D-DOT Route #96
In 1992, DDOT management announced that the following eight bus routes; Baker, Gratiot,
Jefferson, Joy Rd., Michigan, Oakland, Vernor and Woodward, would no longer terminate
downtown, but would now be combined to form four new routes. These lines were to provide DDOT
passengers with non-stop "through-routing" service in-and-out of the downtown area.
Effective on Saturday, September 5, 1992, DDOT routes #27 Joy Road and #49 E. Vernor were
combined and through-routed out of downtown. This newly combined route would now be known as
Route #96 JOY-VERNOR. Service would operate from the Redford Plaza near Telegraph & Chicago
on the far west end, to the Eastland Shopping Center on the east side.
Despite the numerous problems encountered during the mid-seventies after the combining of the
Michigan and Gratiot routes, DDOT management was determined to implement this combining of
routes on a much larger scale. Consequently, numerous service problems were encountered with the
operation of the new routes being assigned to two different terminals. Unpredictable coach and
manpower shortages, compounded with a lack of communication between the terminal locations,
resulted in numerous sporadic gaps within the service.
However, the combined routing arrangement didn't last long. The service was discontinued, for the
most part, after DDOT and SMART joined forces in a cooperative (but short-lived) route swapping
project. Effective on Saturday, June 25, 1994, SMART took over operation of DDOT's Michigan and
Jefferson routes. As a result the Gratiot & Michigan and Woodward & Jefferson combined
routing was separated.
The #90 Baker-Oakland and #96 Joy-Vernor line separation followed a year later, on June 17,
1995, but this time resulted in the former #3 Baker (W. Vernor) and the #49 E. Vernor routes being
combined. This created the new "through-routed" route #49 Vernor line.
This newly combined DDOT route resulted in both W. Vernor and E. Vernor streets -- for the first time
in the city's transit history -- being serviced by the same bus route.