First and foremost, we believe in amplifying the voices of those Detroiters who rely on the DDOT to survive. Broken though this system may be, there are countless folks who get out there each and every day to get where they need to go regardless of conditions. We wait in the rain and snow without bus shelters, in the dark without streetlights, and on unmarked corners where the bus signs have mysteriously disappeared. Sometimes we wait for hours, watching buses stuffed to the gills as they speed past us.
DDOT riders are the blood of Detroit through and through, and our needs have been utterly ignored. The Ditched By DDOT project aims to give DDOT riders a platform on which to speak publicly about our experiences and foster community support, in a time when our voices have fallen largely silent after decades of neglect.
Secondly, Ditched By DDOT believes in holding systems and institutions accountable for poor services and inequalities. Too often the brunt of the frustration over unjust and dysfunctional systems is directed at the workers on the front lines, instead of those privileged and powerful few who are calling the shots. Just as DDOT riders are made to put up with dysfunctional services, DDOT drivers face stressful, unpredictable, and sometimes unsafe working conditions. Riders and drivers alike are members of the Detroit working class, a group of people who face consistent marginalization from both government and corporate forces.
While capitalist development surges in the city center and contractors lay rail for the M-1 line from uptown to downtown, your average Detroiter is left in the dust wondering just where they fit into this new transit picture (and where on earth their bus stop has moved to). The state of the DDOT transit system is just another piece of the pie of longtime poor and working class resident disenfranchisement in the era of “New Detroit.” Ditched By DDOT urges the community to come forward and demand functional services now. We deserve better!
Do you ride the bus and feel that this statement does not accurately represent you? Email us with suggestions! firstname.lastname@example.org