As part of the Memphis 3.0 comprehensive citywide plan, transit has been highlighted as one of the most desired improvements for the metro area. Planners are asking for your thoughts in a new online survey.
Multiple organizations in Memphis are working together to rethink how public transportation is being done in the metro area and are coming up with some alternatives. The city of Memphis, MATA, and Innovate Memphis are working together to make sure the process is in constant contact with you about what values should inform how those plans are made.
That’s where you come in. A new survey has just been launched that will allow you to tell planners what you think the priorities should be in this process. Is it more important to get the most people access to the system? Or is it more important to make sure to get the highest ridership with the most effective routes at the highest frequency? Or what mix of the two is right?
This comes as Innovate Memphis has recently released a white paper noting that when compared to peer cities, Memphis transit is dramatically underfunded. It also notes that the precipitous drop in ridership corresponds to an equally precipitous drop in funding over the years. You can read the paper yourself here.
“The most striking finding is that Memphis local government and citizens pay much, much less than peer cities for transit. Here, local governments fund merely 41 percent of transit operating costs for the insufficient MATA budget… Memphis is competitive, however, for how much transit it delivers on its budget. Popular opinion is that MATA does not provide good service, but peer city figures show that MATA’s ridership is consistent with its coverage and funding. Memphians will take transit when we provide it. “
In the past few years MATA has researched the possibility of a high speed route running from downtown through the core of the city. So far no action has been taken though.