NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Congested roads. Packed interstates.

Former Mayor Megan Barry pushed light rail as one solution to Nashville’s traffic problems.

Voters crushed the billion-dollar plan by a two to one margin in May 2018.

So where do the 2019 mayoral candidates stand on light rail? News 4 polled four leading candidates for a yes or no answer: "Would you support a light rail public transit system?"

Question 7.jpg

John Cooper said no.

"Light rail is so much more costly than bus rapid transit or investing in the bus system, and light rail on its own is so expensive per ticket, per passenger. It uses the right of way. It’s really just a 19th century solution that is not appropriate for the 21st century that we need," Cooper said.

David Briley said yes.

"I think we need to have a comprehensive plan, primarily focused on transportation, because most people will be in their cars, but I do think that in some instances, having a light rail element may make sense," Briley said.

John Ray Clemmons said yes.

"I'm the only candidate in this race who's committed to a transit referendum during my first term in office. I've been working on this for five years in the state legislature and we are going to have to build out a 21st century transportation infrastructure which will require collaborating with surrounding counties so that they pay their fair share and build out a transit system," Clemmons said.

Carol Swain said no.

"There are some practical, low-cost, common sense things that we can do, and I think we start there first," Swain said. is now with you on the go! Get the latest news updates and video, 4WARN weather forecast, weather radar, special investigative reports, sports headlines and much more from News4 Nashville.

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Copyright 2019 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


Nancy Amons is an award-winning member of the News4 Investigates team. She has been breaking stories in Middle Tennessee for more than 20 years.

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