The battle between the City of Mobile and the City of Prichard over looming cuts to the Wave Transit system are coming to a head.
The cuts, which includes canceling routes to Prichard, go into effect starting Monday, but Prichard City Leaders are hoping the feds will get involved to put a stop to it.
Councilmember Severia Campbell-Morris said they’ve filed complaints with the Federal Transit Association. She’s frustrated the City of Mobile used Prichard’s demographics to qualify for more grant money.
“We feel that the city of Mobile has definitely failed us and has used us and has continued to use us,” Morris said.
On the other side of the issue, Mobile City Council President Gina Gregory defended their actions. “Our financial experts have looked at all the grants and all the qualifications and have told us that everything we have done meets the guidelines.”
Mobile City Councilmember Fred Richardson said they’ve had several conversations with Prichard leaders before this point, but admits those conversations didn’t take place till after Mobile had already approved the budget decrease in the fall. ” I told the Mayor of Prichard that there is a way they could get the bus to come there. They can tax Coca-cola. They can tax beer, cigarettes, and cell phones,” Richardson said.
Morris said she’s holding out hope that the FTA will issue a stop or a delay to the cuts, but Wave Transit General Manager Tyrone Parker said he can’t personally change the cuts because they’ve already been approved by the Mobile City Council.
Morris said that as a last resort they’re hoping Church groups with vans and the city’s disability bus may be able to help drive residents who rely on public transportation to travel to crucial doctor’s appointments.