Nashville Mayor says transportainment is not a public need in Nashville

Nashville Mayor John Cooper delivers his State of Metro Address on Wednesday, April 27, 2022.
Nashville Mayor John Cooper delivers his State of Metro Address on Wednesday, April 27, 2022.
Published: May. 26, 2022 at 5:39 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Nashville Mayor John Cooper issued an official statement Wednesday regarding the issue of entertainment transportation vehicles.

Initially, in Feb. 2020, Mayor Cooper had expressed that it is essential to make sure tourists who visit the Music City have a good time, but at what cost?

“The complete lack of local control over these entertainment vehicles in one of our busiest neighborhoods has created safety concerns and tremendous headaches for downtown brick-and-mortar businesses, residents, and local commuters. By working with the state, we hope to ensure that downtown Nashville remains a fun, world-class tourist destination while implementing commonsense policies that prevent traffic jams and disturbances to residents and businesses,” Mayor Cooper had said in 2020.

This year, Governor Lee, along with a majority of state legislators, approved giving Nashville the ability to solve their problems in the city, problems such as ‘transportainment.’

In March 2022, Metro Council passed a bill with the hope of finding a resolution to Nashville’s ‘transportainment’ problem. At that time, some party bus owners said all the back and forth with Metro Council over the issue had impacted business and turned some people off to hopping on a party bus.

“Is there a public need for these vehicles in Nashville? Not a private business interest. Not tourist desire. Not market demand. But public necessity,” Mayor Cooper said in a statement. “I echo many thousands of Nashvillians when I say Nashville does not need these vehicles. In fact, there is a public need not to have these vehicles clogging up our public streets and bringing quality of life concerns to our neighborhoods and businesses.”

One of the popular rebuttals made by party vehicle operators is the contribution to the Nashville economy due to the amount of revenue and tourists they attract; however, Mayor Cooper said after hearing from residents, visitors, hotel managers, restaurant owners, and convention hosts, the transportainment has detracted from the Nashville experience.

“The greater risk is that the disruptive effects of these vehicles result in a loss of jobs downtown as office tenants relocate and guests opt to travel somewhere else,” Mayor Cooper said.

Mayor Cooper added that he and other lawmakers had discussed the idea of operating zones, the exclusion of alcohol, and operation hours to end at 11:00 p.m.

“I ran for mayor to make Nashville work for everyone. And right now, we have an unworkable situation with dozens of party vehicles that only work for the owners and riders who have a reckless disregard for the quality of life. Help me fix this problem and protect the public interest.”

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