Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Money Concerns at MATA

Posted By on Tue, Jan 26, 2010 at 12:08 PM

Yesterday, at its regular January meeting, the MATA board talked about its upcoming budget, including possible cuts from city hall and the need for a new headquarters.

The transit authority's current headquarters on Levee Road in North Memphis were built on a landfill.

"We've incurred quite a bit of costs we didn't budget for: breaking of pipes, the building settling," said MATA general manager Will Hudson. "We're trying to maintain budget."

MATA officials hope to one day relocate to the Army Depot.


There was also concern that the city, in the midst of a financial crisis, would cut MATA's funding. The city of Memphis is MATA's only local funding body. In response to a recent court ruling, the city has been trying to cut $10 million from the current year budget.

"It the city reduces our budget, the state will reduce it as well, because of an agreement between the Tennessee Department of Transportation and the city," Hudson said. "If we have to reduce service any more, it's going to be devastating to MATA and its customers."

MATA cut routes last year, and Hudson says the transit authority had twice the number of buses in 1980 than they have right now. He also explained low ridership as a function of having fewer buses.

They are also looking at other ways, including online, to purchase the new FastPass.

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