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The original item was published from 1/7/2020 9:11:00 AM to 1/7/2020 9:11:42 AM.

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Mayor's Office

Posted on: January 7, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Economy Benefits Transit Plan




MEMPHIS, TN – Investing $10 million in transit would boost the Memphis-area economy by helping job seekers get to open jobs. Mayor Lee Harris will make this case to the Shelby County Commission Wednesday as part of his months-long campaign advocating for an investment in transit. In addition, the Shelby County Commission expects to hear from a panel of business leaders on the importance of transit for the local economy.

Shelby County Commission General Government Committee

160 North Main, 6th Floor Conference Room

Wednesday, January 8 at 9:00 a.m.

“We currently have over 16,000 jobs available in Memphis, most of which do not require any type of specialized skill. A large reason for so many open jobs is that too many individuals in our community do not have transportation that they can rely on to get to a job and keep a job,” says Mayor Harris. “Our residents should be able to get to a job, keep a job, and be able to get home from that job in time to have dinner with their family. Furthermore, we believe the entire community thrives when our cities, like Memphis, thrive, when we lift more people out of poverty, and when we expand opportunity and job access.”

“I am looking forward to hearing from the Mayor and members of the business community on the importance of public transportation,” says Shelby County Chairman Mark Billingsley. “It is important to partner with Shelby County’s largest employers as we inch closer and closer to making a significant investment in transit. We need to make sure people seeking employment are able to get to one of the 16,000 plus open jobs in our community.”

The Three E’s

Wednesday’s presentation on the impact a $10 million investment in transit would have on the Economy is part of the “Three E’s” series of presentations to the Shelby County Commission.


In November, Mayor Harris presented the benefits to the Environment. The investment would produce more than one million new rides, therefore reducing emissions by thousands of metric tons.


December’s presentation was on Equity. This plan would have a significant impact on poverty. According to data from the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce, there are more than 16,000 available jobs in Shelby County. More frequent transit service helps people get to a job and keep a job. Job access will impact the 200,000 people living in poverty in Shelby County.


This month the Mayor will lead a discussion around the economic benefits of investing in transit. For instance, dedicated investment of at least $10 million has an economic impact of more than $40 million as a result of expanded job access.

Mayor Harris launched the conversation around transit in September 2019. The administration is seeking a Commission vote on a plan to invest $10 million in transit by February 2020. To see the proposal, go to

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