Detroit Bus Service Resumes After Agreements Reached On Safety Protocols

Detroit, MI - Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan yesterday stood with the leaders of the three unions representing Detroit Department of Transportation Employees to announce that bus service will resume at 3:00 AM, Wednesday, March 18th.

Duggan started his morning at 6 AM, meeting with DDOT staff throughout the day listening to legitimate concerns they had about their protection and that of passengers, including the need for more rigorous bus sanitizing practices, limiting close contact between passengers and drivers and the need for locations along their routes for restroom breaks. 

For its part, the city will implement a series of changes (listed below) to protect the health and safety of DDOT Drivers and the public.

"This is what happens when the city and unions work together. The leaders of each of our unions took me through the buses and what they needed with supplies," Duggan said. "Between 6 AM and 2 PM we were able to come up with something they could all feel comfortable taking back to their members."

Understanding Between DDOT, AFSCME Local 312, ATU Local 26, and AFSCME Local 214 for protection of health of DDOT employees and the riders of the DDOT system

  1. Effective March 18th, all DDOT fares are suspended in order to reduce the extent of close contact between drivers and passengers.
  2. The Mayor’s Office will work diligently to make certain there are appropriate restroom facilities where they have been lost due to the recent business closure orders. Where replacement businesses have not yet been identified, temporary portable toilets with hand sanitizers will be installed by Thursday, March 19th.
  3. Effective immediately, the following full cleaning schedule and staffing will be implemented (for each terminal):
  • 1030am – 230pm: 10 new cleaning staff. Will provide 10 minute clean for average load of 40 buses
  • 530pm – 200am: 10 additional cleaning staff.  Will provide 30 minute clean for average load of 120 buses
  1. End of Line Cleaning Schedule effective March 18:
    1. 12 cleaning staff currently working one 12-hour shift will be increased to two 12-hour shifts of 20 cleaning staff each, providing 24 hour service
    2. End of line cleaning will be done on the following routes: St John, Fairlane Mall, Northland, 3rd and Michigan, Beaubien and Jefferson, Rosa Parks, 8 Mile and Gratiot, State Fair Transit Center.
    3. Cleaning protocols will require use of a new rag for each bus, with the sanitizing of high touch points with a 10 / 1 ratio disinfectant.
  2. The seat immediately behind the driver will remain vacant unless used by Transit Police officers.
  3. Drivers will be supplied a minimum of 2-5 pair of gloves and adequate number of disinfectant wipes at the beginning of each driver’s shift. We will provide masks upon request whenever available.
  4. Union/management coordination. Union leadership and management will work continually to address any health-related issues through the DDOT Safety Committee, which will be supported by the Mayor’s Office and the Detroit Health Department.

"We have nothing but the utmost consideration for our passengers. We didn't want to get sick and infect the public and we didn't want them to get sick," said ATU Local 26 President Glenn Tolbert. "We felt the previous measures the city had taken weren't enough but this pandemic is new to everybody. Now we've put some things in place that will allow us to go forward without any service interruptions. That's always our goal."

Joining the Mayor at the press conference were: 

  • Glenn Tolbert, President ATU Local 26 (Drivers Union)
  • Phil Douglas, President AFSCME Local 312 (Vehicle Maintenance Workers Union)
  • June Nickelberry, President AFSCME Local 214 (Operators Supervisors)
  • Hakim Berry, Detroit Chief Operating Officer 
  • Angelica Jones, DDOT Interim Director 
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