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Public Hearings for TARC Cuts Set For This Week

by Stephanie CrosbyPublic hearings take place this week for proposed changes to TARC routes aimed at shoring up a projected five-million dollar budget shortfall.The transit agency says falling occupational taxes and the loss of stimulus funds are resulting in the need to eliminate twenty routes and reduce service on 17 others.Executive Director Barry Barker says TARC customers have become accustomed to route changes in the last few years, but not of this magnitude.“We probably haven’t made changes like this since 1994," says Barker. "The good news is that the cuts back then we were able over the years to re-implement, which we hope we can bring some of these back, but right now we’re talking about cutting service because we simply don’t have the money to fund these next year.”The public hearings on the changes start tomorrow . If approved, the changes would take place in June.Public hearings:Tuesday, March 911 a.m to 1 p.m.TARC Union Station1000 W. Broadway5- 7 p.m.Americana Community Center4801 Southside DrWednesday March 1011 a.m. to 1 p.mBon Air Library2816 Del Rio Place11 a.m. to 1 p.m.New Albany - Floyd County Public Library180 West Spring StNew Albany, IN5-7 p.m.East End Government Center200 Juneau DrThursday March 115-7 p.m.TARCUnion Station1000 W. BroadwayProposed Cuts:#1 - Fourth Street Trolley#12 - Twelfth Street#22 - Twenty-Second Street#35 - Indian Trail-Hikes Lane#37X - Iroquois-Fairdale Express#38X - Deering Express#45X - Okolona Express#49X - Westport Road#50X - Dixie Express#53X - Breckenridge Express#54X - Manslick Express#58 - Bashford Manor-Oxmoor#59 - River Road#61X - Plainview#64X -  Fincastle-Forest Springs Express#66X - Mount Washington Express#68X - Prospect Express#73X - Charlestown Road Express#75 - Bluegrass Industrial Shuttle#80 - Hurstbourne ParkwayRoutes proposed for frequency reduction, shortened service or routing change:#2 - Second Street#4 - Fourth Street#6 - Sixth Street#17 - Bardstown Road#18 - Preston-18th#19 - Muhammad Ali#21 - Chestnut Street#23 - Broadway#25 - Oak Street#27 - Hill Street#29 - Eastern Parkway#31 - Middletown#40X - Jeffersontown Express#52 - Medical Center Circulator#62 - Breckenridge-Shepherdsville#67X - Oldham I-71 Express#72 - Clarksville-New Albany#77 - Main-Market Trolley#78X - Downtown/Bluegrass Express