Birmingham City Council President Proposes Solutions to Restore Transit Services to Fairfield Terminated by the Birmingham Jefferson Transit Authority
PRESS RELEASE Thursday, May 26, 2016
Contact: Brittany Sharp
BIRMINGHAM, AL – In wake of a recent announcement by the Birmingham Jefferson Transit Authority (BJCTA), the Birmingham City Council is proposing new solutions to restore terminated services. Wednesday, the Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority (BJCTA) voted to stop bus service in Fairfield effective June 1, 2016. The board says this is due to a more than $500,000 debt owed to the BJCTA from the City of Fairfield. Birmingham City Council President Johnathan Austin says the Council is committed to finding a solution to restore the services as the impact of the termination affects not just Fairfield residents, but so many other citizens as well.
“Though Fairfield is neighboring municipality in Central Alabama, the success of their city is just as important to the success of this entire region,” President Austin said. “Further, the citizens of Fairfield that rely on transit are going to jobs, some of which are in the City of Birmingham on a daily basis. With the elimination of over 10,000 rides a month, this certainly will have a ripple effect on the jobs and revenue that I believe Birmingham would incur.”
BJCTA’s route 41 offered service to downtown Fairfield, Miles College, Western Hills Mall, Crossplex, Fairfield High School, Forrest Hill Middle School and Princeton Hospital. The decision also will impact Para-Transit services. Council President Austin says that it is imperative that as elected officials city leaders come together to see how the services can be restored. In a letter that was sent to Mayor Bell Thursday, President Austin wrote:
“Mr. Mayor I’m respectfully asking that you consider, as a city, helping to support those riders in need of getting to essential services. I propose that we look at providing some financial support to help restore services, even if on a more limited basis, to continue the great work that the BJCTA is doing to help provide a fundamental service to our entire community in a more efficient and cost-effective way. We can propose providing some immediate financial relief and come to an amenable agreement with the authority which would be mutually beneficial. I have polled the council and we are open to a number of options that would accomplish the goal of restoring services, including: immediately restoring services by negotiating with the transit authority an agreement on funding at a reduced amount. We would also be interested in looking at finding additional resources in partnership with the City of Fairfield, transit, and any other willing partners that would help us craft a long term agreement to continue services to Fairfield.
Thank you for listening, I look forward to your swift response as this issue is pressing, and the people need our help.”
Council President Pro Tem Steven W. Hoyt echoed his colleagues noting that it is incumbent upon elected officials to make sure that neighboring cities continue to work together on behalf of all citizens.
“Birmingham is known for its philanthropic efforts from its many corporate citizens and we as a City also have the opportunity to invest into our communities to help ensure long-term success and viability as a society,” Councilor Hoyt said. “I believe that it would be in our collective best interest to help find a solution to this immediate concerns as well as transit’s long-term sustainability in the western part of the city and its neighboring communities.”
For media inquiries please contact the Birmingham City Council Public Information Director Brittany Sharp at 205.721.5369 or firstname.lastname@example.org.