WeGo making major changes to improve public transit

New payment methods and routes are aimed to make WeGo more efficient.
New payment methods and routes are aimed to make WeGo more efficient.
Published: Sep. 26, 2023 at 6:16 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - A new system is looking to make Music City’s public transit system accessible to all Nashvillians.

Major changes are coming to WeGo starting Sunday, including a new Quick Ticket that will be required on buses and trains. The technology is at the center of a new plan to improve Nashville’s public transit.

Riders like KeAndre Johnson are already excited about the new systems that look to increase routes and build more transit hubs beyond the downtown Central Station. He said it would allow him to go straight to work without waiting for a connecting bus.

“I’m very excited because I can come home later,” Johnson said. “I can probably go downtown and hang around for a little bit, then go home.”

WeGo spokesperson Eric Melcher said the Quick Tickets will allow them to better track ridership and know where to run more buses. It will also streamline the boarding process to help keep buses on schedule.

The Quick Tickets also have a feature called “best value” that will automatically cap daily and monthly payments to save riders money.

This is all part of new Mayor Freddie O’Connell’s push to make public transit more reliable. The new tickets and expanded routes are just part of the plan. WeGo will also start running popular bus routes until 1:15 a.m. Monday through Saturday to help people who work the night shift.

O’Connell wants to expedite the construction of hubs in East and South Nashville and approve plans for one in SoBro.

Leaders hope more people will consider riding public transit by opening new hubs with easier parking, like the one in North Nashville that’s currently under construction.

“Downtown is a really hard place to park these days for anyone,” Melcher said. “Employers are very interested in the fact that they will be able to get their employees here on mass transit and then get them home. They can only do that if they have the service hours that they needed. We are always looking to extend our service and do more for riders. This is a big step forward.”

WeGo is offering free rides on Saturday for Mayor O’Connell and Metro Council’s inauguration celebration. People are organizing at several hubs before traveling to Public Square Park to highlight the opportunities public transit offers in Nashville.