Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris set to unveil plan for MATA improvements

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SHELBY CO., Tenn. (localmemphis.com) — Shelby County’s transit system, MATA, could be poised for expansion and improvements under a plan Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris is expected to unveil Wednesday morning.

For years, riders and community leaders have described issues with MATA; inconsistent funding, lack of bus routes and long commutes.

During Wednesday morning’s Shelby County Commission meeting, Harris plans to unveil his plan to address long standing problems.

Ahead of the meeting, Harris didn’t share too many details of his proposal in terms of costs and exact plans.

In a letter to the commissioners, Harris said MATA has a high demand for more rides that can only be accomplished with an increased revenue.

“It’s really important that we work hard to do what we can to expand reliability and frequency of our transit system when our transit system is the key to employment, to jobs to our economy,” Harris told Local 24 News on Tuesday night.

Harris said he spent months working on a new vision for MATA. He stressed the importance of public transit telling Local 24 its the key to fighting poverty in the county.

“[The plan] is consistent, yearly investment in transit that you can rely on for service improvements,” Harris said. “I think it’ll be a robust and interesting conversation and I hope wherever we land, we land at a place where we can improve MATA. We can reduce poverty. We can get people to work and we can preserve our shared environment and reduce emissions.”

Stay with Local 24 News for updates following Wednesday’s meeting.

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