DDOT, SMART to launch unified payment system to cut hassle for Detroit bus riders

Riding a bus across metro Detroit should be a bit more seamless starting May 1.

That’s when the region’s two main bus networks — DDOT and SMART — are rolling out a unified payment system that will eliminate transfers, and backers say, push them toward more coordinated operations…

It’s the kind of service upgrade that transit advocates have urged and that metro Detroit residents have experienced in other more transit-connected urban areas. It’s also a step toward the kind of improvements envisioned in the failed regional transit proposals of recent years, and should answer critics who have asked for closer coordination between the Detroit Department of Transportation and Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation.