Memphis Vehicle Fee Would Help Fund Transit

The proposed fee on households with multiple vehicles would generate $9 million to improve the region’s transit system.

1 minute read

October 5, 2019, 11:00 AM PDT

By Camille Fink

Memphis Bus

Eric Allix Rogers / Flickr

Katie Riordan reports on a proposal by Mayor Lee Harris of Shelby County, Tennessee, for a "sustainability fee" to expand Memphis Area Transit Authority services. The mayor says the funds will be used to improve mobility for low-income, transit-dependent residents while also addressing environmental issues. 

For households with more than two vehicles, the proposal originally would have been a $145 fee per additional vehicle. The mayor recently updated the proposal so that the fee would apply only to the third vehicle registered at an address.

Riordan says the public response to the plan has generally been positive, though concerns have been raised about the additional financial burden on households and businesses and the ability of MATA to use the funds effectively.

"Harris, who believes his proposal to be a first step towards transforming Memphis’ transit system, wants the $9 million to help increase the frequency of buses on eight established routes and create a new express airport shuttle, which is in line with the city’s 3.0 transit plan," writes Riordan.

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