City leaders working to devise regional transit that works for c - WSMV News 4

City leaders working to devise regional transit that works for commuters

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CLARKSVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

The wheels are turning on transit plans across Middle Tennessee. 

Now that Nashville’s "Let's Move" transit plan is on the ballot in May, leaders from Metro's surrounding counties are wondering how their residents fit into the proposal.

A study by the Regional Transit Authority is currently underway looking at how Montgomery County and other counties can hook into the proposed transit plan in Nashville. It considers options like a dedicated bus lane on I-24 and using existing railroad tracks for a commuter train from Clarksville to Nashville. 

“We have so many large employers that we’re getting with Hankook and LG and other companies that are coming," said Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan. "We’re going to need people from other areas to come and work at those facilities.” 

McMillan heads up the RTA, and she said finding the best solution is still a work in progress, but there is a favorite option now on the table. 

“When we see that report, I think you will see that they believe that the best option is this hard-rail line, [a] commuter rail line between these two cities," McMillan explained. "It’s something that is possible. It’s something that is feasible."

Some wonder how useful a train like that would be. 

“I wouldn’t use it, honestly," said Riley Howe of Clarksville. "I would just drive, but for people that want to use it, I think it would be a great idea."

Others believe there are perks beyond where people might work.

“I would use it if it makes things a little more convenient just to get around, especially on the weekends when people are out and having fun and thinking maybe we shouldn’t drive home,” said Luis Martinez, another Clarksville resident. 

Once the RTA study is published in a couple of months, communities like Clarksville will have to figure out how they will pay for transit changes.

Separate from the regional transit study, the Clarksville Metro Planning organization is encouraging residents from Montgomery and parts of Christian Co. to take part in a survey gauging what residents need out of transportation in the next 20 years. It’s part of federal planning work that helps set aside federal dollars for infrastructure. 

To take the survey, click here

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