Memphis Area Transit Authority
|Service area||Shelby County, Tennessee and West Memphis, Arkansas|
|Service type||Public transit:
|Routes||35 bus, 3 trolley|
|Destinations||Memphis, Germantown, Bartlett, Tennessee and West Memphis, Arkansas|
|Fleet||244 buses, 20 trolley cars|
|Daily ridership||11 million person trips in 2006|
|Fuel type||Diesel (for buses)|
|Chief executive||Ray Holt|
The Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA) is the largest transit agency in Tennessee. MATA operates 35 bus routes, paratransit service for persons with disabilities (MATAplus), trolley service on three routes, and special-event shuttles for Memphis Grizzlies basketball games and University of Memphis Tigers basketball games at the FedEx Forum.
The system was formed in 1975 to service the greater Memphis and Shelby County Tennessee area and nearby West Memphis, Arkansas. MATA is run by a general manager and an eight member board of commissioners, appointed by the Mayor of Memphis and approved by the Memphis City Council. The system has been operated by First Transit (initially Ryder Transit) since its inception.
The transit agency operates 244 buses, mostly Neoplan USA articulateds, Gillig Advantage low-floors (both diesel and diesel/electric hybrids), and NovaBus LFS low floors buses on 35 routes. In the past, its roster included GM TDH-5300 and TDH-4500 "New Looks" and Flxible 40-102 New Look series (carryovers from its predecessor prior to MATA's formation), AM General 40 ft., MAN articulateds and the RTS series from GM, TMC and NovaBus. The RTS series were MATA's preferred fleet of choice, having been used in its lineup from February 1980 until its retirement in April 2010, when the six remaining 1994 NovaBus versions were replaced with the Gillig Advantage Hybrids. MATA hopes to shift to a hybrid fleet in the future.
In August 2008 MATA introduced three new express routes from the Whitehaven, southeast and northeast areas into the central city. In September 2007, MATA offered free transportation on fixed route bus service, trolley and MATAplus service for persons from Louisiana and Southern Mississippi areas affected by Hurricane Gustav. 
MATA also operates a trolley service. Initially opened in 1993, the Main Street Trolley Line uses classic streetcars on a system that has grown to three routes: one along the riverfront, another serving Main Street in the heart of downtown Memphis, and an extension on Madison Avenue. The Madison Avenue line opened in 2004, as the initial stage of a light rail system that would connect downtown Memphis with the Memphis International Airport and eventually to regional transit service beyond the MATA service boundaries.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Memphis Area Transit Authority.|
- A Coordinated Human Services Transportation Plan for the Memphis Area, 2007.
- MATA website.
- "Madison rail line to open March 15". Memphis Business Journal. March 11, 2004. Retrieved 2010-07-14.
- 1979 TV story on the "Hustle Bus" at YouTube
- Humankind public radio program, "Passengers" interview with Commissioner M.P. Carter