NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Starting today, all "transpotainment" vehicles including party buses will be banned in Nashville in the latest response to slow the spread of COVID-19.
On a conference call with Metro Council members on Thursday morning, Metro Health officials confirmed Dr. Michael Caldwell wanted to amend Public Health Order 9, so the city would ban all "transpotainment" vehicles, even if no alcohol was served during their operations.
"I'm being singled out and attacked and Mayor Cooper has continued to attack the very things that made Nashville what it is," Nick Lyon, Owner of Hell on Wheels Nashville said.
Mayor John Cooper announced the closure of small "transpotainment" vehicles, such as pedicabs, pedal carriages and limousines.
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - After Mayor John Cooper announced the closure of small "transpotainme…
The order was then extended to include the closure of pedicabs, pedal carriages and limousines until midnight on August 16. While pedal taverns are included in the order, other “transportainment” vehicles, which weigh 10,000 pounds are regulated by the state and not under Metro jurisdiction.
Mayor John Cooper is keeping Nashville in a modified Phase Two, which means bars and restaurants that serve alcohol will still have to close at 10 p.m. each night.
However, some party barge owners said looking at the mayor's Order 9, they felt if they stopped allowing alcohol on board, they were not acting any different than tour trolleys.
"At that point, it's a sightseeing tour. It's no longer transportainment or a party tour. There's no drinking," Lyon said.
NASHVILLE (WSMV) - Businesses benefiting from Nashville tourism were forced to make last min…
The Mayor's Office responded in a statement on Thursday:
"The Mayor made one standard very clear this week, which is that as long as 100,000 children have to stay home from school in fear of the coronavirus, we all have to do our part to slow the spread of this lethal disease.
Metro takes these public health decisions seriously, and we understand that there are costs associated with safeguarding the health and wellbeing of our community – but none outweigh the lives of our residents."
"There has to be a better way to navigate safely and responsibly in a way that doesn't ambush and sideswipe people coming to the city, spending money to book trips and business owners," Lyon said.
If a business doesn't follow the order, the health department said there could be consequences including a warning, citation or court-ordered closure.