Metro details proposed $136M rapid transit system - WSMV Channel 4

Metro details proposed $136M rapid transit system

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There could soon be a huge change to the traffic patterns on some of the busiest roads in Nashville.

The city is preparing to make a proposed East-West connector become a reality. It would run along an eight-mile corridor stretching from the Five Points area in east Nashville to the White Bridge Road area in west Nashville.

The system would allow residents and visitors to travel through the heart of the city faster than they can now in frequent traffic.

Mayor Karl Dean has expressed his desire to see the rapid transit system installed, and public hearings are now giving businesses and residents a chance to sound off before any final decisions are made.

Stacy Dorris said she misses the transit system she enjoyed while living in New York City and was excited to hear about Nashville's proposed plans.

"I was very excited about it. I think it's a great proposal and a great thing for Nashville," said Dorris, who now lives in west Nashville.

She was among about 100 people who came to the downtown branch of the Nashville Public Library on Tuesday to learn more about the proposed $136 million rapid transit system.

"We don't have anything quite like it in Nashville now. These would be vehicles that would be every 10 minutes or so along the corridor. There would be permanent stations built," said Ed Cole, with the group Transit Alliance of Middle Tennessee.

The idea of dedicated lanes has some businesses along the corridor concerned about accessibility, so planners are hearing that feedback in hopes of how to make the idea a reality.

"We need to go the next step and provide the mass transit that will make the kind of capability appeal to people that currently don't think about riding the bus," Cole said.

As for funding the project, Metro officials are hoping to gain a federal grant that would pay for about half of the cost. The rest would come from the city.

Dean said he hopes to have the project completed by 2015.

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