MATA Facing Layoffs, Route Changes from Budget Cuts

MATA Facing Layoffs, Route Changes from Budget Cuts

First it was Memphis police, then the fire department, now the Bluff City's bus system is facing drastic cuts.
MEMPHIS, TN (localmemphis.com) - First it was Memphis police, then the fire department, now the Bluff City's bus system is facing drastic cuts.

"We may end up laying off anywhere from 45 to 50 people," said William Hudson, President of the Memphis Area Transit Authority.

Hudson says MATA got hit hard during recent budget talks with the City of Memphis.

"It would be company-wide. It would be maintenance, trolley, it would be office, all inclusive," Hudson said.

The proposed layoffs represent nearly 10 percent of MATA's workforce.

MATA is also considering cutting a half dozen bus routes.

"If they cut a line, then it is going to be very hard to get back and forth, you are going to need a ride here, a ride, there, a ride everywhere," said Tiara Edmond.

Edmond rides the bus every weekday to and from school. She's studying to be an x-ray technician.

"I'm mad because I don't think they need to cut any more buses," Edmond said. "I would not be able to get back and forth to school at all."

More than 200 people packed a public hearing about the proposed bus routes on Tuesday night.

"Until we make sure that we provide them with a revenue stream they need to continue operating, we are going to keep seeing these cuts," said Bennett Foster, spokesman with the Memphis Bus Rider's Union.

Hudson, the head of MATA, says the board will vote on the proposed cuts when it meets on August 5th.

If approved, workers could start getting pink slips in late August.

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