While we don’t know if the May 1 referendum on the Let’s Move Transit plan will pass or fail, one thing we do know is that not many Davidson County residents have read the 55-page “Let’s Move Nashville” transit plan.
News4 and The Tennessean will host a transit debate on Tuesday at 6 p.m. The debate will be streamed on WSMV.com.
Here are some things you’ll want to know about the plan before you cast your vote.
The “Let’s Move Nashville” plan is a portfolio of capital projects, including new buses for expanded services and new cross-town routes, improved access points, a downtown tunnel and light rail service in five high-capacity corridors in Davidson County.DOCUMENTS: Let's Move Nashville Transit planSome have questioned why the “Let’s Move Nashville” plan includes only Davidson County.
By law, the proposed transit funding mechanism to be used is available only to selected counties and cities, not to regions.
However, the sales tax component of the funding allows both commuters and tourists to contribute when they spend money in Davidson County.
As much as 47 percent of the dollars are expected to come from outside Davidson County.
The “Let’s Move Nashville” plan was developed as an overlay to the nMotion plan, a regional plan for the 10-county area developed with input from thousands.
Nashville’s plan helps address many issues that workers face with the city’s current transportation and parking options.
Other counties in the region are exploring their transportation needs now, supplementing recommendations from the nMotion plan with new input and data.
Many say they want a better experience for their citizens who commute to other counties for work, but few see value in expediting their commuters’ trips into a gridlocked city. They expect Nashville to address its congestion as a hub.
Why is the plan only in Nashville and not connecting to Rutherford or Wilson County for example?
Because the law won’t allow it. Gov. Bill Haslam’s IMPROVE Act only allows referendums by county or city, and only for those with more than 112,000 people or 165,000 residents.
What do surrounding counties think about the plan? Will they connect to it, if it passes?
Mayors across the region have endorsed the plan, but Nashville must go first.
How much is it?
Almost $9 billion - $5.4 billion in capital investment and $3.5 billion to cover operations and maintenance, improvements, and financing and interest over 15 years.
How are we paying for it?
Davidson County would be raising the sales, hotel, business and rental car taxes.
The IMPROVE Act only allows eligible cities and counties to propose raising one or a combination of six taxes.
Counties are not allowed to raise property tax to improve transportation.
When can we start taking this transportation, if passed?
The 10 most popular bus routes will increase in frequency this fall. New bus route extensions, including expanded crosstown routes, would begin in 2019.
Light rail will be ready beginning in 2026 and fully complete in 2032. The Music City Star will be complete by 2031.
Who came up with this complex plan?
It began in June 2015 when Metro developed the long-range plan for Nashville’s future titled “Nashville Next,” a road map to growth over the next 25 years.
Transit was such a big piece of the plan, so Metro got together with MTA and RTA to create the “NMotion Plan” in September 2016.
Through that process MTA/RTA asked Middle Tennesseans what they wanted and needed, gathering 9,000 responses to an online survey along the way.
“Let’s Move Nashville” is the culmination of all that information.
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