Nashville-based orgs call on city to fund new, improved public transportation

The Transit Alliance of Middle Tennessee was joined by 11 organizations throughout the community to ask the city to consider a multimodal transit plan.
Organizations based in Nashville demanded Mayor John Cooper and the Metro Council to fund new and improved public transportation on Monday.
Published: May. 1, 2023 at 3:01 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Organizations based in Nashville demanded Mayor John Cooper and the Metro Council to fund new and improved public transportation on Monday.

The Transit Alliance of Middle Tennessee (TAMT) was joined by 11 organizations throughout the community to ask the city to consider a multimodal transit plan.

“It is how we get access to the things that make our life run,” Ashley Northington, with Moving Forward of Middle Tennessee, said. “If we do this right, if we take the chance to invest in Nashville and invest in a safe, multimodal transit system, what we’re giving is people more access to opportunity. Transit is really about justice.”

This comes five years after Nashville voters shot down the $8.9 billion plan “Let’s Move Nashville” referendum, which included a light rail service, rapid bus transit lines and more. The light rail service would’ve been both underground and outdoors.

“The best time to invest in transit would have been five years ago. The second-best time to invest in transit is right now,” Wesley Smith, with Walk Bike Nashville said.

TAMT is currently polling residents of Nashville to see what they would want in their public transit.

“Dedicating funding to transit is long overdue. We can immediately get to work on low-hanging fruit like community transit centers, crosstown transfers, and better coordinating construction-caused closures,” Metro Councilmember Freddie O’Connell said. “We’re the last top 25 American city without a meaningful transit system, and it’s time to change that. Even if you never get on a bus, smart transit investment will unclog our roads and improve your quality of life.”

Justin David took a WeGo bus to downtown Nashville Monday afternoon. He can count on public transportation when he needs to, but would like to see his commute times decrease.

“You really have to plan it out because it takes a while to get to a destination,” David said. “I think that’s the biggest issue. Even I had to take a venture down to Antioch and it took two hours, but when I had my car it took 15 minutes.”

TAMT has created a questionnaire for the city’s mayoral candidates on public transit. You can read their responses by clicking here.

Their answers will be populated on the website as the candidates respond, TAMT said.

A study from The Center Square ranked the Greater Nashville area as the second-most car-dependent city in the U.S.