Detroit has a reputation when it comes to public transportation, and it isn’t a good one.  Through underfunding and corporate sabotage, the Motor City’s transport system has been left behind in comparison to other major cities of its size. But is it really all bad?

Christina “Chrissy” Dubose is a native Detroiter who has taken it upon herself to not only promote Detroit’s public transportation system, but to actually use it and share her first-hand experience with those who may not know or may be unsure about riding transit in the Motor City. Using the tool of social media, Chrissy documents her travels around the city to show that MDOT isn’t just for getting to and from work. Throughout her uploads, she uses the bus and people mover to visit parks, stop at restaurants, and take her homeschooled daughter to new and exciting places outside of their house.

We recently got a chance to speak to Chrissy about both the interesting journey she’s endeavored, and about the good, the bad, and the ugly about Detroit transportation.

BLAC: What made you want to expose people to the Detroit transit?

Chrissy: In 2021, when we all experienced that flood, my car actually floated down Trumble. And when we found it, it exploded. (Insurance) cut me a check because I have full coverage, but because I owned my car there’s something that I didn’t know. During COVID, cars had gone up 46% in price. I had a 2019 (car) that was paid $16,000 in cash. They gave me a 15, 000 check, and I was like, wow, they’re going to be depreciating me only a thousand? Turns out, it was because that same car with doubled the miles was $24, 620.

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I was like, there’s literally a bus station outside my front door. Like there’s a bus station right where I live. I’ve never taken a bus in Detroit. I lived in Chicago, I’ve taken a bus before. But never taken a bus here. So why not do it?

Then I looked at how people online were documenting their travels around their own cities. There’s a few people, Black individuals in D.C. who document themselves and the they deliver food. But I don’t ever see a Black representation, whether man or female, talking about the bus, talking about it in the sense of good and the bad.

BLAC: You mentioned that you were taking transit in other cities. How would you compare Detroit’s current transit system to other cities you’ve been in?

Chrissy: So that’s one thing I hate about people when they compare it. I don’t think it’s comparable. We are so far gone and removed from transit. I don’t do when people are like “Oh my god, Detroit’s not the same as Chicago!” No shit. Like, duh. I don’t think there is one comparable and if I had to compare it, I would compare it to like, Smart, which is sad because smart the demographic is way smaller, but where its current state is, I wouldn’t compare it. It’s Detroit. The transit is horrible. We need to do better. Um, it’s not the worst in the world, probably, but I wouldn’t compare it to any other, any other place I’ve been to

BLAC: So if you were sitting down in City Hall or with Mayor Duggan, what would be some things you would say needs to be done immediately about Detroit Transit?

Chrissy: Actually listen to the people who are riders. If you want to grow your ridership, you need to invest in the people who already ride it so that they can better effectively communicate that to other people to get them to ride. Pay the drivers more money. Please add more coverage, especially in like all bus stops, all major bus stops. I’ve gone to major cities like New York, all bus stops have like those, I don’t know what they’re called, The little room things. All of stops should have a covering because I don’t know if anyone’s noticed, but we’re in Michigan 60% of the time it’s cold. Also, can we please take out the cloth seat cushions? Bed bugs are real. That’s why other cities have metal seats because, you know, bedbugs can live in the cloth.

BLAC: Now, what specific influence do you plan to have with your social media campaign? Is it simply to have more people ride the bus? Is it to just kind of expose what’s happening over there? Like what’s your end goal?

Chrissy: So my daughter’s on the spectrum, and they said she would never thrive in a city. Especially a city like Detroit, because we’d never be able to go anywhere. So I honestly want to inspire parents and get them to understand that the bus, yes, it’s not the best, but it really is a viable way to get around. You just have to, just like anything else if you’re a parent, plan. The number two aspect would be, just kind of being the voice for people who feel like transportation is always being ran by white suburban men. And so I’m actually a Black woman. who lives in the city and cares about transit.

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