By Charles Sercombe
Although Hamtramck was hit with some cuts in bus routes serving the city, there might be an alternative rolling in.
Last week, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing announced several cuts and changes in bus service. The plan calls for the complete elimination of route 24 on Holbrook and ending the route 12 Conant bus service at 11 p.m. on weekdays. On top of that, the wait time for the Conant route will increase from 35 to 50 minutes during the morning and evening peak hours.
Also serving Hamtramck is the Russell St. line, which has been eliminated during the weekends.
For those relying on the Holbrook line to connect with bus service on Woodward, the news is devastating.
But Hamtramck Director of Community & Economic Development Jason Friedmann said he’s working on partnering with the SMART shuttle service to replace the Holbrook line as well as expand into new routes.
He would like to see SMART shuttles take Hamtramck riders to Wayne State University, the New Center area, downtown Detroit and the Medical Center near WSU. Another possibility is offering a shuttle to Eastern Market on Saturdays.
The shuttles would run in the morning and late afternoon.
What are the chances of this happening?
“Pretty good,” Friedmann said. “We’re working to prove we have the ridership.”
That means he needs the public to contact him and say they’d take the shuttle. Friedmann said he will soon create a Facebook site, “Hamtramck Shuttle,” for residents to contact. For those who don’t have Internet access, you can call Friedmann at (313) 870-0294.
In the meantime, Mayor Karen Majewski said there is talk of holding a rally in front of Hamtramck City Hall to protest the cuts. The cuts are scheduled to take effect on Sept. 26.
(Are you a Hamtramck bus rider affected by the cuts? Call The Review at (313) 874-2100, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d like to hear your story.