Transit Stories: Marcel Goudeaux-Stanley

Detroit, MI: Detroit People’s Platform

I am Marcel Goudeaux-Stanley, and I live just outside of Detroit. My nephews are twelve and fifteen years old and love to hang out with me and listen to music or talk about sports.

I went to Berklee College of Music and play keyboards and piano in a local R&B band. When I lived in Boston, I took transit everywhere the buses and trolleys came regularly. I didn’t have to wait to get to where I needed to go. But back here in Detroit, there is a big difference.

I have been riding the bus for about twelve years, ever since I was in a car accident. The good part is that it’s inexpensive and convenient. The bad is that I have to wait a lot longer to catch the bus and to get to where I need to go, but at least I can listen to my music as I ride.  

When I’m not rehearsing or listening to other musicians, I work in food service. I mostly use the Route 125 bus to go to work. It is only a ten minute drive but the bus stop is about a ten minute walk. The bus only runs once every thirty minutes so I leave my house at 3pm in order to get there on time for my shift at 4pm. What should be a short ten minute trip takes an hour.

The biggest problem is on the way home. The bus stop is right across the street from my job, but as soon as I leave work, if the bus doesn’t come the restaurant door is locked and there is no way to get back in. That means I have to wait another thirty minutes. There is no shelter, only a sign, and it is really cold waiting when the temperature is in the single digits.

On weekends, I like to go to restaurants or bars in Detroit to listen to different bands so I take the #125 and transfer to the #19 or the #261 or the #265. I’d really like buses to come more frequently on all the routes. That way, if you miss a bus or it doesn’t come at all, it’s only fifteen minutes until the next one. Otherwise, the trip home takes so long I sometimes have to pay for a $20 Uber.

I really like to try transit in different places like Chicago, New York, Washington DC, and Philadelphia. It would be great if Congress would pass Representative Johnson’s bill, Stronger Communities Thru Better Transit Act, so that cities all over this country, including Metropolitan Detroit, could have reliable, convenient, frequent public transit.  

About Transit Stories

Transit Stories” is a series of real-life experiences with public transit in the U.S. We feature the first-hand experience of public transit riders from across the country. From large cities to small towns, we will document the experiences of the millions of users of busses, trains, ferries, and other forms of public transit in the US. Public transit is essential to our communities, to cooling the planet, to advancing equity. Transit is essential to our very lives.

There is a unique opportunity for the country to make a historic investment in public transit funding to help the country build back better. 

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