VOL. 133 | NO. 72 | Tuesday, April 10, 2018
Council Gets First Look At MATA Route Changes
By Bill Dries
A task force looking to overhaul the city’s bus system presents a draft report Tuesday, April 10, to Memphis City Council members.
The Memphis 3.0 transit plan goes to the council at a 1 p.m. committee session for discussion.
The group began its review in September with a report from transit consulting firm Jarrett Walker & Associates of Portland, Oregon, showing Memphis Area Transit Authority ridership has dropped 28 percent since 2005.
Memphis City Council members get a first look Tuesday at a draft report on possibly changes to the city’s bus system. (Daily News File/Andrew J. Breig)
By November the group was exploring options that included adding up to $45 million in funding to either increase coverage, reduce the frequency of bus trips or do some of both while eliminating coverage in sparsely populated areas of the city.
The current system is about a 60-40 percent mix of coverage routes (60 percent) and ridership routes with increased frequency (40 percent).
Those involved in the draft report will discuss it on the WKNO/Channel 10 program “Behind The Headlines” that airs Friday, April 13.
In other business, the council will discuss the city-county Economic Development Growth Engine organization at a 10:15 a.m. committee session.
At a joint meeting last month with county commissioners, council members discussed potential changes to EDGE, which has the power to grant tax incentives.
Council members also get their first look at a feasibility study on bringing new grocery stores to Southgate shopping center and the Lamar-Airways area after Kroger closed supermarkets in both areas in February.
A proposal by city council member Edmund Ford Jr. to raise the minimum pay of full-time city employees to $15.50 an hour will be discussed at an 8:45 a.m. committee meeting.
Ford’s idea follows a call by Shelby County Schools superintendent Dorsey Hopson to raise the pay of all SCS full-time employees to $15 an hour. The school board still has to vote on the proposal, which would raise the pay of about 1,200 of the school system’s more than 12,000 employees. Hopson has said he would like to see the raises take effect in May.
The council meets at 3:30 p.m. at City Hall, 125 N. Main St. Follow the meeting @tdnpols, www.twitter.com/tdnpols, for live coverage and updates from committee sessions earlier in the council day.
The council votes Tuesday on the second of three readings on ordinances that would deannex a part of Eads currently within the city of Memphis and a part of the southwest Memphis flood plain that is uninhabited. The two areas are the first of five the city is considering deannexing.
The council also votes on second reading to commit the city to $6 million in funding for an expansion of prekindergarten services countywide. The commitment would ramp up to $6 million over five fiscal years starting in the fiscal year that begins July 1.
The $6 million would come from a penny on the existing city property tax rate and from tax revenue abated for a time by EDGE for business investments that are coming back on the tax rolls. Until those two sources generate the full amount of funding, the city will make up the difference with a one-time allotment of $3 million from its reserve fund.
Shelby County government leaders are working on their commitment to the same effort.
Also Tuesday, the council takes a final vote on a historic overlay district for the Cooper-Young area and a first vote for a similar overlay district for the Crosstown area.
The overlay districts set specific conditions for development unique to each area.