MTA's BusLink Service In Antioch To End Soon - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

MTA's BusLink Service In Antioch To End Soon

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by Shannon Royster

ANTIOCH, Tenn. – MTA's BusLink in Antioch will no longer be in service after next week, and seniors in the area are wondering how they will be getting around town.

78-year-old Lillie Benderman is on a mission. Even though she's battling diabetes and arthritis and has to use a walker, she knows every step counts.

"I don't have any other way to get there," said Benderman.

That's why Benderman is hanging fliers in her apartment complex hoping to save MTA's BusLink service in Antioch.

"It comes right to the door," said Benderman. "It goes to Kroger, Walmart and the library right down here."

The BusLink service started back in 2011 thanks to a federal grant. The bus has been picking up riders and taking them to one of its more than 40 stops.

"I was just kind of devastated," said Benderman. "It's not just me, but it's other people that don't have family and they're in wheelchairs."

However, not enough people were taking advantage of the service. According to Nashville MTA, ridership averaged only two to three customers per hour and federal funds for the service are no longer available, so it had to be discontinued.

Metro council member Jacobia Dowell said the numbers are low because most people weren't aware of the service being offered.

"I think that we could've done a better job educating the community about the BusLink and the services," said Dowell.

While other transit options are available, the stop is either too far away or too expensive. "I'm barely making ends meet now," said Benderman.

BusLink costs Benderman $.85 cents per ride, while MTA's Access Ride would cost her $3.40.

"I would pay more than $.85 cents to keep it -- anything would beat $6.80," said Bendermann.

MTA will be adding a new weekday mid-day trip to the route 38X Antioch Express.

As far as those fliers Benderman has been posting, they're advertising "Community Try Transit Day." A bus will leave the Global Mall Saturday morning at 9:15 a.m. and head to downtown Nashville. Those who attend will learn about transit service and tour the Music City Center.

Email: sroyster@newschannel5.com
Facebook: Facebook.com/NC5ShannonRoyster
Twitter: Twitter.com/NC5_SRoyster

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