FOX13 rides with fed up MATA bus riders - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

FOX13 rides with fed up MATA bus riders

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

Bus riders fed up and frustrated over proposed cuts have called on city leaders to ride the bus, to see the people the cuts are  affecting.

As of Monday evening, no city leader has taken up on the offer.

FOX13 News, though, did ride Memphis Area Transit Authority Route 43 Elvis Presley Monday evening, a route that will be combined with Routes 10 Watkins and 31 Crosstown.

The combined route 42 could mean a more crowded bus, longer trips, and, for some longer walks to and from the bus stop.

Bus 43 from downtown to Elvis Presley is a busy route. It can make up to 12 stops a trip, and riders are constantly getting on and off.

Bus riders frustrated over proposed bus route cuts

"It could cost me my job and I just changed to working in Harbortown making $300 more a week," said a bus rider."I can't afford to lose this job. Likely I'll be written up a few times getting use to he new transportation if they cut the bus."    

"It would be hard for me to get to work on time because I have to be at work at certain times like 6:45 a.m., and then I will have to get up at like 4 or 4:30 in order to get there," said another MATA bus rider. "The buses don't run that early in the morning."

During a ride on Route 43 Monday, FOX13 News noticed it wasn't just those going to and from work who ride the bus, families going grocery shopping to get food for the week, young and old, going from one side of town to the other to visit friends or family, some going to doctors appointments.

Some on Route 43 just likes to ride around town. Not everyone who uses Route 43 thinks cutting the route is a bad thing.

MATA proposed route changes:

"As long as people still able to connect and get to where they need to get, it's not a bad thing. You just got to get up a little earlier and go a little further. Do what you got to do."

Most of the riders feel their lives being inconvenienced even more is a tough pill to swallow when they are the one's paying for the ride, and paying taxes for the bus service.

"Why y'all got to change what we paying for? I ain't worried about me paying taxes! I need my taxes to pay me back!"

"I don't think they care because they are not on the buses, they are not having to use the transportation."

If the cuts do happen, these bus riders say it's just one more thing they will have to deal with in a life already full of obstacles.

"I'll have to find some other alternative of getting back and forth to work because this is the one of the main buses for getting me to work," said another bus rider. "Where I catch the bus it's not going to stop anymore. I'll have to walk all the way over to Bellevue and that doesn't make any sense at all."

"I'm really going have to ride this bicycle and I'm getting too old to ride this bicycle that far," said another bus rider. "That's why I'm on the bus right now, so it's really going to effect me."

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

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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