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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis Area Transit Authority announced Tuesday it is ending bus transit service in West Memphis, Arkansas, effective March 31.

The reason is a decrease in funding in the form of grants from partner organizations, MATA said. As funding decreased over the past few years, so did ridership.

The number of riders in West Memphis peaked in 2009 at 280,386, but had plunged to 76,000 by last year, MATA said.

The routes affected are Nos. 77 and 98.

Paul Luker, the City of West Memphis Director of Planning and Development, says he is disappointed that the bus service is ending for West Memphis residents.

“The bus service helped some of our most vulnerable populations access school, work, grocery stores, and banks. Unfortunately, funding for transportation has decreased which has left us in a powerless situation.”