Bus riders frustrated over proposed bus route cuts - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Bus riders frustrated over proposed bus route cuts

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If you don't have your own transportation, in the city of Memphis the bus is the best option.

"Right now I'm already 15 minutes late, so if they make any more changes, I'm looking at an hour or 30 minutes late," said Memphis Area Transit Authority bus rider Tyrone Wilson.

The heated reaction from bus riders over the proposed budget cuts by MATA seemed to escalate, as the possible reality of few to no options starts to settle in.

MATA proposed route changes: http://content.foxtvmedia.com/whbq/ProposedServiceChanges2013-webbooklet.pdf

"I'm disabled right now, legally blind and I can't drive, plus I'm on a fixed income, so I can't afford to drive a car and this is my only mode of transportation," said Lonnie Collins, MATA bus rider.

Six bus routes are on the chopping block - 6 (eliminated), 10 (combined), 15 (eliminated), 31 (combined), 43 (combined), and 58 (eliminated). Thousands of daily riders say some of these routes are major when it comes to getting to seeing family, getting home, to school or work.

"About an hour and a half to Hacks Cross is a long, and it's going to hurt us bad," bus rider Antonio Tucker said. "I don't know. We have to figure out another way."

Many bus riders say because of various situations, a lost license or car is broken down, without MATA their options for getting to their destinations are slim to none.

"I'm going to have to talk with my boss to see if I can get my schedule changed so I can be at work on time," Wilson said. "Hopefully MATA makes some changes to where it suits the individual trying to get to work and be there on time."

It's a budget shortfall which is causing MATA to propose cutting several routes. MATA President William Hudson is hoping the cuts will improve service and eliminated duplication in routes.

Even after voicing their concerns over the proposed cuts, riders are worried and wondering if anyone is listening.

"A lot of opinions don't count with certain things, but as a taxpayer we're paying for this ride. They need to listen to our opinion," Tucker said.

If MATA shuts the door and leaves Tucker without transportation, he said he will likely purchase a bicycle or walk.

"I have to buy a bike or put these size 11 down on the concrete to get there on time," he said.

The Memphis Bus Riders Union is hosting another forum on Wednesday, Aug. 7, at the Central Train Station downtown at South Main Street and G.E. Patterson Avenue at 3:30 p.m.

MATA's proposed changes go into effect 20 days later on Aug. 25.

Bus riders plan action against city council

Uproar over MATA cuts, route changes

MATA proposing cuts to bus, trolley routes

MATA looking at cutting several routes

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