The Tennessean has decided to no longer run their letters to the editor online, so I have no idea if they ran this one.

MTA cuts hurt commuters, system’s future

To the Editor:

The plan to reduce bus service put forward by the Nashville MTA for its WeGo Public Transit system this past week is further evidence of a board and administration that has run out of ideas, and one that has thrown in the towel on improving our bus system.

In the Rosebank neighborhood of East Nashville, my nearest bus stop for the Shelby Route #4 will go from the street corner near my house to more than half a mile away. This is in spite of living equidistant between two of our neighborhood schools. As a regular morning and afternoon rider, I am now forced to make a decision about whether it is still worth the trouble.

One of the reasons cited for reducing service in its committee report was that “[n]eighborhood demographics [are] trending higher income,” which is a very cynical rephrasing of “only poor people ride the bus, so don’t bother offering transit coverage elsewhere.” Note that this reasoning was was left out of the more polished “guidebook” the MTA has been circulating, which must reflect that they realized how terrible it sounded.

The hard truth is that the upcoming community meetings and other feedback sessions are all for show. The decisions that have already been made are final, allowing only for minor changes to routes that may be necessary for effective implementation. Once they cut service to a neighborhood like mine, it rarely if ever comes back.

This set of proposals is not one of fresh ideas to battle strong budget headwinds. It is essentially the MTA telling the city to cope, and that this is the transit system we deserve.

The MTA is telling us to give up and drive.

Stephen Yeargin, East Nashville