Jackson cuts city buses to save money

Published 11:25 pm Sunday, October 2, 2011

JACKSON (AP) — Jackson is cutting bus routes to save money and avoid what the bus system’s general manager calls “empty bus syndrome.”

Instead of putting all 27 buses on the road each day, the system will now run 13 buses at a time, JATRAN head Samuel Tensley said.

“Right now, we have no spares to put out on the street,” Tensley said. “We’re running at maximum.”

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That reduction will mean longer waits at bus stops. But Tensley said that weekday routes will start an hour earlier and end an hour later.

The changes taking effect today include cutting two of the city’s least-used routes entirely and consolidating four others into two.

Tensley compared the existing service to a church with pews for 1,000 people and a congregation of 25.

“The reason for these adjustments is to ‘right size’ the transit system here in Jackson, Mississippi, so we can better serve our passengers,” Tensley said.

Tensley said the changes are expected to save the city $200,000.