Wednesday, June 28, 2017

MATA Board Approves New Version of 31 Crosstown Route

Posted By on Wed, Jun 28, 2017 at 3:49 PM

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The Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA) board of commissioners voted Tuesday to instate four new routes, including the 31 Firestone which will restore service to areas once served by the 31 Crosstown that was discontinued in 2013.

The new Firestone route will serve parts of New Chicago in North Memphis, but will not connect to South Memphis, like its predecessor, 31 Crosstown.

Members of the Memphis Bus Riders Union (MBRU) count this new route as a victory, but are still pushing to have the route return its service to South Memphis.

Justin Davis of the MBRU says residents of the Riverside community in South Memphis have expressed their need for a route that will connect them to major corridors, economic centers, and North Memphis.

"It's not only a big victory for residents of New Chicago, but for bus riders and supporters throughout Memphis who have been fighting for this important route since last year," Davis said. "At the same time, we will continue to push for a fully-funded 31 that has greater frequency, covers more of the service day, and serves South Memphis, especially Riverside."

Because of limited funds, 31 Firestone will be a demonstration route, which to continue must
maintain at least five boards per hour.

MATA's director of planning and scheduling John Lancaster says the route may be adjusted after December based on ridership patterns during the demonstration period.

Other new routes include one Lancaster says will "beef up service" in the area near the Airways Transit Center and allow for more efficient transfers, as well as one that will run from Downtown to the Agricenter International and offer a new "park and ride" service.

All of the new routes, exlcluding the 31 Firestone, are funded by the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement program.

Additionally, the board voted to adjust times and routes for 24 existing routes, including the 50 Poplar, 56 Lamar, and 44 Goodlett Ikea Way.

All of the revised schedules and routes, along with the new routes, which MATA officials say won't go into effect until August 6, are listed here.

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