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DDOT Pledges to Improve Service Amid Even Longer Commute Times

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No one likes a long commute, period. So much so that 14% of Americans have changed jobs in order to shorten their commute time. As for those living in the sprawling Detroit-metro area, commute times are getting longer while jobs within reasonable commuting distances are getting harder to find.

A recent study conducted by the Brookings Institution and based on U.S. Census Bureau data revealed that between 2000 and 2012, getting to and from work became increasingly difficult for people in almost every major metro area in the U.S., especially Detroit. Suburbanites didn’t fare much better either, and experienced twice as many losses for jobs within reasonable commuting distances. For the study, researchers closely examined how many jobs in each metro area were located within the average commuting time and distance for that specific area. In the Detroit-metro area, the average commute is 10.4 miles each way.

According to the study, those living near the Detroit-Warren-Dearborn metro area were among the hardest hit, as the study revealed the number of jobs within commuting distance fell nearly 26.5% between 2000 and 2012. Along with Cleveland, Detroit lost the highest share of jobs within commuting distance, while McAllen, Texas led in creating more jobs closer to the metro area within the same 12 year time period.

Detroit and its residents are known for their resiliency, however. The Detroit Department of Transportation (DDOT) recently announced its plan to hire over 100 additional bus drivers as part of efforts to improve its service and reduce commute times.

“We are making significant progress at DDOT and we have a lot of opportunity right now for individuals who have a Commercial Driver’s License or are willing to let us train them,” said DDOT Director Dan Dirk in a written statement. “Adding 100 additional bus drivers to our team would help us significantly toward Mayor Duggan’s commitment of having DDOT meet its published schedule as soon as possible.”

During a news conference in January that unveiled the first seven out of 80 new buses the city began using, Mayor Mike Duggan vowed that city buses would regularly be on time — for the first in nearly two decades — by the end of this year.

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