Thursday, February 16, 2012

Help Form Memphis' First Bus Riders Union


Following a well-attended town hall and several weeks of outreach to Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA) customers, the Transportation Task Force is hosting a meeting for the creation of the Memphis Bus Riders Union (MBRU). The Union will be made up of MATA customers and will be dedicated to raising the level of service and dignity provided by the public transit system as well as to ensuring greater public accountability and public input over MATA policies and practices.

Public transportation is a civil rights issue. Bus routes still reflect Jim Crow laws when buses took domestic workers out east on routes running west to east.

Starting on Saturday, February 18th, city bus riders can join the MBRU and stand together to pressure city officials and MATA to improve transit service so that it accurately reflects the realities of Memphis. When 40 percent of Memphians need access to public transit and nearly 25 percent of Memphians live under the poverty line, it is unconscionable to combine fare increases with reduced routes and times. 

The Memphis Bus Riders Union is the next step to improving Memphis’ public transit system. TTF members cite imminent employee pension shortfalls, which combined with long standing route problems, increasing fares, and poor customer service, reveal the deep need for grassroots public organization and direct action. Through this movement, Memphians can pressure city and MATA officials to address these most urgent issues and ensure that rider concerns are the chief priority of MATA.

Interested MATA customers who seek to join in the formation of the BUS RIDERS UNION are invited to attend the kickoff meeting at the AFSCME Union Hall, 485 Beale St., from 1-3 pm on Saturday, February 18th.

Following the meeting, a press conference will be held to announce future actions by the Bus Riders Union, where representatives will be available for comment. For more information, contact the Task Force at

Come to the AFSCME Union Hall this Saturday afternoon to fight for civil rights!

In Solidarity,

The University of Memphis Marxists

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