By: MBRU | August 15, 2016

 

Memphis, TN— The Amalgamated Transit Union Local 713 hosted a town hall meeting on Saturday, August 13, 2016 to discuss how cuts to bus service and route consolidation negatively affect underserved communities in Memphis. 


The town hall was held at the Gaston Community Center on 1046 South Third Street, near the path of the old 31 Crosstown bus route. Severall community leaders an organizations were present. The conversation was facilitated by the Memphis Bus Riders Union.

Over 80 community members joined us for the day

The Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) represents MATA's bus and trolley operators, mechanics, laborers, and information specialists. In April, ATU Local 713 joined the Memphis Bus Riders Union (MBRU) in a campaign to increase city funding for buses, which resulted in a $7.5 million increase in MATA's budget this fiscal year. Now the two groups have set their sights on restoring service in areas like North and South Memphis, where they say cuts have most affected quality of life for black residents.

"It's just a lose-lose situation for the public when we've got to get out there and routes are constantly being cut," said local union rep Fred Williams.


 

Thousands of citizens in Memphis rely on bus service to get to work, school, medical care, and other daily needs. In the past decade, the removal of bus routes like the #31 Crosstown have disproportionately affected low-income and historically black neighborhoods like New Chicago and Riverside, where the need for public transit is most pressing.

"Anytime you remove infrastructure from a community, you kill the neighborhood, and then you force people into poverty. We need transportation, and we need these communities to be vibrant," said local union rep Terry Moss.

Check out the Local Memphis 24 Story!

Stay tuned for information about our next town hall in North Memphis! 

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