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MATA holds second public meeting on bus route redesign proposal

The changes vary, from decreasing bus frequency to adding more connections on a route. A handful of fixed routes could be discontinued all together.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Memphis Area Transit Authority is reviewing new proposal that could redesign nearly two dozen bus routes. MATA held it’s second public meeting to discuss the potential changes.

The changes vary, from decreasing bus frequency to adding more connections on a route. A handful of fixed routes could be discontinued all together.

“You're yanking away services from people," said resident Johnnie Mosley. “You're losing the trust of people when you when you disconnect your bus routes away from them."

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

Johnnie Mosley joined the second virtual, public meeting by phone and spoke up for his community in Boxtown, route 38. It's one of MATA’s six least performing routes, According to data, the route averages about 30 to 35 riders per day.

“I know those are thirty people that are trying to get to work,” said Mosley. “Trying to get to the doctor’s office or to their next destination."

"We don't want to take any ridership away from anyone," replied John Lancaster Director of MATA’s Planning and Scheduling.

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

Boxtown is one of three communities with MATA’s new curb-to curb transit program called Ready! In the new proposal, Ready! would replace the fixed route.

But Ready! is a one-year pilot program, and some are worried that program could go away, too.

“You're banking on that, but you but you have no guarantee for future funding for the following year after you do your evaluation in 2022,” said Mosley. “That's my concern."

According to Lancaster, funding been a problem for years.

“We have no guarantee of any fixed route operational funding either,” Lancaster replied. “And as we've seen, it hasn't been increasing. That's a tough pill to swallow."

This discussion is not over yet. You still have time to weigh-in. The deadline to submit your feedback online, by mail or email is September 20th. A third, virtual public meeting is set for this Saturday, at 9:30am.

Comments sent via U.S. Mail should be addressed to:

Memphis Area Transit Authority,

Attention: November 2021 Service Changes Public Comment

1370 Levee Road

Memphis, TN 38108

Comments via e-mail should be addressed to “November 2021 Service Changes” in the subject line. Send to: publiccomments@matatransit.com.

The MATA Board of Commissioners will review and consider all comments received and address the service changes and effective date at the Board meeting which takes place on Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021. The Board meeting will be held virtually at 3:30 p.m.