Weekly Update

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As I’ve said many times, a common denominator in great cities across our country (and the world for that matter) is a reliable and efficient public transit system.


When I took office in 2016, funding for MATA was a little more than $23 million. We knew this was insufficient. So over four years and in partnership with city council, we increased this funding by 43 percent to almost $33 million in FY20. Then the pandemic hit, our revenues plummeted, and we were forced to temporarily lower our contribution by $10 million. Fortunately, MATA did not suffer financially as we were able to supplement that gap with federal funding over the last two years.


While we still have a way to go, the budget I presented to council last month included funding for MATA restoring it back to pre-pandemic levels by adding $10 million worth of operating funds. To go a step even further, it also, and for the very first time ever, established a dedicated transit fund, which will add another $4 million next year. By 2030, the City contribution will total around $45 million.


One more exciting aspect of this—the Shelby County Commission, led by Commissioner Edmund Ford, Jr., is looking to fund Transit Vision modeled after our plan on the City-side. With both City and County funds, I’m proud to say we will be able to fully implement Transit Vision by 2030.

For those who may not be familiar, Transit Vision is part of the Memphis 3.0, which is the City’s comprehensive plan for growth. Transit Vision is being led by the City of Memphis and Innovate Memphis, in partnership with MATA.

 Why does Transit Vision matter? It provides:

  • An increase in frequency – more buses arriving more often
  • 39% more jobs reachable in an hour by transit for the average Memphian
  • 45% more jobs reachable in an hour for minority residents and 49% for low-income residents
  • 79,000 more people and 103,000 more jobs near frequent service (every 15 minutes); and
  • More weekend and evening service


This dedicated funding is proposed from expiring PILOTs. During the years of a PILOT, a company pays a reduced amount of taxes. When the PILOT expires, the business pays the full rate. These increased collections, subject to City Council approval (for City funds) and County Commission approval (for County funds), will comprise the new transit fund enabling thousands in our community who need reliable transportation to receive it.


Wolf River Greenway: On Tuesday, we had the ribbon cutting on the Wolf River Greenway East Memphis segment. With this addition, there are now approximately 14 miles of the Wolf River Greenway open to the public and represents over an $8 million investment--fully funded by private resources.


wolf river


The Wolf River Greenway East segment extends from the west of Walnut Grove through the Lucius Burch State Natural Area, and now connects to the Shelby Farms Greenline. This section includes the 270-foot cable-stayed bridge over the Wolf River and a half mile of raised boardwalk trail through the Lucius Burch State Natural Area.


The Wolf River Greenway represents a successful example of a public/private partnership between City of Memphis Parks, Shelby County Government, and the Wolf River Conservancy.


The fully completed 26 miles of the Wolf River Greenway will provide access to over 180,000 citizens from 22 diverse neighborhoods who live within a 20-minute walk of the greenway.


Go check it out when you have time!


Metro Fire Chiefs: This week the Metro Fire Chiefs 2022 conference was held right here in Memphis. More than 150 fire chiefs from around the globe came here to learn best practices and current industry trends.


Thanks to Chief Gina Sweat and her team for showing the visiting chiefs the best Memphis has to offer.


We love our Grizzlies: The 2021-2022 season of Memphis Grizzlies basketball was unbelievable to watch. On behalf of the 635,000 residents of Memphis (and all Grizzlies fans for that matter), we thank you, and we’re proud of the season you played. It was one for the ages.


I can’t wait to see what you do next season!


Enjoy your weekend!




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