The Detroit Bus Company (thedetroitbus.com) runs a loop through downtown Detroit, Greektown, Corktown, Mexicantown, New Center and a good chunk of Woodward Avenue. They're using a small fleet of decommissioned school buses which have been been pimped up with some graffiti style paintwork. Interestingly, the bus company is distinguishing itself from DDoT and SMART (who run what's left of Detroit's urban bus system) on a few fronts...
Firstly, the service (currently) only runs Fridays and Saturdays between 6:00PM and 2:30AM (although daily service is envisioned). Secondly, tickets cost a flat $5 for unlimited daily travel. Thirdly, the buses are equipped with transponders that provide a live feed of their location to the DBC website and smartphone app - so you don't need to head outside to hang around at that sketchy bus stop until it's approaching. And finally, for every passenger on the DBC, the company will provide a Detroiter with a free ride to work (although this program is still being developed and will roll out soon).
My impression of Detroit from the short time I was there is that the DBC is emblematic of a new wave of entrepreneurial activity going on in the city. It doesn't (yet) compete directly with DDoT, helping out people who want to get around town precisely when they would most likely depend on taxis or private cars. Unless you happen to be in the lobby of one of a handful of upscale hotels in Detroit, getting a taxi in Detroit is pretty difficult - especially if you're trying to call one in to a location out of the downtown core during the evening or weekend.
Thoughts? Any similar such ventures around the country?
Edited by jamesbrownontheroad, 23 June 2012 - 12:25 PM.