Senior center parks buses - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Senior center parks buses

Thanks to city budget cuts, the buses that bring some Mid-South seniors to and from their community center are parking for good. And that's leaving some of them stranded. The budget ax came crashing down on bus transportation to the Lewis Senior Citizens Center Tuesday, ending a program that has served elderly Memphians for more than 20 years. On the last day of van transportation to the Lewis Senior Citizen's Center senior riders blasted city leaders about the budget cuts that ended free van transportation to and from the center. Joyce Bailey, senior rider said, "We really think that they are not thinking - that one day they will be senior citizens and they will be in need of transportation." For more than 20 years the van service has been the only way some seniors have been able to get to the center for its computer classes, crochet, grooming, and bingo activities. Many of the seniors say with no bus transportation, getting to the center will be next to impossible. Shirley Williams, bus rider said, "I'll just have to sit at home, nothing to do." The cuts also mean that the three part-time employees who drive the vans will be affected too. Bill Mitchell, senior rider said, "The van drivers are paid very low salaries and they are not going to save much money and they are cutting out the van drivers and hurting poorest of the poor." For many seniors, the last day of van transportation service marks the end of an era. "For some of these people they have worked so hard all of their lives and for no reason of their own they are 1/2 way crippled and they have got no other social outlet expect this and the only way they have to get here are the vans." And the budget cuts will also affect center staffers. Three part-time employees who teach computer skills, dance and piano will lose their jobs too.
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