Today is Transit Equity Day in Memphis, rescheduled from early February due to inclement weather that hit our region at that time. Even though several events for the week were canceled or postponed either due to road conditions or internet connectivity issues during the storm, we continued working to collect the stories & experiences of transit riders. Even with extreme weather, people have places to be.
When people can't get to where they need to go because they depend on Memphis' public transit system, we ought to recognize the reason why... For years, the Memphis City Council has underfunded and cut dollars for our public transit system, which means long waits and commutes, cuts to routes and service hours, missed appointments, and missed opportunities for hundreds of thousands of residents trying to make ends meet and get ahead.
When City & County Leaders prioritize investments in essential services like public transportation, our communities are safer and healthier. Our City and County leaders need to know that Public Transit = Public Safety. Issues like funding public transit are revealing the necessity of implementing a participatory community-centered budgeting process in Shelby County. We will be facilitating this process via the Moral Budget Coalition in the coming weeks and months to ensure all of our voices are heard in setting priorities for how the budget is spent!
When City Council Members don't invest in people, our communities suffer. Stay tuned for more updates on the community-centered budgeting process, and meanwhile, if you or someone you know rides MATA, let us know how the underfunding of public transit has affected you! https://bit.ly/transitstory