D.S.R. Route #3
The Bassett bus route was initially launched by the DSR as a shuttle service on Monday, January 7, 1946. It
operated as a feeder line to the Fort-Kercheval streetcar line, which operated along Electric Avenue (six blocks
to the north). This new shuttle bus service provided a second means of transportation for that "post-war"
developing residential neighborhood located in Detroit's extreme southwest corner that bordered the downriver
cities of Ecorse, River Rouge and Lincoln Park.
The initial Bassett route traveled from Bassett and Outer Drive, via Bassett, Visger, one block north to Ethel, Miami,
back to Bassett, Schaefer Road, and S. Fort Street to Cornell (one block west of Schaefer). Headways averaged 12-14
minutes during peak hours and 24 minutes during the base. Downtown bound passengers were able to connect with
the Fort-Kercheval car line at Electric Ave. — two blocks south of Fort. However, when rail service along Fort was
converted over to motor coaches on June 23, 1949, S. Fort Street would become the transfer point to the new Fort
Street bus line.
Effective June 19, 1951, the Bassett route was extended north via Schaefer, Oakwood, Sanders, Dix and Ferney to
Ferndale (now Vernor Hwy), with weekday peak-hour trips to the Ford Rouge facility via Dix, Miller Road and Eagle to
Wyoming. As a result, this 5.1-mile long route now provided those residents of Southwest Detroit direct bus service to
the Miller Road side of the Ford Rouge complex without having to transfer.
Assigned out of the former Wyoming Terminal, the Bassett line in 1951 operated under 22-minute headways during
the A.M. peak, 15-minutes during the P.M. peak, 40 minutes during the base, with 22-minute headways after 9 p.m.
The line required three coaches during the peak, one during the base and two coaches during the evening hours.
Although weekday headways would improve somewhat by 1955, a decline in ridership would begin taking a toll on the
Effective May 1, 1955, the Bassett line became one of ten bus routes where Sunday service was eliminated due to
"little demand" for the service. Meanwhile, after the demolition of the John R. Fisher temporary housing project (see
below), the routing along Visger, Ethel and Miami streets was discontinued with through-service now being provided
along Bassett, effective Oct. 21, 1957.
Upon the arrival of the 1960s, financial troubles would mount for the DSR, with numerous city-wide cuts in bus
service. During the mid-1960s, Bassett service was cut to Monday thru Friday peak-hour only operation. Effective Jan.
2, 1968, the line was rerouted via Bassett, Schaefer, Oakwood, Fort, Miller and Eagle to Wyoming, with 15-minute A.M.
headways and 25-minutes in the P.M. The same route would also be followed after the Bassett line was discontinued
as a separate bus route on March 24, 1969, and became a peak-hour only branch service of the DSR's #17 Fort Street
line. This branch service would continue under DDOT (until Sept. 2012) on Route #19 Fort.
Today, peak-hour branch trips along the former Bassett route continues on the DDOT #25 Jefferson–Fort line,
although service via Miller Road had been discontinued by DDOT during the late-1980s.
BASSETT STREET FOOTNOTE:
Did you know??? ....Between 1943 and 1957, Bassett Street, between Visger and Miami, was closed to street
traffic because of the John R. Fisher Homes war housing project, which opened for occupancy on July 13, 1943.
The 536-unit John R. Fisher development was situated along a 38.9-acre tract in southwest Detroit, adjacent to the
City of River Rouge. The project, located at 11791 Miami, was bounded by Schaefer Highway, Marian Park, Visger
Road, and the City of River Rouge.
Built by the National Housing Administration and operated by the Detroit Housing Commission as a temporary project
exclusively for whites, the John R. Fisher Homes were later integrated after the adoption of a Sept. 26, 1952,
Detroit Housing Commission resolution to begin integrating public housing within Detroit.
Information for the above article compiled from data information supplied by Jack E. Schramm, courtesy of "DSR BUS ROUTES, 1945-
1974" ("Detroit's DSR, Part 3" -- May-June 1993 edition of Motor Coach Age magazine). Additional info from 1951 DSR Schedule
Analysis and Headway Reports courtesy of Tom Breeding, and 1957-58 and 1963 DSR Service Maps in the author's possession. Bassett
route-maps and transfer courtesy of the Stan Sycko collection. Information on the John R Fisher Homes supplied by members of
DetroitYES.com forum "Discuss Detroit" and from other online sources.
© 2009 – www.DetroitTransitHistory.info (TXV 12-28-09)
NOTE: MOST PHOTOS, IMAGES AND CHARTS HAVE BEEN REMOVED AND CAN BE VIEWED ON ORIGINAL WEBSITE PAGE
To visit original website version of this page see: www.detroittransithistory.info/Routes/Bassett.html
|The left map displays the route of the Bassett bus line during the 1950's, while the right map shows the final
route used before the line became a branch extention of the Fort Street bus line in 1969.
PRINTER–FRIENDLY TEXT VERSION: MOST PHOTOS, IMAGES AND CHARTS HAVE BEEN REMOVED FROM THIS PAGE