Detroit’s Busses Can Be Good For Cities

BUSTaking public transportation in Detroit can mean a long wait for a rundown bus that doesn’t come on time.

But that’s changing thanks to a partnership between a startup and the Detroit Department of Transportation. Transit Labs, a company that uses data to make transportation systems more efficient, is in the middle of a one-year pilot program that’s analyzing how people move around the city, and where public transit is failing them.

Detroit’s transit system hasn’t changed in over 50 years, but in that time the city has gone through a massive transformation — its population has declined 63% since 1950. It’s finally starting to rebound from economic disaster and is taking a new approach to improving infrastructure.

“You hear all the bad stories about Detroit, but the transit system has great drivers, great mechanics and a solid management team,” said Dag Gogue, CEO of Transit Labs, which launched in 2012 and is based in Washington, D.C.

What the city doesn’t have is a comprehensive view of the entire network. That means there’s no way to look at community demand and match it with an appropriate schedule.

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