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About DetSMART45

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    detroit, mi

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  1. Just singling out weekend figures for a minute, because this is very troubling ... and telling. Wasn't that long ago (maybe 3-4 years or so), but weekend service was increased -- notably in the Bronx -- because people were packing the buses especially on Saturdays, and it was quite a surprise to the MTA. It's no real surprise that the Bx6 had an increase, but for it to be the only bright-spot shows that in just a few years' time, the MTA has chased those Bronx customers away. It's probably too soon to tell how Byford's plan to increase off-peak and weekend service has fared (on the B17, B65, Q6 and Q69), but if the Bronx is an indicator, it's not looking like that part of Fast Forward is going to be expanded.
  2. How in the bloomin' hell can any local bus operator in NYC be running hot or get slapped for reckless driving when the average bus speed can't even get into the double-digits? Especially since @Axis was referring to the Main Street corridor, one of the many 'parking lots' in Queens? I'm taking a big risk in making this assumption, but I don't think the OP was on a slow bus at 2:17 am when deciding to air their grievance -- most likely it was 2:17 PM. We've all been on buses where the operator isn't even approaching a stale green and decides to poke along, leading to getting caught in the red-light cycle from then on down the road. That is what I think was happening in this incident. A major problem is that other drivers have no "respect" for the bus. Even though there's been a good generation of Detroiters that have been raised within the car culture (whereas previous generations would primarily rely on the buses to get around), there's still a residual overall respect for the buses within Detroit. DDOT drivers of the 70s-80s-90s were taught (unofficially, but "officially") that the buses owned the roads -- and the public basically followed that thinking as well. Part of the reason was that if your hooptie bit the dust, you knew you'd be relying on the buses to get you around. Plus the fact that you knew you weren't going to win in a bus-and-your-little-car game of chicken. Even today along some of the busiest Detroit streets, when a DDOT bus is looking like it's going to have to slide through a stale green or late yellow/red light because it's going to pull-into a stop, people cede the roadway. Plus DDOT operators have the police on their side: One time, an operator had the right signal on before going through an intersection (going eastbound) on a late yellow (to pull in for a stop with about 8 people waiting, plus others going to get off). Woman westbound decides to slide through light doing a left turn in front of the bus on that yellow (just missed clipping her ass). We get through the light and into the stop, DPD comes through intersection from the north before a full green, flips overheads on, pulls woman over. We all watch while people boarding finish paying their fare, and you could just tell that chick was not going to have a good day from that point on.
  3. Amen, bro, amen. Busiest DDOT route used to be that way with bunching galore, now it's a very rare occurrence -- and it's just like your MTA routes, with pick-up/drop-off at 98% of the stops the entire length. All about "attitude" all around -- farebeating is tolerated, bus operators don't care because they're getting paid, supervisors look the other way, all the complacency and the "not my job"-syndrome, even when practically everything nowadays centers around customers and retaining them. "Works" at the MTA because, for lack of a better phrase, "they're too big to fail." Let me tell ya, pre-bankruptcy when the DDOT routes got HACKED to death (and then through bankruptcy), customers simply WALKED AWAY -- and it wasn't until Mayor Duggan (who actually ran a bus system--SMART) came in, KNEW how important buses were to a vibrant city, and ADMITTED PUBLICLY how people were let down for things to change. Brought in his successor at SMART to right the system, and made it a PRIORITY that changes WERE going to happen. There's absolutely no excuse for what you're describing to occur, especially at 2pm on a weekday (surmising). Until the MTA simply implodes and someone with REAL experience comes in, it's sad to say but this cycle is not going to end. Today, over 85,000 people a weekday (on average) use DDOT. A mere 4 years ago, it was under half that. That's what happens when the public knows they can depend, once again, on their bus system. (And once you factor in the minor population gains during that time, it's practically ALL from the same residents from 4 years ago to today.)
  4. Your exact words above, for anyone who missed them. The last sentence gave it away, in my estimation, since you're attempting to justify why people wouldn't pay. Couple that with your second sentence, where it appears you're injecting your own experience. Why else would you just off-handedly "make-up" a scenario such as that when nobody else in the thread related some such personal experience? Hey, if you pay all the time, you got nothing to take offense to. But judging by your reaction (and more importantly, your wording in the original post), I'm smelling something different. And it appeared I wasn't the only one. (Make sure you also consider all the other forum members who might have not chimed-in like I did as well.) Since you're new here, I'll cut you some slack. But it doesn't make any diff to me whether you're a n00b or a senior, if I smell bullshit (and my very experienced nose with all of its years of mileage can get it in not even a half-whiff), I'll call it and let the chips fall where they do.
  5. Surprising when the @Via Garibaldi 8 crew has logged all sorts of MIAs and late buses that would piss anyone off into using anything BUT the MTA. Another clear example that the books are cooked. Stick a fork in -- this puppy's done. Irick's going out in a blaze of glory. (Counting his pension on all your current and future Metrocard scans.)
  6. The bolded section (and your further comments) cement my distant observation that PEOPLE DON'T G-A-F (bottom line) and they'll do anything to keep doing criminal activity -- even walking outside a "fare enforcement zone." And, really, what happens if you get one of those "summonses"? Have to show ID? Well, we all know (or have been told) that it's just SOOOOOOOOOO prohibitively costly for 'poor' people to get IDs, yet somehow all those same people seem to be able to buy cigarettes at Rite Aid/Walgreens (Duane Reade, for you NYCers) especially since corporate-dictates have recently gone out that ALL "vice" purchases have to be with ID and prove you're over 21. So, show that ID to get your smokes, but then say you're too 'poor' to have one when collared for fare-evasion. -------- See how that works? So you actually get a summons. You skip paying/going to the Brooklyn TAB bureau. Does a warrant get issued for you, like if you're driving a car, get cited for speeding, you flip the court the bird (not show up/pay), and they hunt you down? Heh, probably not -- especially since if you're collared in Manhattan, the DA has actually said, "It doesn't matter. Maybe if you kill someone, we'll add that you skipped paying, but just go on your way. It's no problem with us." And then there's the subway/bus operations, where nobody says anything anyways. Position yourself toward the 45-foot mark (artic route)/30 foot mark (regular route) at the stop, wait for the bus, get on once the back door opens, and give the "hood-look" like you're some tuff-guy (even though everyone's in their own little world, sucking up 'free' WiFi, listening on their own 'free' Pandora stream). Yeah, nothing really stopping you at any point in this game. This "enforcement" is going to go down in flames. Mark my words.
  7. In this day and age, the figures should be the figures, no salt added. STOP giving them any leeway in excuses -- THEY have made people want to use anything but the PRODUCT they are selling, plain and simple. And, more importantly, the MTA should be held to account for doing such. (They really ARE, but nobody wants to acknowledge that fact.) You "youngsters" might only know of "New Coke" because of some Netflix series. But, let me tell ya, when that actually happened, Coca-Cola took a WHOLE LOTTA SHIT for their f**k-up (pre-internet, natch) by shareholders, and most importantly, the buying public. No "oops we misjudged" or "Take those figures with a grain of salt, we're doing fine." Plain and simple: THE MTA LOST CUSTOMERS and if they were like Coca-Cola, they would actually "feel it." Since they're a "government entity," they can spew any type of bullshit and people will look the other way. THAT is what they count on -- NOT getting better in any way, shape or form -- due to that shield. Do some reading on the former USSR, especially within the transportation-realm. You're not far from it, Komrade.
  8. You know what point I was trying to get across, and just using you as a "reference point," so to speak. But good to see that SOME of the bus operators actually follow policy (cat probably got a ride free on next bus -- and that's the problem).
  9. Brace yourself, fellas, truth incoming without a filter .... TBH, I would have let this slide, because while I was proofing/finishing my "diatribe" the notification of "Oh, someone has a response" came in. But then after my response posted, I see this panty-ass bullshit coming through .... something snapped. And quite honestly, there SHOULD HAVE BEEN a whole lot more "snaps" similar to mine upon reading that, and yet everyone kinda walked the other way, like how people see someone puke on the floor but then act like "I didn't see that, sucks to be someone who skids on it." See any "upvotes" or other giggly symbols to my response (or the long one regarding farebeating)? BUT, there's plenty of "nodding heads" out there -- however, COMPLACENCY rules the day. Guys, I don't have any axe to grind in anything I comment on here. It's your city, f**k it up however you want, I can just laugh from afar -- with a healthy, "Well, get a Purple mattress, because you've made your own bed, might as well get comfortable (according to their commercials)." All of you, in fact, ENABLE the actions of the @Nova Fly Guys out in your midst because you don't want to speak-up against this sort of crap -- which YOU will be in fact paying for. (Tried to show you how Walgreens/Duane Reade makes you pay more because they can't be "bothered" to protect THEIR OWN bought and paid for merchandise, but shift those costs onto YOU, their customer once it's stolen. Blind eye, once again.) I'm sure some of you get a bit dismayed when @BM5 via Woodhaven does an almost "forensic" analysis of the schedule changes, and you see your route get cuts applied to it. But you don't bat an eye when a flood of people barge through the back door of a bus without paying. Don't start a big bitch-fest on here when fares go up or service is cut. YOU have tolerated/enabled it, live with the consequences.
  10. Both observations are basically right. Oddly, SMART does such route changes and never does public hearings, while DDOT may tweak routes but still holds public hearings because they're also including other headway changes. The DDOT hearings I've been to have always had limited push-back from residents to any changes they want to make -- in fact, most of the time people are elated. So right now, they're probably fielding any complaints, and (if they're smart) watching the customer counts at each stop, so that if there's any negative reactions/numbers they can revert back.
  11. OK, so I guess you also shoplift from stores, right? "I don't think that should be $8.00! I buy enough stuff from here regularly, I'm entitled to take this because this price is just unfair." Except that people who actually think that have MADE that product carry that $8.00 price tag because of people stealing. See it for real: Walk into a Walgreens/Duane Reade -- "corporate" policy lets anyone steal and walk away scot-free, while prices get raised/stores closed -- and everyone else pays the higher prices. From January 2018 in Manhattan: So if you can't get proper service and you're late in the future because the MTA cuts service, you only have yourself to blame.
  12. In this case, however, it's like trying to staunch a sliced carotid artery with a Band-Aid -- you've done something, at least, but the patient's going to die anyway. So, let's point to the obvious: the neighborhood. Now before any of you want to start doing an AOC, let's agree that in certain areas crime does actually occur more (and is tolerated) because of lacking police presence. But farebeating has become so "accepted" that I'd even venture a guess that 4 people could do the same thing up in @Via Garibaldi 8's stomping grounds, and be residents to boot. IIRC, when this "crackdown" began, the Post had an article about cops "securing" exit gates at a couple subway stations, and talked to a few peeps. One of which freely admitted he farebeat -- and he wasn't someone "scraping by," trying to eke-out $2.75 from a meager hourly paycheck: he was obviously someone "of means" outfitted in a nice suit and tie. This opinion piece in the Post today talks exactly of that type of scenario that was afflicting BART. Quite honestly, BART's focus on farebeating -- while it had become a problem -- is also misplaced when the major, glaring problem affecting it is also due to the excessive "permissiveness" of San Francisco itself: its homelessness and drug-use coddling policies. Many BART station areas are almost "no-go" zones because of this. (And this "permissiveness" has led to roaring success of the "Where's the Poop?" app, the developers of which might have done it for just shits-and-giggles, but even with their finger-in-the-eye shaming of San Francisco officials, nothing's changed.) BART got away with using deterrence, by using "civilian" employees in orange vests primarily, with police as back-up. Police did get overtime, but when offset by not only the fines collected but also the calls-for-assistance not generated due to stations becoming more "orderly"/law-abiding, as well as the increased fares collected, things became better. The writer references to San Francisco using the NYC-originated "Broken Windows" practices to tackle their farebeating problem. Since NYC has abandoned that approach, and MTA farebeating has become an almost unstoppable monster (due to permissiveness), it's time for a new approach: the Board-Up-the-Windows policy. There needs to be a definite police presence through both uniform and plainclothes, and the key being: criminals need to be prosecuted and those cases presented very publicly. That will reinforce the idea that you will be caught and prosecuted, so that even someone who regularly does pay fare, if they even briefly entertain the notion that "I'm gonna skip paying, I'm probably not gonna be caught", it'll be something they regret. By doing exactly what I said before (yeah, the fareboxes overheating due to extra Metrocard dips and the eggheads being boggled was an injection of humor): Uniforms on the buses at the back doors exiting before the customers and acting as sentries, police cruisers following buses and catching people in the act at bus stops, sting operations like what they do with hookers and johns using the zip-cuffs and hauling farebeaters off to a booking area at subway stations-- major parts of Board-Up-the-Windows. Get the MTA to put on the ad-rails of the buses and subways posters of "$2.75 or $100: Pay now or pay later (with a criminal record)" as well as on the bus screens, make announced temporary service cuts on a rotating basis (I know, that does actually happen through bus bunching, MIAs, and the Delays/Service Changes of the subways already) saying "This is what happens when people don't pay fare. Want more of it?" I know that might sound pretty off-the-wall/extreme, but many cities announce via the radio/TV when and where they're setting up drunk-driving checkpoints -- and they STILL catch plenty of people. Point is, farebeating has gotten to an uncontrollable apex. Nobody, practically, has any "fear" of any consequences due to all the permissiveness that's allowed (remember, good ole Cy Vance says he's not going after them in Manhattan -- and he's supposed to be enforcing the laws that are on the books). Hell, you can now pee practically on a cop's shoe, re-zip and go about your day. The windows are now gone and the squatters live there. Time to board up the holes, eradicate the problem, then put new ones in and make sure they're not re-broken.
  13. Since the rear door boarding is the biggest problem -- somehow missed by all the "smart" people getting paychecks at not only the MTA, but the NYPD/MTAPD -- simplest solution at this point is to actually put two uniforms on the buses to "pop-out" ahead of the crowd from the rear door(s) and basically play sentry duty. Then re-board and go on down the route. Could also be like the DDOT Transit Police from the DPD and have a cruiser actually following the bus along the route. Watch for the crowds, chirp the siren at a stop, put the overheads on, pop out and start taking names. Dashcam/bodycam footage available too. Naturally the fareboxes would go bonkers with all the extra Metrocard scans, and the MTA number-crunchers would be scratching their heads when looking at those reports.
  14. Found it quite funny last night with the Blackout how inept the MTA was. According to the many reports, things went dark right around 7:00 pm, and naturally, people were flooding social media with their own information. I didn't notice it until opening the computer at around 8:30 pm, and went to MTA homepage. Subway lines (except and IIRC) had the same generic message under whatever warning message of "We've been informed of some problems at stations of electric problems", and until 9:06 pm, the Manhattan buses were only with the "Service Change" on the widget. Then, the message of "Delays" was put up and an overarching "All Manhattan Local, Limited, Select and Express buses are running with delays due to a power outage." Didn't even bother to snoop around on BusTime to look at the carnage. But to think for basically two hours, the MTA wasn't getting any feedback from their operators, road supervisors, dispatchers (whatever you call the doofuses standing on the streets) to relay out? Was going to try the various MTA social media accounts, but, oddly, the "old" MTA site doesn't have anything listed (from the link at the bottom of the page), and the "new" site only has Instagram ones, no Twitter or Facebook links.
  15. Good example of not keying things correctly. I think there is a way for "local pronunciation" streets to be done via microphone-to-computer. As an example, one of our major streets is GRATIOT. It's pronounced "GRAH-shut" (with short 'a' like 'apple'), but is frequently mispronounced by non-Detroiters as "GRAH-tee-ut". The 'Clever dude' recites it properly. Here's another example of not keying things right. SMART only serves Detroit and Downtown along main corridors (closed-door, drop-off southbound/pick-up northbound) during weekday Peak times, except for the FAST-Limited Stop routes on Gratiot Av, Woodward Av and Michigan Av, operating to/from Downtown 7 days. On the 461/462 Woodward routes, southbound at three major transfer points, DDOT route transfers are not announced; HOWEVER, on northbound routes they are (Mack Av: 31 and 47 [even though the 47 only during weekday Peak times], Warren Av/Wayne State University: 8, and Trowbridge St: 38 [southbound stop at Collingwood St not announced]). Another thing that's interesting is, SMART has become enamored with Facebook-ing about how their FAST routes can get suburbanites to events/festivals in Downtown Detroit (which is noble, granted). Yet somehow along the Woodward Av corridor -- a hotbed of activity since it's been overhauled, and the centerpiece of the comeback of Detroit -- the 'Clever dude' isn't used to inform customers of the points of interest at the stops being served. Even though DDOT has an antique AVL system, the Local Route 4 announcements point out the following (and have been for almost 10 years) at the same FAST stops [shuttling those suburbanites]: Baltimore St--DDOT: "Exit next stop for Amtrak Station"; FAST: silence (could be the same or "New Center area" could be added Warren Av--DDOT: "Transfer connection to Route 8, Warren. Exit next stop for Wayne State University"; FAST: silence, same could be announced, as well as adding "Detroit Cultural Center", since the stops to the north are announced as Cultural Center as well as "Detroit Main Library" on Route 4 Mack Av--DDOT two blocks north: "Exit next stop for Detroit Medical Center"; FAST: crickets again In all of these cases, the system is not the problem. The people programming it are responsible for the errors and not exploiting its full capabilities.

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