A note from Stephen Hargreaves after our conversation last night about the bus system in Detroit and possibilities for cross-border transportation… the image above is of a different Detroit map just to give some reference. On the map Stephen mentions, the routes go far beyond Detroit’s city limits.
Check out the “System Map”, where the stylized “s” appears is the Rosa Parks
Terminal. The Transit Windsor bus delivers you to that terminal and from
there… Detroit is your oyster.
Monday night we met with some new friends from Detroit and had an amazingly good conversation about some of the very specific differences between our two cities. Maybe unsurprisingly, much of what we perceive about each other’s cities isn’t entirely correct, and it is exactly those strange assumptions about these two border cities that continue to make us interested in working on cross-border projects.
So, the idea is still fresh, but we’re imagining a route of travel based on the existing public transit infrastructure that can make it much less daunting to move between these two cities and experience what both of them have to offer on a more regular basis. We’re going to start charting these potential routes based on exact schedules of the bus systems in both Windsor and Detroit, to simplify the process of making the cross-border trek.
We’re also imagining greeting committees on both sides of the border and we anticipate eventually making these routes an open kind of thing, wherein if you wanted to head to Detroit from Windsor on a Saturday you would know the exact bus lines and their arrival / departure times at a number of destinations (good restaurants, cafés, interesting architecture), and maybe you might even catch up with other folks on the same adventure.
It’s about looking at this area under different terms. We’ve often talked about just how local Detroit is to Windsor, given its proximity, and yet crossing the border can still seem to be a daunting task for a variety of reasons. So, instead of talking about that locality, what if we thought about the many other places we might travel on a regular basis. Often, when traveling, you have someone to meet you on the other side of the car ride or plane trip and it’s that relationship that can often making traveling a lot easier. So, if you had someone to meet you on the other side of the Detroit River, maybe it might make that bit of travel easier as well.
On a recent trip to New York City, I had the pleasure of seeing The Eskalators play in Brooklyn apartment, during a three day, permit-less, rooftop and backyard music festival, Hillstock, that they apparently also put on! I had no idea who they were, or what they were going to sound like, but their high energy and the fact that their band consisted of 15+ members caught my attention.
After the show I began doing some research on The Eskalators, and discovered that they’re notorious for organizing guerrilla subway shows! The above video is from their 4th subway show, and as you can see, not only do they completely claim the space with their music and presence, they also cover all of the subway advertisements with homemade banners and sheets of coloured paper, and also engage all the other subway passengers by having them sing along, or play provided bazookas. They also replaced the “Your next stop…” message with “Your next stop is ‘shut the hell up,’ and the transfers are ‘don’t get off the train.'”