Big cuts to Detroit bus service could come as soon as Feb. 24, according to the president of the union that represents the city's bus drivers and mechanics.
Amalgamated Transit Union Local 26 President Henry Gaffney told The Huffington Post he has seen new schedules that eliminate bus routes, as well as nighttime coverage between 1 a.m. and 4:30 a.m. on weekdays in Detroit. He believes there will be additional weekend reductions as well. Those service cuts would lead to layoffs for 78 bus drivers and 60 mechanics.
A customer service representative for the Detroit Department of Transportation said information about service cuts would not be available until Feb. 22 or 23. She said DDOT would hold a regularly scheduled public meeting on Feb. 16. By law, any service changes require a public hearing.
The city has reportedly outsourced DDOT operations to management firm Parsons Brinckerhoff. But Gaffney says the company has subcontracted to another consulting company, Envisurage.
According to a work order obtained by Voice of Detroit, the city awarded Parsons Brinckerhoff a $2 million contract to handle the bus system.
Gaffney said the new management company has been extremely secretive about decisions.
"These people have been here two or three weeks and we haven't met them," Gaffney said. "They haven't even introduced themselves to the union yet."
A spokeswoman for Parsons Brinkerhoff did not immediately return request for comment late Thursday afternoon.
Mayor Dave Bing said in January outsourcing and restructuring DDOT would save Detroit as much as $10 million.
Mayor Bing's communications director, Robert Warfield, said Thursday he was unable to comment on the alleged DDOT cuts at this time.
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