Report: Fewer Memphians Riding Public Transit

(Memphis) Margret Key catches the bus in Memphis every day.

She relies on the city buses to make it from her North Memphis home to work.

However, the number of people catching public transportation is down, according to the American Public Transportation Association.

The amount of public transit rides skyrocketed last year to more than 10.5 billion rides across the country, while the numbers in Memphis took a mighty blow to the gut — dropping by 82,300 rides.

“There are a number of reasons that would contribute to our numbers being a bit under this past year,” MATA spokesperson Alison Burton said.

The main reason is because of a nearly 20 percent service cut in Fall 2013.

MATA said it is those cuts plus funding shortages that are contributing to the overall impact.

“The service changes that we’ve had to make over the past five to six years have been very difficult to make and had a negative impact on our riders.”

Especially those riders who live in areas where few people use public transportation.

“Where we’ve cut have been those services where we’ve had the least productivity. We have maintained that core ridership – those core routes are still in tact.”

But for people like Margaret Key, who’s locked in to working night and day across the city, fewer buses means more time on her feet and more time away from the people she loves.

“I haven’t bought a car yet, but I need one.”

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