MTA customers upset with reduction in bus service - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

MTA customers upset with reduction in bus service

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FLINT (WJRT) - (06/23/14) - Hundreds of MTA customers in the Flint area say getting to and from work will be a lot tougher now that service reductions have kicked in. The MTA says the cuts are necessary because of a budget shortfall.

The reductions started Monday morning. Between the hours of 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m, there will only be one bus on each fixed route through Sept. 1.

"People are never happy with change and we're not happy. This is the last thing we want to do," said Ed Benning, the MTA manager.

The MTA had to find a way to trim its budget and it decided reducing mid-day service was one way to do that. If there are people left behind because buses are overcrowded, there is a back up plan. The smaller "tripper" buses could be added.

"We may need to do that 'til we have a better handle on what's happening. Normally in the summer, we see some reduction, especially when school's out," Benning said.

Benning is hopeful those who need transportation after 6:30 at night will be able to rely on the Your Ride service.

"We've added another six runs to take people home in home evening. If we need to we can bring that up to ten vehicles," he said.

Customers are doubtful Your Ride can handle the load.

"I guess I'm going to have to try that option. What else am I going to do?" said Brandon Wade, an MTA customer.

"People are not going to be able to get to work on time. It's going to hurt a lot of people," said Darrell Love, also an MTA customer.

"A lot of people are going to be hurt that really depend on the transportation here," said Veronica Harris, an MTA customer.

The MTA says an August vote on a millage renewal will be very important for its financial future.

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