle these new rides which are definitely different but so far, so good.

"A lot of the drivers thought they would have difficulties with that extra 20 feet. So far not an issue at all." Hill said.

In fact, driver Raphael Randolph said it's actually easier to drive the big bus.

"Easier to handle. I love the steering wheel it's like driving a truck." Raphael Randolph/receiving training on new DDOT bus

The new buses will also have more surveillance cameras and a police presence with 29 transit officers on and off the buses at all times.

And the ride won't cost anything extra. Officials say all bus rates stay the same. A grant was used to secure the buses and DDOT says as more buses are added to the fleet the older ones will go away