Officials considering overhaul of Detroit bus fare structure

Overhaul would come with increased fare

DETROIT – For many people, the bus is the only way they can get around Detroit.

For years, one of the biggest complaints about the bus system is how confusing fares can get when passengers are switching buses.

There's a push to overhaul the fare structure, but it comes with something that isn't sitting well with some people.

Hundreds of thousands of people ride and depend on the bus system every day. William Gund is one of those people.

"I rode the bus for, like, two years straight," Gund said.

It's a process he had to learn. Which route to take? Which bus will take him from point A to point B? Remembering all that can be confusing, he said.

"If you don't catch the bus, you're kind of confused a little bit," Gund said.

“Right now, the fare system is extraordinarily confusing.  There are over 25 different fares and we’re looking to reduce that to six,” said Councilman Scott Benson. 

Benson said one way to cut out the confusion could be coming soon, but with it would come big changes.

The Detroit Department of Transportation is proposing fare and route changes, which they hope would make the system easier to understand.

“We’re also looking to have regional options and right now we don’t have 24 hour pass, a seven day pass and a 31 day pass. So we’re looking to implement all of these things,” Benson said.

But with those changes would come a price increase.

The base fare of $1.50 would go up to $2. Benson said the price increase would be worth it because the proposal would cut off the multiple transfers from bus to bus and would have the buses running longer to accommodate people who need the bus later in the day.

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