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MATA Board of Commissioners set to vote on bus route re-design next week

If the vote goes through, riders could see these changes in November.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Dozens of bus routes around the city could be changing or completely cut out. The choice is in the hands of Memphis Area Transit Authority’s Board of Commissioners. They're getting ready to vote on a new proposal.

RELATED: MATA holds second public meeting on bus route redesign proposal

"It's not something that we take lightly," said MATA CEO Gary Rosenfeld. "And it's not something that we want to rush through either. I would say probably 6,000 to 7000 boardings are affected one way or another by this change."

Some buses won't run as often. Some routes will expand. At least three routes could be discountinued all together and replaced with a one-year pilot program, called Ready!

You can find the list here.

RELATED: MATA's Ready! buses hit the road for free curbside service

Several riders have voiced their concerns, during public input meetings, letters, and emails to MATA.

“You're losing the trust of people, when you just snatch their bus route away from them," said Johnnie Mosely, a Boxtown resident.  

Their comments will also be presented to commissioners before the vote.

“Everything that we do is based on a plan,” said Rosenfeld. “Whether it's how to spend capital money, how to spend operating money, how to make changes, even the process of making changes comes from a plan."

It's a lengthy process, that MATA does three times a year. According to data from MATA, the fixed-routes at risk of being cut have fewer riders.

“We look at routes that are under performing in terms of a standard, naturally, those are going to be suspect for any type of change, for a couple of reasons,” said Rosenburg.

With a bus driver shortage, lack of funding, and a change in rider habits, According to Rosenfeld, the goal of this redesign is to improve ridership.

RELATED: MATA working to steer towards new hires during staff shortage

"It's a process that we have to go through,” said Rosenfeld. “We have to ensure that we are spending tax dollars wisely."

If the vote goes through, riders could see these changes in November.