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Will Detroit Privatize Bus And Lighting Systems?

DETROIT (WWJ) - In a highly anticipated speech, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing will address the city's deteriorating financial picture tonight.

WWJ's City Beat Reporter Vickie Thomas says sources are telling her that Mayor Bing is expected to lay out plans to privatize the troubled bus and public lighting systems. Here's what the mayor told her about those two departments:

"We don't have money, and this is not a new problem," Bing said. "I mean our bus system has had problems for the last 20 or 30 years. You go even to the lights in the city. It's been going on for the last 20 or 30 years, so if people think that we can fix the problem in a short period of time, it's totally unrealistic."

The two departments cost the city more than $100 million a year to subsidize.

Detroiter David Jefferson said he's all for changes to improve DDOT.

"The bus situation now is bad, like certain buses really take forever getting to us," he said.

Detroiter John Huston said Detroit should turn over operations to the suburban bus system.

"That's what they should do because SMART is on time and they're there, you know what I'm saying, they've got to get something else going, some new kind of program going or something," he said.

You can hear live coverage on WWJ Newsradio 950 and CBS, starting at 6pm.

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