Memphis to receive nearly $900k to improve transportation

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — In Nov. 2021, Congress passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and President Joe Biden signed both into law.

Now, FOX13 has learned how much is coming to Memphis and what it will be used for.

Congressman Steve Cohen announced on Monday that $890,398 will come to Memphis.

In a release, Cohen said that money should help the city “keep its transit system in a state of good repair.”

FOX13 spoke to several bus riders about the announcement.

Yvette Bates said she uses MATA almost every day until recently. Bates said the timing has not been on her side recently.

“It’s been hard when you have to wait, and you have to be at work at a certain time, and you’re running late,” said Bates.

Bacarra Mauldin, MATA Chief of Staff, sent FOX13 a statement responding to Cohen’s announcement:

Congressman Steve Cohen’s recent announcement regarding additional federal transit funding headed to Memphis is another win for MATA riders, especially those who depend on our public transportation system every day. Thanks to Congressman Cohen and other key supporters, we can now invest in the priority areas our CEO has identified, such as service expansion, driver recruitment and retention, and overall transportation upgrades that are in keeping with the Memphis Transit Vision Plan.

We also must caution that while these federal dollars are an essential start, significant investments are still necessary to create the futuristic public transportation system our community truly desires and deserves.”

Mario Williams is another Memphian that spoke to FOX13.

Williams said he rides the MATA bus every day and is at the bus station on A.W. Willis and Main Street every morning promptly at 6:15 a.m.

“I get to work every morning, getting here on time and everything,” said Williams.

Williams told FOX13 he hopes the money is used to improve buses.

“Better security reasons and better cleaner buses,” Williams said.

Bates told FOX13 she thinks the money should go towards hiring bus drivers.

“We need bus drivers to get people back and forth to work, and if they pay them, they might be more inclined to come to work,” said Bates.

Both Bates and Williams are happy with this investment into MATA from the federal government.

“It makes me happy to know that they’re going to do something in Memphis to help out the people and MATA,” said Bates.

“It’ll bring ease to a lot of us; it’ll bring a smile to a lot of us. I just think it’ll be an awesome idea all around the table,” said Williams.

More good news, Cohen says $3,437,118 will go to the state of Tennessee for buses and bus facilities.

It’s unclear right now how much of that MATA could get.