The Plan

This report summarizes nMotion recommendations to improve transit service in the region. It includes an overview of public engagement, strategic recommendations that summarize key actions for improving transit in Middle Tennessee, benefits and costs associated with the recommended plan, and a discussion of immediate and long-term next steps.

Click here to read the recommendations

Regional Transit Recommendations

Comments

  1. says

    From a purely scientific standpoint, there’s no clear evidence that people will 100% support and embrace Nashville’s new public transportation initiative. If the MTA were a football team, it’d need some serious fan support (that clearly isn’t there right now) in order for me to embrace any of these plans.

  2. Gill Geldreich says

    This plan is good for Nashville. Investments in our public transit infrastructures are essential, and before money is spent a long range plan must be in place. This plan guides our future spending but allows for flexibility in case of market or technology shifts. With this plan, our future is bright.

  3. Mason says

    The plan does a great job of identifying things we can address now to improve our system. Simple Fare system, longer hours and more frequent service are critical to increasing ridership.

    Long term planning needs to include development around transit hubs. Walkability to and from transit stops is key to a vibrant transit system. Done correctly a well planned transit system will spur economic development and create efficiencies in travel time.

    We have done many plans in our city, I would like to see some tools in place to hold city leaders and developers accountable to seeing this plans put into action. I would like to see a dashboard that citizens can view and track progress on these improvements.

    I understand this plan will require a larger financial investment to become reality. I support a dedicated funding source that would enable MTA/RTA to move forward on these improvements.

  4. Jeff Smith says

    We are car centric culture. We need a car centric solution. Before we comment billions of tax payer dollars. Why not reward local entrepreneurs with common sense solutions using technology?

    The first mile and last mile of the commute is “where the rubber meets the road”

    I believe carpooling with coworkers or neighbors makes good sense. That would encourage using the HOV lanes during rush hour. Carpooling could make a difference in Middle Tennessee next week.

  5. Blake W. says

    I feel that dedicated light rail will increase ridership.
    The number 4 should run 24 hours a day.
    Mass transit needs to be reliable and consistent in order for people to ride.
    The bus breaks down frequently and causes delay’s for riders. We need better transit vehicles so this doesn’t happen.
    The bus takes me 40 mins to get to work, I can drive in 8 minutes. The bus should be a better option than driving.

  6. says

    After my time working with several students from Belmont, MTSU and Vanderbilt University, whom are invested in this discussion as well as concerned with spending/borrowing giant dollars of their future instead of sharing the cars available today, there have been several significant discoveries regarding HOV lane regulation and enforcement.

    MTSU Senior Nicholas Justice shared his thoughts regarding the Nashville’s current transportation issues, “Spending [x amount] on a public transit would be extremely irresponsible based on the given trends in the TN Metro Area. Public transit currently only holds ≈1.3% of the market and there is no indication that a massive project would gain enough of the market share to justify such a large misuse of funds. We need to utilize the cars that we already have on the road instead of spending billions of dollars on a needless infrastructure.”

    Based on Tennessee Code 55-8- 188 states: “A violation of any provision of this section is a Class C misdemeanor, subject only to imposition of a fine, not to exceed fifty dollars ($50.00), and court costs, not to exceed ten dollars ($10.00), including, but not limited to, any statutory fees of officers. No state or local litigation taxes shall be applicable to a case prosecuted under this section.”

    This states that an HOV violation shall never cost the offender more than $60 per offense.

    When comparing Tennessee’s enforcement to other states across the country Tennessee has arguably the most lenient penalties for HOV violations. States such as Arizona, California and Connecticut all have a BASE citation of roughly $400, these states categorized the violation as a moving violation and add points to your license. Comparatively Tennessee has a minimal fine amount, does not consider the offense a moving violation, and there is no penalty of driver license points.

    With this being said there should be significant consideration given towards changing the current systems and structures of Tennessee’s HOV lane regulation. If we are successful in these efforts our community would see drastic benefits by:

    1. Preventing single drivers are not able to take advantage of the lack of HOV lane enforcement and comfortable with a $60 penalty that will not affect their driving record.
    2. Restructuring ticket revenue to be allocated to the city over the state in order to incentivize law enforcement to patrol HOV lanes.
    3. Creating these changes to incentivize ride sharing and carpooling that can be facilitated through apps like Hytch.Me.

  7. Michael Bolen says

    I find it easier to describe my experience:
    I am in Mt Juliet and commute to Donelson. I have an option to take the Music City Star. I would use it more frequently if the cost would be lower since I am only going a couple stops. Also, more frequent departures in case I need to attend an appointment. In conjunction with my local county, physically separated bike paths along N/S Mt Juliet Rd to connect neighborhoods to the Music City Star train station.

    Also, physically separated bike paths between regions (10-15 miles) to allow it as a valid and safe form of commuting. I had a great experience this summer in biking in Minneapolis transit system. Also, bike tools + air along the routes in case of a break down.

  8. Cassie says

    I love that our city is taking this very important step. A few things I didn’t hear discussed at the last transit meeting that was broadcast online:

    1. Incentivize bike commuting by making it easier to ride safely. Dedicated and protected bike lanes. Free bike lights to insure those who need low cost transport can do so safely for those in cars as well. Lock replacement programs to cut down on theft. All of these are available in cities with high percentage bike transport.

    2. Car sharing companies such as car2go where you walk up to a car and rent it for short trips such as bringing home groceries or first/last mile.

  9. Amy Martin says

    Has it occurred to anyone to run mini buses off rush hour? Smaller vehicles could have more flexible routes that could run through neghborhoods a bit, perhaps crossing between major streets enroute to downtown.
    I see giant buses running empty all day long up and down Broad and West End. Smaller units would reduce traffic and pollution and accommodate the few riders we have in the middle of the day.

  10. Bob Covington says

    Clearly much of this makes great sense — improved bus routes, 7-day service on the Music City Star, and so on. One thing that doesn’t perhaps get enough attention is reducing the felt need for traveling from point A to point B. To the extent that a neighborhood has its own drugstore, grocery, restaurants, and the like, there is reduced need to pull out the car and drive five miles. The Gulch may be a creator of traffic, given its cafes and clubs, but it is also a neighborhood potentially. Obviously there are limits to this sort of thinking. There must be a true “downtown” and one can’t envision neighborhood symphony halls or pro sports stadiums. Nonetheless, “neighborhooding” Nashville may be worth thinking about.

  11. Jim says

    Whatever it takes to get CSX to play ball, do it. The tracks are right there and stations would be easy to do. In the mean time, turn the stupid HOV lane into a dedicated bus lanes and run more buses at varied times. As someone else said, don’t run them all downtown; It takes forever to get out to West End or anywhere else for that matter. Hubs at the points, whatever it takes but start NOW

  12. says

    As a employer with 240 full time staff members in my organization the time my staff waste in traffic is unhealthy. It’s increasingly becoming more difficult to attract talent due to traffic congestion. We need special incentives for local businesses who encourage carpooling and or provide incentives to those who carpool. The city should be using funds to encourage and track successful carpools by using Hytch and have set goals for at first city employees and school system employees. No different than spending resources to get people to call the non emergency number (862-8600) for non life threatening situations.
    There is technology available to the city available today which will tell you which businesses create the most traffic. The city should be working with those businesses to encourage car pooling and smarter work schedules to change improve congestion.
    It’s clear more now ever that self driving cars will be the future of travel. We need to ask ourselves how can the city adopt sooner than later.

    • Rebecca Katz says

      Robert, one fairly simple thing that would make lots of sense is to ask employers, include state and city government, to allow workers to stagger their working hours to reduce commuter traffic. I work a 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. schedule that saves me about an hour a day in car time.

  13. says

    Sure, a light rail would solve some problems,…but at such an enormous cost to the taxpayer! There are other answers out there and at a much lower cost than what is currently being proposed. Please take a look at this link- http://www.wsj.com/articles/uphill-climb-cities-push-gondolas-on-skeptical-commuters-1465237251
    Urban Gondolas have been pushed to the side as some sort of Jetson’s type of idea for way too long. The small footprint alone should be a selling point, yet alone the minimal cost compared to light rail. No bridges would need to be built to cross over waterways. There are no set schedules of train time departures as gondolas are continuously running 24 hours a day,…every 25 seconds there is another pod coming into the station. This could really be an answer for short run people moving throughout our city. Check out the city of Bolivia that uses Urban Gondolas to move people throughout their city with ease, and they have elevation to deal with too! Let’s make some real change to our growing city. Let’s be ahead of the curve, not behind it. 25 years from now when the proposed light rail is completed won’t cars be flying by then anyways?

  14. says

    On tomorrow’s commute, 95% of the people you see in the HOV lane will be alone in their car at rush hour. Signs alone don’t stop selfish people from taking away the dedicated lane and primary incentive for carpooling. These people are Oblivious-on-purpose.

    People sharing a ride is the single best way to take cars off the road, which is the single best way to address congestion in the near term.

    For 22 hours a day the HOV lane is for everyone. For JUST two hours a day the HOV lane is reserved for those of us who invest in Electric Vehicles, ride a motorcycle, or go to the trouble to carpool. TODAY, the rush hour bus operated by Metro could be filled with passengers beating traffic, their reward for taking the bus and not a car, except even the bus is stuck in traffic because nobody in leadership or law enforcement is writing HOV violation tickets.

    Finding a carpooling friend, neighbor or co-worker is getting easier with apps like Hytch.me designed to put two people in a car. To all you singles in the HOV lane – that’s just not cool.

    • Jim says

      Then they need to put up concrete barriers and dedicate the stupid HOV lane into a bus lane with more buses. Ranting about people being in the HOV lane is akin to pissing into the wind

  15. Audra says

    I think the plan is a good one, but I have a few concerns:

    Crosstown routes are highly needed – not just commuting routes. If you want people to commit to using public transit then amenities need to be accessible through transit as well. If I can’t grab groceries on my way home from work, or stop by a restaurant for a meeting, I probably won’t use the transit as often.

    I see that increasing the run frequencies of both existing bus routes and the Music City Star is one of the first priorities. I would love to have dates on when that will happen.

    Affordability is a huge issue – currently, a month MCS pass is only $50 cheaper than my monthly Nissan Leaf lease. Considering its currently highly limited schedule, I am concerned that with increased services it may become prohibitively expensive.

    Accessibility – with the amount of sidewalks in town that have completely inaccessible wheelchair ramps (note the amount of ramps completely blocked by bushes and walking routes through which a wheelchair could not squeeze past everything on street corners), I would like to see a realistic plan to ensure that all of our citizens can access public transit everywhere it is available. If you can’t traverse the sidewalk in your wheelchair, it doesn’t really matter that the buses are accessible.

    Safety – better lighting at all transit stops, as well as emergency call boxes, benches, and better coverings for rainy days would all be essential.

    Timing – if this plan takes 25 years, I will already be retired and probably living somewhere with better transit for seniors. Or to put it another way, my 14 year old will be almost 40 before this is finished. As my tax dollars will be paying for it, I would be into a plan that includes a timeline in which I also get to benefit from the investment. Increasing MCS runs is a great step towards that, but is not enough on its own.

    Lastly, tourism – does the current plan call for increased run frequencies on days with Titans games, Sounds games, conventions, large concerts, etc? I currently live downtown and am considering a move to the burbs largely because when large events are happening, I have few ways to get anywhere due to horrible traffic and limited weekend bus runs. 44-60 min commutes (for a 5.5 mile trip) are not uncommon for me. Tourists need better access to our entertainment, sports, art crawls, etc. while locals need ways to get around the tourists to get to the store or the office or even just a park.

    Also, for those stating that millennials will be the ones who benefit the most from this plan, and they are also likely to leave town – most millennials will be well into middle age before this is completed. So if they do leave, it will be more likely to be because the transit isn’t happening soon enough – many millennials in other cities are remaining in town to raise families, and one of the key factors in that is good transit.

  16. David Posey says

    This plan is exactly the kind of visionary leadership that Nashville’s transportation network needs. However, I don’t feel like it is enough.

    In particular, the 25-year timeline for light rail’s implementation seems way too far out. It seems like we should be able to break ground on these projects within five years.

    As a current frequent MTA rider, I recognize the current deficiencies of the system and am excited to see near-future improvements. Also, robust service to the airport will be a major boon for the city’s residents and visitors.

    I fully support this plan, at the least, and I also support the acceleration of the project timeline.

  17. Upton S. Page says

    I’m a big supporter of this plan and I’m willing to pay the additional property taxes or gas taxes to realistically make it happen. A city can not continue to grow at the rate Nashville is growing without implementing a smarter, more efficient transportation system. Continuing to widen roads to address traffic congestion, as our TDOT chief recently said, is like battling obesity by loosening your belt. We have to think smarter than that by making it easy and efficient to make use of pedestrian/bike facilities, and to take a bus or light rail train to work or crosstown events. It has worked phenomenally well throughout Europe for many decades, even in more sprawling areas of the U.S. It’s time we make it work in Nashville.

  18. says

    We should try to speed up the lite rail system. As a Williamson County resident who travels by plane weekly, I would fully embrace a train from Williamson county to BNA.

  19. Fay Forlines says

    Speaking up for those of us who want to keep on participating in the vital life of our city independently despite physical challenges: the physically handicapped because of accidents, birth defects, aging, etc.: What specific thought and planning have gone into mass
    transit planning, making it easy and convenient for the handicapped to travel independently around town to work, shop, attend church, dine, and enjoy all that Nashville has to offer its citizens and visitors?

    Are the plans aware of the importance of making it convenient for students in schools and colleges on the outskirts of Nashville to have mass transit to come into Nashville. For example, Welch College will relocate in early 2017 to the spanking new campus across the road from Station Camp High School, 1040 Bison Trail; Gallatin, TN 37066. (No address has been assigned yet.) Their students are from 2o or more states and several foreign countries. Many of them have or will seek jobs in Nashville. What thought has been given to mass transit for them and other residents of Sumner County who daily work, shop, dine, go to church, and attend events in Nashville: the downtown library, Frist Art Center, the opera house, Opry house, the music center, sports arenas, etc. They attract many Sumner County citizens to the city. When they get here, spend money in Nashville. (The college is especially dear to those of us who live near the present West End location–such as West End,Richland/Central, Bowling, Craighead,and Whitland Area Neighborhood Association.)

    May God’s blessings rest on Nashville and her citizens as they try to leave the city a better place because they have lived here or nearby
    (thanks to a mass transit system).

    Fay Forlines

  20. Paul T says

    Public Transportation is a double edged sword. Ask former residents of Atlanta, Chicago, and any other city that is experiencing the devastation of public transportation bringing blight into neighborhoods that would be otherwise safe and clean for families of all demographic backgrounds. It sickens me to see the city of Nashville using a logo resembling that of the Clinton Pres. Campaign as well. It would be my recommendation that in no way whatsoever we align our goals, direction, or focus on anything she represents or stands for in her misguided beliefs. It is also a flashing sign of our new mayors focus…socialist ideas and agenda. If we do not wake up as a city and country and move in a direction NOT aligned with the Democratic party we are doomed. Take a look at Chicago, Atlanta, Detroit, and the other cities that have fallen into that trap for the past many years and you will see what you have to look forward to in a continued Democrat run city. If you still think socialist policies work and public transportation is so great, look at Atlanta. I lived there for many years and every metro area their public transportation system reaches has been decimated. It provides a pipeline of crime consisting of gang violence, retail shoplifting and theft, home invasions, drugs, and destruction all along the Marta and bus routes. We call that blight and the side effects associated with blight. We need to do a better job electing our city officials and provide a safe, gracefully maturing city for future generations. Our city can be a thriving, prosperous place for generations to come or we can become Detroit or Chicago. Its not a hard decision to make. Quit listening to the smoke and mirrors and empty promises. Rethink our roadways and intercity development to provide better access to parking and better roads in and out of town. Relocate some of the govt assisted living spaces outside of the downtown area. Clean up the old depraved areas and or buy them and use that space for new access roads. If the tax payers are paying for housing for “under-privileged” or lets say “under-motivated” families, some of which have lived there for generations, lets rethink where geographically it is allocated and what the requirements are to qualify for these benefits. Trust me, it will change the dynamic of how our city grows and add more space for future growth and development. It will also lower crime and motivate families to find jobs and eliminate the street crime across the river and in other govt housing projects throughout the city. Require a monthly drug test to qualify for govt benefits, make all subsidized housing projects gun free zones, fence them and have entry gates with 24hr Metro police as gate guards. The less comfortable the circumstances the more motivated people are to strive to improve themselves. Lets make Nashville an even greater place to live and raise our kids. Lets put people to work. Lets eliminate crime in our city…AND last but not least lets eliminate the fraudulent welfare state from taking over our wonderful city.

  21. Heather and Will says

    The buses need to run heavy and run often. The buses need to function as a true metro form of transportation. If the buses ran by my house often, my husband and I would not have had to buy cars when we moved from New York to Nashville. We loved using public transportation in New York, and the options specifically in South Nashville are slim to none. In a perfect world, we could take the train to work.

  22. Shirley Grauberger says

    Music Row is completely ignored. Again. We have no available mass transit in this area unless you’re willing to hire one of the many pedal bars that cruise here.

  23. Gina Lackore says

    I completely agree with the addition of more mass transit. It is late to the game and necessary. It should not take me over an hour each way to get to and from work from Hermitage into downtown Nashville. Housing prices closer to the city are rising extremely quickly as people want to shorten their commute. People who can’t afford those prices are stuck with a terrible commute or the decision to move to a more commuter friendly city.

  24. David Utley says

    It would be important to leave the Plan open for any new mode to enter in to the transportation mix. Excluding something like Maglev technologies may be problematic now that the Atlanta to Chattanooga High Speed Transit is completing the first phase of approval of the D.E.I.S. The short jump from Chattanooga to Nashville will logically offer an extension and capitalize on the distance Maglev could profitably operate. Linking Nashville to Atlanta in a short one hour commute adds great potential for growing the cities economy. The possibility for private companies to build up a Maglev guide way is very realistic.

  25. Trey House says

    Yes on all the proposals.

    Too much development is centered around the idea that people NEED cars and will always use cars. Ergo, why invest in a working mass transit infrastructure? Well, we see where that thinking has gotten the city.

    As Nashville grows tremendously as a city and a region, we have to do better in understanding there are other ways to travel than by single automobile.

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  27. says

    In my opinion, #6 & #4 should trade places in recommendation ranking. I sometimes use the current system & would use it more if there were better routes to common destinations. Accessing these routes safely in a reasonable distance is paramount & would increase physical fitness opportunities.
    Also consider Briley Pkwy in new route creation (ie, 24 fwy areas to Opry Mills Area).

  28. Heather Vandagriff says

    As a daily MTA rider, and a 3rd shift worker, I would like the major arteries to be 24 hr/day routes. If I miss the last bus, I’m out a fourth of the price of a month long bus pass on one cab ride to work. I’d like that safety net in case I need to go into work late, or leave early.

    Also, and more importantly, the current design of the BRT stops is horrific for an older person. The bus provides almost no shade from the heat during the summer, no protection from wind in the cold, and above all NO PLACE TO SIT if you need to do so. I’ve been known to plop my over 50 year old self down on the sidewalk to wait 30 minutes for a bus. Whomever designed these stops never has had to use a bus for transportation. It makes waiting on a bus torture for an older person.

    I would (and do) support an integrated plan utilizing technology to inform riders about options available. The app is a decent start, along with the displays on the BRT bus stops. Also, investing in another option, like elevated trains, or subways to modernize the system and remove it from contributing to congestion would be a great step forward for our city in my opinion.

  29. says

    What needs to be done and what was achieved by the nMotion Plan?

    We need to get people in/out/around Nashville and Middle Tennessee. The TAMU Mobility Scorecard says we spend about $1 billion per year on congestion. We could spend some of that on mobility if it were to relieve congestion. This plan appears to relieve almost no congestion in my opinion.

    This Plan is more like a Strasbourg tram (streetcar) system with light rail instead. This will be a less walkable environment than streetcars but sprawling. It could only support regional high-speed commuter rail if trains could flow between the light rails. This might make more sense if your vision of Nashville is to support high density development in the USD. In other words, I won’t be riding it.

    The light rail plan fits with the vision of Nashville as a millennial mecca whose denizens eschew cars for transport from their jobs at internet cafes to after-hours at the brew pubs. Actually, millennials prefer to live with Mommy and Daddy than find a spouse, says the Census. In my view both are wrong: the echo-boom will find jobs, marry and then find that Nashville schools don’t live up to their high standards. They will look to the surrounding counties, maybe take their jobs with them and now what becomes of your light rail system? Light rail won’t fix schools and schools will trump light rail.

    Back to our $1 billion per year opportunity. The best idea I heard that wasn’t mine was moving the Radnor Yard to Smyrna and re-purposing the CSX rail lines. This needs to be an element of the plan; consider getting inside CSX’s capital budget plan for mutual benefit but also see what condemnation could do for you. Time to re-read “The Art of the Deal”.

    In the meantime MTA needs to strengthen the bus transit system. Develop a networked system before the light rail; use more collectors and less routes to downtown; go through, not to, downtown; don’t slight Goodlettsville and Bellevue; and employ long laterals and radials with outlying connections. I imagined a transit system from scratch in my “Loops & Bows” paper (see the link on my name above) and I still think it has stood the test of the nMotion process very, very well.

    • Robert Johnson says

      Didn’t understand a lot of this comment, but highlighting that “schools trump light rail”, and the potential trap of building for Millennials who then move out when they have kids is SPOT ON.
      Unfortunately coordinating education policy with built environment policy is something that eludes western cultures south of the Baltic sea.

  30. Sherri Mays says

    MTA needs to create a campaign that would remove the stigma that riding the bus is only for the poor who do not have personal transportation. Given the current fuel shortage, environmental and traffic issues MTA is missing out on the prime opportunity to increase ridership. Most of your personnel do not utilize your services and that is the central core of the problem. You cannot sell a product that you do not believe in.

  31. says

    I’m for anything and everything that can be done to improve transit, period. I know the following silly rant is outside the scope of nMotion… But to achieve any of this, MTA has to be able to reinvent itself as an organization, into something that is far more transparent, far more willing to communicate clearly with its ridership, and ready to take action and fix what’s wrong.

    The state of the restrooms at MCC is inexcusable, and it was obvious long, long before the stall walls came down a few weeks ago. Blaming vandals only shifts the responsibility. Years of unexplained nonfunctional ticket kiosks? Inexcusable. If they can’t afford to fix them and they can’t be bothered to haul them away, then for pete’s sake they could spend five minutes in Microsoft Word making an ‘out of order’ sign. Scotch tape is widely available. The alternative is a poor experience, especially for new riders.

    Meanwhile they refuse to post details of proposed system changes until the day of the first public hearing, and then neglect to post an alert about it by social media – and seem to feel that’s just fine. They clearly don’t want anyone to show up at public hearings, to the point of not even putting up a sign at MCC as to where it’s being held.

    When extreme traffic holds up nearly the entire system? Nary a tweet. Check out @cincinnatimetro for a system that actually communicates about delays and detours, and regularly answers questions.

    Look, I love transit, I love MTA, I take the bus every day. I want all of this to succeed brilliantly… but they have got to grow up if people are going to accept public transit.

  32. Andy King says

    I would like to see water travel expand as well. Is there such a thing as high speed water busses? We could expand docking for downtown area as well.

  33. charles Brown says

    This could have and should have happened years ago. The horse is out of the barn and running in the distance.
    Mayor Megan Barry, instead of spending Her 8 years on the Council running for Mayor , had the opportunity to make real progress. The “keystone Cops” or better known as the Metro Council can’t even decide on utility pole issues, let alone something of real importance. Could have happened at half the price with a little planning and foresight. Sad management!

  34. cullin spellings says

    While I appreciate a lot of the forward thinking I’m afraid it doesn’t go far enough. We are on the cusp of a huge overhaul in transportation with autonomous vehicles likely to overturn much of how we currently approach all aspects of getting from point a to point b. Autonomous buses are starting to roll out around the world. We already have electric buses here. We have some of the worlds biggest vehicle manufacturers located in and around Davidson county as well Nissan, GM, and, for big buses, Prevost. A partnership with any one of these could make Nashville a leader in the public transit arena throughout the country.

    • Cheryl says

      Brilliant post. Chattanooga has electric buses serving downtown. Granted, Chatt is a different city entirely. Agree with partnerships and moving forward fast with automated options. Rail from outlying areas to relive much of the interstate and in-town congestion should be a part of the initial project, in my opinion.

  35. Beth Shinn says

    Having spent time in cities in the U.S. and Europe with excellent public transit, I can testify that it improves quality of life. So I am delighted Nashville is thinking seriously about transit. But Hub and Spoke systems are limiting. Perhaps most transit riders go downtown now because that is almost the only place transit will take you, adding to congestion. Midtown is growing, Vanderbilt is the area’s largest employer, but to go most places (e.g. the airport) from Midtown or West End you have to go downtown first and then wait around for the next bus out.

  36. Nancy Juodenas says

    This looks like a great comprehensive plan. The only problem is, it can’t be implemented fast enough. 25 years is long time to wait for the completion of the plan. But I understand the practicality of improving bus routes and services now as a first step. I, for one, am implementing my own plan, to ride buses, walk and cycle more while I am waiting for this plan to gradually become a reality. As a new bus rider, I am finding the present system extremely hard to navigate. Why are there not more crosstown routes? Why does one have to pay an extra fare to transfer? Why are there not more transfer points? Why does one have to go downtown to transfer to most routes? The traffic situation in Nashville gets worse by the day. I am fortunate that I am retired and have choices as to when I travel. I am sorry for the people that don’t have a choice and must use the interstates. Let’s give them more choices. Let’s give them more convenient and usable choices.

  37. Chris says

    I live in West Nashville and have a few ides about improving Bus service. I have noticed that most of the buses block traffic in one lane when they stop for pickup/drop off. It would improve traffic flow if the stops could be designed to minimize this.

    Have you considered a circuit bus that would run down West End between Downtown Riverfront and White Bridge Road? The current Green and Blue lines are very underutilized. Maybe you could convert one of these to a West End route.

    Also on West End between I440 and Vandy going east there are random parking places that slow down traffic and that buses have to go around to get to the curb. If this parking was eliminated it would help flow!

    I also wish there was a bus route that went down Murphy Road and 46th Ave.

  38. Tom Nichol says

    I am extremely disappointed that no thought or consideration (at least as far as I can determine!) has been given to providing some sort of rapid transit for the WESTERN part of Williamson County, including the Fairview area, where I have resided for some 20 years now. When I moved to Fairview, the population was about 5,000; as of the 2010 census, the population of Fairview was about 8,000, and has continued to grow rapidly since that time. Even a limited service offering to the Fairview area would be a boon, especially since it could easily be provided as an extension of the existing service to the Bellevue via Highway 100, on which Fairview is directly located. The opening of what will soon officially become INTERSTATE 840 affords other possibilities for the future as well. MTA/RTA recognized this to some extent when they inaugurated Park-and-Ride service to the Dickson area. Why do they not give the Fairview area the same opportunity, particularly given its direct proximity to the Bellevue, as I have already stated? Think about it!

  39. Jennifer Thompson says

    This is a good start; I know it’s the result of tons of work. I do hope for even more – even just more bus routes would be fantastic. For example, Crieve Hall and the Nippers Corner/Whispering Hills area still have very little bus service. To get from my house to my job on West End, any way I look at it, it’s still at least a four-step process (walk 1.5mi, bus, transfer, transfer). I get that this area is neither dense enough nor enough in need to be top priority, but if it were reasonable for my schedule, I’d be an enthusiastic transit rider.

    More generally, here’s what I’d need in order to use transit regularly:
    – Safety. One, I’m a single woman. I don’t want to stand alone at a dark bus stop waiting for a transfer (or a late bus). Two, currently, my area is not walk- or bike-friendly. Bike lanes and sidewalks all over town would help tremendously.
    – Frequency. For >1 transfer to make sense to someone who has other transit options, there can’t be a long wait between buses. I’m glad this is on the list.
    – Convenience. I have a 9-5 job, but I rarely go straight home from work. Can transit get me from home near Nippers Corner to work on West End to dinner or errands in and back home around 9 or 10? Beyond just getting to a transit stop, that’s my biggest hangup. Just a commuter route isn’t enough for me.

  40. Jonathan R. Hutchins says

    Reducing the stigma so many have regarding mass transit is an important function of selling any plan to a public unaccustomed to any other mode of transportation than their own automobile. Whatever plan is adopted needs to be marketed effectively across all geographic parts and economic strata of the region, so that future generations look to mass transit as a natural, efficient, and desirable way to get around.
    I am another train rider who advocates for the inclusion of more commuter rail lines as an essential component of the overall plan because of the great distances so many of Middle Tennessee’s commuters travel into and out of Nashville. The concept of the “star” serving riders to (at least) five of the satellite cities, augmented by increased local bus service, seems to me the most affordable approach to removing individual cars from the freeways. Perhaps integrating busses and commuter trains in a spoke and wheel system would allow greatest access to a mass transit web.
    I, for one, would accept paying higher taxes to fund such a system. Increasing fuel taxes seems to me an obvious first step, but raising property taxes seems inevitable in the face of such a costly venture. How much should one pay for an enhanced quality of life, looking at it philosophically? Increasing sales taxes should not be a consideration, from my point of view.

    • Cheryl says

      Yes! More commuter rail. Expand along existing routes. And yes, higher fuel taxes/county auto registration taxes/property taxes may be in order to help pay for this.

  41. D Nanto says

    I echo the comments of so many others. This is a great plan, and needs to be expedited soon! I particularly like the idea of expanding the music city star and improving buses up and down broadway through downtown.

  42. Stephen Sisco says

    I believe you have a real opportunity for creating a vision of Middle Tennessee that can be our legacy. A regional system connecting Nashville to Clarksville, Murfreesboro, Columbia, Dickson, and Lebanon through transit centers etc will almost be like a European model, where you have centers of high density growth, leaving lots of green space and public areas for all future generations of Tennesseans. Places I understand there is a steep price to this type of grand project, but there are more than enough people/counties/businesses who will get behind you, if this is done properly.

  43. Faith Reed says

    I feel we need to focus more on a lightrail/subway system and sooner. This gas “scare” only proves this. We are sso dependant on our own cars with our current system and more bus routes is not going to change that.

  44. Kevin Stack says

    This looks like a reasonable, incremental approach, focusing on what we can fix with less investment right away but also eventually including the structural changes (BRT, light rail, etc.) that the city will need. The more we can do on transit now the better. I’m impressed that the plan seems to focus on those who are in greatest need and most likely to use more transit, and then bring in a wider net. My only hope/suggestion is that this plan include more dedicated lanes for bikes, protected by a curb, not just a paint stripe.

  45. says

    The plan is better than what we have now, but I echo the many folks that state this plan is too little too late. There are options for light rail that do not include use of the CSX lines. Elevated rail above our existing major arteries can be achieved, but is not proposed here.

    I’d be interested in riding the bus if it were MUCH more frequent and reliable. I commute from South Nashville (Lenox Village area) to Donelson so my commute is across town rather than downtown. I have not even begun to explore taking a bus for this commute as I have zero confidence in my ability to get to work on time or even at a consistent time from day to day.

    Lastly, I used to live in Lebanon. We explored the Music City Star as a commuting option, but found it was more expensive than taking a car. Why would I do that??? Why would I give myself fewer options of when I can come home and pay more money for the “priveledge”?

    • Cheryl says

      Like this comment related to suggestion of elevated rail along existing auto corridors.

      And I wouldn’t have guessed MCS to be more expensive than driving. Any new options MUST be affordable in order to entice ridership.

  46. Shawn Klumpjan says

    This is showing to be a typical Nashville approach with a little more pomp & circumstance added. As all Southeastern cities, I am not convinced that the seriousness to the traffic problem and overall mobility challenges in the Mid-State are being objectively considered. This is a plan that should have been executed 20 years ago, here we are in 2016 and we are still just having talks while other cities the same size have made huge strides and accomplishments tackling the challenges that growth brings. In the meantime, we keep talking and not solving the problem and we will see this growth dry up. Can we have a more focused approach and a sense of urgency to get this done please?

  47. says

    I’ve already commented, but have to again. Because I have distilled it.

    This is a GREAT PLAN.

    For 1998.

    Everything here is a good start. But we are 30 years behind. This won’t happen soon enough to fix anything, and will be pissing in the wind. We need the spine to do all this NOW.

    If this were pro sports we’d find a way. Much like at the national level if it were warfare, we’d find a way.

    We need leaders willing to lose an election to the morons who don’t get it, but still get this done.

    Thanks for the good plan, but an MTA that can’t even figure out social media and credit cards presenting a plan that’s another 20 years in the making, 30 years too late is not the way to apply this excellent research and planning.

    TRANSIT.

    NOW.

  48. John Bull says

    “Full Build-out” sooner than later. Davidson County has a LOT of catching up to do. And currently so underfunded as to define just silly.

    UBER, LYFT., etc as part of the system ? Absolutely. But have MTA/RTA negotiate that ‘last half mile’ to the nearest bus stop as included in the basic bus fare. This would address any “surge” charges by LYFT/UBER be assumed by MTA/RTA.

    The “bus shelters, community transit centers, transit neighborhood and regional transit centers and purpose-built park-and-ride lots, crosstown routes” all assist in a reduced emphasis on the current hub system.

    The really good news to me is Davidson County has revenues available for implementing such plans, whatever final form they might take. For example GOOGLE: “22 million for Centennial Park”.

  49. Barbara Henson says

    I ditto the comments about this not being a serious fast enough plan. The csx line can not be the only option for commuter trains. If it is then negotiate with csx asap. Commuter trains is the key to congestion and the priority. Bus lines do not help. Commuter trains trump freight trains period. If bus lines are your solution we are screwed.

    • Elaine says

      Folks have moved into a land of tires and gas. If it doesn’t run on gas with tires, it gets no consideration. As much as I have carried on about the influx of people moving in (many that are from Northern states), I will be glad if they open eyes to the poor mass transit in this city. We’ve been ripe for rail transit for decades with many opportunities to fix that. I guess this will have to inconvenience the right person to get something done sooner than 30 years from now.

  50. says

    I love the boldness of this plan. Without serious investment in Mass transit our city and region are really going to start struggling. However, I am particularly concerned with how the transit system fits into the broader transportation system, specifically the sidewalks and crosswalks. If you can’t walk to the stop, it doesn’t matter how fancy the train is, people won’t ride it.

    I was excited to see that the final draft included infrastructure improvements in and around transit lines. I hope this is included in the final draft and becomes a top priority. Unless our pikes become seriously more walkable and easier to cross, I think mass adoption of buses, lightrails or BRT will all be very hard to achieve. While sidewalks may be less cool than lightrails, until as a city we make serious strides in pedestrian accommodations around major corridors transit will remain unappealing to most Nashvillians.

  51. Richard R. Forberg says

    The nMotion plan has many good elements but does not go far enough, nor fast enough. Our goal here should be to reduce congestion soon.

    But, according to nMotion plan’s own forecast of Public Transit ridership, we would get only a slight reduction in the rapid growth of the congestion.

    This happens because the steady increase in population brings nearly one million more cars to Middle TN roadways by 2040, overwhelming the relatively small increase (in absolute numbers) in public transit ridership which is only about 75,000 more regular users by 2040, per the nMotion plan.

    We cannot afford an incremental approach and watch the congestion get worse over the next 5 years, and much, much worse over next 25 years.

    But likewise we cannot afford a $6 Billion plan, that indulges in some projects that will have a negligible reduction in congestion, and where some proposals could even make congestion worse, (e.g., by reserving lanes in busy roadways for insufficiently frequent and lightly used new transit services).

    We need to think differently than other cities have, and not make the same mistakes.

    What is missing from the nMotion plan that could in fact reduce in congestion, or at least stall its growth, at much lower CAPEX cost, are four major things (one of which also generates significant revenue to help pay for the others):

    1. A much larger expansion of the MTA/RTA express bus network (e.g., the BRT-like services) than proposed in the nMotion plan. The expresses buses should run as frequently as every 5 to 10 minutes on the most popular routes during peak travel times and there need to be many more express route. More details on that below.

    2. Combine this with a few hundred “Transfer Points”, through-out the greater region for much better local access to the express buses . These special Transfer Points should be designed to facilitate fast and easy connections between ride-sharing services and the express buses. A single Transfer Point might serve 4 to 6 different bus routes, providing excellent direct connectivity (i.e., “non-stop” or “one-stop”) to many destinations. (More on these below).

    3. An electronic, time-of-day toll system to automatically collect tolls (e.g. $2) from all single passenger cars (while going at full speed through the tolls), and potentially from other vehicles too, to bring down congestion and encourage more “pooling” on the highways.

    4. Serious HOV lane enforcement (using electronic methods), moving from 2+ to 3+ as the occupancy requirement by 2020, and eventually having two dedicated HOV lanes where one is for public & private buses, and the other is for any car or van with 3+. An extension of HOV requirements to the right lane of the major surface roads will be needed in many places, but it should not be dedicated to buses-only, since private car pools and ride-sharing services also need use of that lane too, which also helps reduce congestion overall.

    This combined approach can then deliver the “door-to-door” service we want (even better than driving our own car and having to park), at the speeds we want, and with many other benefits we want, including significant cost savings for those who transition to ride-sharing and express buses (vs. owning car, or having a 2nd car just for commuting.)

    It seems to me that this approach could begin to have positive effects in just 3 to 5 years, given good planning and serious early commitments.

    But it would probably take 8 to 10 years to develop a highly efficient, well integrated “bus & ride-sharing” network to level that significant cuts down the congestion, while the population continues to grow rapidly.

    Such a network would probably need about 1500 to 2000 electric buses by 2025 or 2030, serving about 400 bus routes (mostly express) interconnecting about 300 to 400 Transfer Points that serve about 150 to 200 key intersections, freeway exits and preferred destinations throughout the seven country region.

    Envision it as a high-capacity “above-ground subway system”, but with better access, much greater flexibility, and many more connections and destinations than possible with any sort of rail-based alternative.

    The Transfer Points tend to be needed in pairs, for the two opposing directions of travel. Each one in the pair provides “waiting space” (not parking space) for 8 to 32 ride sharing vehicles, so that they can conveniently and safely drop-off & pick-up passengers to & from the buses.

    Buses should be in Transfer Points for only about 1 minute. Typical routes from remote suburbs or satellite cities to downtown Nashville, should have only about 5 to 10 Transfer Points as their only obligated stops along a 10 to 15 mile route, with many high-traffic express routes having fewer than 5 stops in that distance.

    The Transfer Points should be built-into local “street-scape”, with the human scale in mind, and to enable easy bus “pull-out”, (from the traffic flow) & pull-on (with “jump-the queue” in front of waiting cars), without diverting much in distance & time from the main travel route. They should also provide amenities for passengers and a safe, pleasant environment, near shops with sidewalks & crosswalks where appropriate (depending on the nature of the roadway served). And most important, they need to be in the right locations.

    Yet, it should not be hard to find the landowners willing to cooperate by leasing a strip or corner of their existing parking lot, at a low rate, since the value of their entire lot (and all the business on it) will appreciate with the added customer traffic and transportation convenience they receive by having a Transfer Point.

    A reasonable goal for 2030 is:
    –> 20% of all trips in & around the Metro to be served solely by one or two local ride-share pools. These would be mostly in the range of 1 to 2 miles, and would largely replace “local bus” services if the low pricing forecast for these services takes hold at around $0.50 to $1. Autonomous vehicles should drive down the cost of short, shared rides to the $0.50 level or less.

    –> 15% of all trips in & around the Metro to be served by the combination of one express bus trip, plus one or two ride-share connections (or a Local Bus). These would be mostly in the range of 5 to 15 miles, but also could include most trips of greater distance (up to 40 miles) in & out of downtown, mid-town, Opry Mills or the BNA airport.

    –> 5% of all trips in & around the Metro to be served by the combination of two express bus trips (i.e., one bus-to-bus connection), plus one or two ride-share connections (or Local Bus). These would be mostly in the range of 15 to 40 miles.

    The remaining 50% or so, of all trips, would still be done by private cars, either as ad-hoc pools (i.e., just friends & family) or as single passengers, but mostly the latter.

    This contrasts with less than 5% of all trips on Public Transit (for all modes of rail & bus) under the nMotion plan by 2030 or even 2040.

    I believe the above new approach can be implemented for less than half of $6 Billion of CAPEX projected for current nMotion plan, through the year 2040. This includes new bus purchases and their replacements, assuming a 10 year bus lifetime. The vast majority of the CAPEX is in the buses, plus the maintenance & charging facilities for the buses. Constructing the Transfer Points should be less than 2% of the CAPEX, unless they also serve as fast charging stations.

    The $3 Billion in savings vs. the current nMotion plan comes mainly from dropping the four, expensive Light Rail routes, which would not noticeably help reduce congestion, and may even worsen it.

    Light rail costs are over $100 Million per mile, on average, and up to as much as $500 Million per mile in some projects. Also Light Rail rarely attracts more regular riders that a good bus route, and often runs at much slower speeds (e.g., 20 to 30 mph). They are mainly a novelty, with an appeal that wears-off quickly, when they break-down, block traffic and cause accidents because drivers do not expect them to be in the road. And light rail does not adapt easily, or at all, to changes in traffic demands, flows and user destinations over time.

    As for Commuter Rail, it appears to be expensive but potentially useful, given its alternative pathways, if we can growth the capacity of it, and find more cost-effective engines and higher capacity passenger cars.

    • Michelle says

      Mr. Forberg – do you use our current public transit? I’m guessing you don’t. I do. Your detailed response sounds like the typical political hogwash that has gotten us into the mess we are in. Ride the train for a week and then read the proposal. My guess is that you will have a different response.

  52. LocalAdvocate says

    I agree–rail is the only answer, period. Very few people, especially the elderly, are going to stand out in inclement weather to take a bus unless it’s a necessity. With the unprecedented growth in Nashville and more to come, true mass transit is long overdue and that’s not buses. Time to step up to the plate and get serious about the right, long term solution instead of bandaids.

  53. Angie says

    Other ideas:
    Add a ramp at I-65 and Great Circle Rd and connect it to 2nd Ave.
    More bridges across the Cumberland, especially on the east side, or use ferry boats.
    Use the Cumberland as a highway, taxi boats?

    Just thinking outside the box.

    • says

      Dig this! Yes. Bridges. The bone-headed lack of bridge replacement for all the ferries we lost has NEVER made sense.

      River taxi, neat idea for SURE!

      … but we can’t even get MTA/RTA to think creatively and with balls about rail…

  54. Mike Fitzpatrick says

    I’ve ridden the bus to work about 5% of the time over the past five years, and once I am on that bus, my life is so simple and enjoyable: I am on my phone reading, texting, watching a show, or listening to music with no traffic tension and never a speeding ticket! So why do I still take my car 95% of the time? I do it for the same reason that 95% of other people do: The bus stops are too far away from my house. The biggest mass transit issue, perhaps the only issue, I see in fact is getting people from their houses to the bus stops and back. So I am a one-issue advocate, and the issue is more park&ride lots. For the first couple years, if I were in charge of transportation in Nashville-Davidson, I would put all the new funding into public lots. Ridership is certain to grow tremendously from this single effort, and when it does, every one of those new riders will become an enthusiastic advocate for more and better vehicles and more and better routes.

  55. Bob says

    The problem with a 25-year plan is that we have no idea of what future transportation innovations will occur. Will self-driving cars solve our traffic problems? Or some other brilliant innovation that will make traffic & light rail obsolete…

    I’ve lived in Miami and Dallas. Both proposed and implemented light rail systems. Both systems run at a loss. How will Nashville be any different?!

    Answer: it won’t be any different. It will cost citizens of Nashville extra, forever.

  56. Steve says

    I love the plan and hope that they advertise the implementation of the plan. Anything that will decrease the congestion on the highways is an improvement. I recommend speeding up the implementation of transit improvement plan because traffic is so bad now. I would gladly take the bus from Mt Juliet to Nashville if they increased frequency of buses.

  57. Aye Amme says

    Do we need traffic solutions? YES. However, this agenda for improvement has several flaws. 1) Very clearly politically motivated. 2) Where does the money come from? Surely, not me. If you can find grants and private donors, go for it. 3) Are the roads being widened? I don’t see that in the plan. 4) Where will you put the parking hubs for those riding transit? Parking is being eliminated all over Nashville to make room for growth. I live in Nashville and never want to go downtown as it is because there is no where to park anywhere near where I want/need to go! 5) The plan is 25 years long. The plan is of no benefit me, but I’m sure I will be expected to pay for it. What are you going to do to fix our traffic nightmare NOW?

  58. Sherri Mays says

    Although the plan appears to be ambitious there are key areas of opportunity for growth that is missing. Rutherford county is one of the fastest growing counties in the United States but was barely recognized and given the attention it deserved in this 25 year plan. What I see is a politically motivated plan that will continue to stifle the grow the of the areas surrounding Davidson County. I encourage the planners to remove their hidden agendas and bias to create a plan that will continue to draw Fortune 500 corporations to the State of TN for years to come. Please remove self interest for the greater good.

  59. Nancy B says

    Did I miss road widening as an option? If the only plan is to institute mass transit in it’s various forms, isn’t that short sighted? I find it hard to believe that Old Hickory Blvd west of Granny White Pike will stay a mere 2 lanes – even as the population of Nashville doubles! The same for Harding Rd/Battery Ln/Woodmont. We need at least 3 lanes (center for turning cars). Also, dedicated right turn lanes are a MUST to keep traffic moving! Not everyone is going to automatically turn to bus/mass transit as THE option.

  60. Willi Honegger says

    I love the plan, it can be done, excellent leadership. I am missing one link. Nashville has the beautiful city parks, Percy and Edwin Warner. But there is no public transport to its different entrances along HWY 100. Thus, people without a car have a hard time to go there. Why not adding a bus line on weekends on HWY 100 that could connect to the Bus line 5 at the 100/70 split? It would also serve the Bellevue area.

  61. Fara says

    The idea that this plan fully implemented will still take up to 25 years is just crazy. In another 5 years traffic will be a nightmare. It already is most days. To live 13 miles from downtown and some days it takes 2 hrs to get home. No plan will be fast enough but I realize we must start somewhere. However, The time for planning should have taken place and implementation needs to start last year (or before). Not including Murfreesboro baffles me.

  62. Britt says

    I like the plan, but was disappointed that the streetcars along Rosa Parks didn’t make the final draft. It is my understanding that these can be installed in existing right of ways, and are much less expensive than light rail.

    I think some form of high capacity transportation into Metro Center would make sense.

    • Willi Honegger says

      I agree; the NYT just had an article that NY is planning a new street car route for $ 2.5 Billion looking to Toronto for lessons.

  63. Blake says

    We’ve got to have a light rail that goes along the I-65 S corridor to Brentwood & Franklin. That’s a no-brainer.

    I’m sure you could get private citizens to donate additional money to fund it. That’s what Atlanta did for their BeltLine

    • Willi Honegger says

      I agree, it will be in the long-term interest of business owners to have an efficient connection (light rail) to Nashville to haul their employees in and out. Why not aggressively push for business investment?

  64. Kipp says

    I like the plan and want to see it come to fruition! I agree with other comments on the light rail options to those living in Brentwood/CoolSprings/Franklin etc – that should be prioritized.

    The time to invest is NOW! Interest rates are so low and our tax base is booming. We seem to have all the money in the world to build skyscrapers – how about we invest in the infrastructure it takes to get to those buildings?! We can do this!

  65. Jennifer Satterfield says

    I think it is a great idea. We are already feeling the growing pains of more traffic. I really cannot afford my property taxes to increase. Is the funding in place or federal funding available? Is there a way to have people that live in out lying areas to help pay for the expansion and not just Davidson county tax payers?

  66. Kelsey Hutchinson says

    As a Williamson county resident (Brentwood specifically)–and one who would give anything to not have to drive anywhere–I’m glad the area is being considered as a place of need for rapid transit. However, I must agree with other commenters that the plan for the county is too modest and likely wouldn’t be appealing to residents here. I’d prefer a light rail option with multiple stops along our line, and not just one bus hub for Brentwood/Franklin/Cool Springs/Columbia.

    I can’t predict what would happen if a rapid bus were added, but I see the addition of a single bus hub (at Old Hickory Boulevard and Franklin Pike, no less) as more of an impediment to traffic than a solution. I’m unsure of where the exact planned location for this stop could be, but this is Brentwood’s most congested intersection and the feeder to the interstate that most people use (Concord Road being another, but further and less convenient for me personally).

    To access I-65, Old Hickory Blvd. and Franklin Road are your only two options and those corridors are marked by several lights; as a result, they are backed up for miles during peak hours. About 15-20 minutes of my 30-40 minute commute time is spent sitting at a backed up light while I wait to get on the interstate, once I’m on the interstate going north, I only spend about 10 minutes. That, to me is the crux of the transit issue in Williamson county: there aren’t enough options to bypass local traffic as the population grows.

    Also, I’m unsure what was meant by the green-shaded area labelled “local service” as there is no bus line in Brentwood. Franklin has done a much better job of connecting their residents with transit options, so in considering Williamson county, additional wheels on the road for Brentwood in particular, doesn’t seem appealing.

  67. Kevin Key says

    Overall, the plan is a sound strategic move on the part of Nashville MNSA. One of the weaknesses is the lack of cooperation of CSX Transportation. The recommendation of the Chamber of Commerce to move Radnor Intermodal yard is a beginning point for securing the participation of CSX and access to rail lines for heavy rail traffic.

    The Radnor Intermodal yard is currently inadequate. One idea is to extend the Walking Horse rail line which is a spur to Shelbyville from Wartrace and tie it the CSX line coming from Alabama. The extension is about 15 miles and would tie into the Alabama line between Lewisburg and Chapel Hill, possibly near Farmington. The line would be double tracked north until where a new, larger intermodal yard would be built near where the line crosses I-840 in the area of Arrington, Triune, and Kirkland. The state would build an SIA road to I-840. The would free up regional freight from the south and southeast ports from coming into Nashville thus reducing traffic. In a quid pro quo in return for state and RTA money CSX would allow heavy rail transit on the lines from Murfeesboro and Franklin.

    The former Radnor Yards could then be redeveloped as commercial transit oriented development. Also, the soils in the area are heavily contaminated with chemical spills over the years and form the source of heavy pollution in the East Fork of Browns Creek. As part of the redevelopment the site could be remediated.

  68. Don says

    This is an exciting initiative. Certainly needed and considerably overdue. It appears that the extension of real transit answers to the Southeast and South of Nashville are missing. Rutherford and Williamson Counties should be included for the rail portion of the plan now, not later, in my view. Even if that part of the plan takes awhile to implement, having it included now makes the statement that this is truly a plan for the entire region.

  69. Tobi says

    Nashville needs rail NOW. Of course, planning, funding and construction takes a few years, but it does not need to take 25 years. The nMotion plan is a good concept for the first step, but the timeline for it is unacceptable. We are experiencing unprecedented growth now, which is already causing traffic to collapse. Waiting for decades to build this infrastructure does not seem wise, given the population growth Nashville is currently experiencing and the traffic problems we already have and can’t solve unless we provide commuters with an alternative they will use, i.e. rail.

    Tennessee’s capitol is no longer a small provincial town and people recognize that. That is why support for a bold new traffic concept has grown enormously. However, most people won’t take buses, no matter what you call them, especially when they are stuck in traffic just like everyone else. Yet, many of these very same people will happily take a train, subway or streetcar. That’s why rail needs to appear in Nashville very soon.

    The problem with the nMotion plan is that it is not ambitious enough. To get people to support it (and be willing to pay the taxes to fund it), we must offer something exciting and attractive. The commuter rail lines and streetcars in the plan are exactly that, but they need to appear much faster. Improving bus connections and adding rapid bus routes is certainly better than nothing, but it won’t solve Nashville’s traffic problems without adding some rail infrastructure.  Waiting for decades to build this infrastructure does not seem to be the best idea, given the population growth Nashville is currently experiencing, as it will frustrate supporters, fuel critics and make sprawl inevitable and Nashville less attractive.

    Boston has the same population as Nashville, yet that city has multiple subway-lines. This needs to be our role model if we don’t want to become another Houston, Northwest-Atlanta or LA. Nashville is growing at an unusual rate right now, which is a great opportunity for funding, and creates enormous urgency to adapt. If we miss this window of opportunity now, our city will inevitably become less attractive for (and therefore lose) residents, tourists and business.

    My experience with MTA is very positive. Compared to many other cities, the experience riding buses in Nashville is very pleasant and the drivers are very friendly and professional. However, our bus-only transit system is no longer adequate or sufficient for the city we have become. This requires a radically different mindset when planning a transit system for the future.

    My suggestion if funding does not allow for more: Building at least one rail connection within the shorter-term five-year plan would be an important signal that public demand for a rail system in Nashville is being taken seriously.  A good start would be the connection between downtown and the airport, which could also serve parts of Murfreesboro Pike.  This connection would benefit many Nashvillians and make the city more attractive for tourists and business.  This line could also later be expanded towards Murfreesboro, thus taking pressure off I-24. 

    A final note on driverless cars: They are still vehicles and stuck in traffic if the roads are congested. Unless driving cars manually will become illegal, which I hope and think it never will, autonomous vehicles will not even increase traffic flow in a noticeable manner as they have to avoid startling (or crashing into) human drivers who are on the road with them and avoid causing crashes between other human drivers reacting to the confusing behavior of an autonomous vehicle trying to maximize efficiency. While they will bring substantial changes to the taxi-industry and others, they cannot compete with the higher efficiency of mass transit (because of the lower rider-to-vehicle rate) when it comes to fighting congestion. Uber and Lyft are even less of a solution to traffic congestion (although they provide a great alternative to taxis), as they are hardly an alternative to the daily commute and even if they were, they would not reduce the number of vehicles competing for the road.

    We therefore need an attractive and efficient rail system in Nashville as soon as anyhow achievable.

  70. Stuart Rhinehart says

    It still amazes me that a $6 billion plan that spans two decades doesn’t include any rail transit to the areas biggest commuter city/county…Murfreesboro, Rutherford. I see that the plan states that the CSX tracks complicate the issue and the plan just gives up on a solution. Two decades and $6 Billion dollars….and there’s not even a chance of a solution. I don’t understand that at all.

  71. Steve says

    We all know that this plan will end up costing more than projected. Look at the Music City Center, which came in 40% over planned, and is now under-performing on its projected revenues. No government project is ever cost effective or finished on time.

    The future of transportation in Nashville cannot be planned top down. It will be decided by dynamic companies like Uber and Lyft, who have plans to add optimized bus/carpool routes and driverless cars in the next several years. Let those companies solve our transportation problems and leave the clunky, arrogant government out of it. They cannot possibly predict or solve the problems we’ll be facing 20 years from now, they can only make us poorer.

  72. Tom says

    BRT to Spring Hill and Columbia is a great and necessary idea.
    Thanks for your careful study and work on this. Dedicated bus lanes within the interstate right of way makes good logical sense and allows us flexibility in the future for driverless vehicles, ubers, or other to use lanes later if makes sense.

  73. Scott Troxel says

    I’m excited about Nashville taking these first steps towards a strong, holistic transit plan. It won’t be easy to move Nashville from a car-centered design to one that is built a strong transit system. A strong transit system provides the framework, the plan for all other development. When Nashville was developing into the 1940’s – 50’s, there were still streetcars on many streets. In the post-WWII building boom, the automobile took over and many of the elements of neighborhood design that encouraged healthy, multi-modal transport were left behind. Designing a strong, extensive transit system like MTA/RTA are proposing will help to reestablish good neighborhood and city design – a healthier, more livable community.

  74. Tyler says

    Where are these mass transit roads and segways being built? One of the plans originally had West End being a little rail/shuttle; but that takes away a current lane! Less lanes = more slower traffic! What is the plan? Are we building up?

    I wonder if Nashvillians will adopt the mass transit vibe. I ride the shuttle fairly often, and hardly anyone else is on it. Most colleagues and friends I come in contact with would not ride mass transit no matter how convenient. This is what keeps Nashville.., Nashville. Some do not want Nashville to be big city, where they have to ride mass transit to get to work, and in 25 years; most jobs will be able to work from home anyway. Personally, I do not feel comfortable spending $7billion on this plan. I like the idea of improved short term solutions, more buses, more stops, and I agree Nashville has a traffic problem – but 7billion for this plan does not sit well well with me. A majority of this payment is going to fall on taxpayers – and what will we have to show for it.., slower traffic and an even more expensive place to live. I have been part of large corporation surveys asking if they would consider taking a mass transit to work – and even if the company paid for over 1/2 the fare; a majority of Nashville folks would still rather just drive. Gas is still fairly cheap, and the power of navigating around downtown and other areas before or after work is priority. This looks like a plan that will take up more roads, cause more closings due to contruction and add to the traffic problems in Nashville far greater than improve them. I’d rather consider helicopter rides – can we create a Lyft app for helicopter rides!? Nashville should use part of this money to expand work from home jobs (which lower cost of office space!) and expand/increase flex time – allow workers to come in early and then leave early or come in late and leave late.

  75. Doug says

    I’m pretty disappointed that Hermitage is being left out of this. We really need a BRT-lite option for Lebanon Pike, one of the most heavily traveled roads in the county.

    A more frequent bus doesn’t help much when the trip takes nearly an hour end to end.

  76. Stephen says

    The details about expanding into the neighborhoods seems kind of sketchy. The closest bus stop for me is several miles away. Since I am a senior citizen, it is difficult for me to walk several miles to catch the bus plus repeat the trip on my return home. I would gladly use the bus now if there was more service into the neighborhoods. Not all of us live close to a major corridor.

    • John Bull says

      I hear you.

      My approach would be to have MTA/RTA negotiate with UBER, LYFT, etc to provide transportation for you at the appropriate bus stop and include your cost in the basic bus fare. If the bus will not run even vaguely by your home, have MTA/RTA assume that cost.

      Absolutely.

  77. says

    I believe that if you want people to get out of their cars that you will want to have light rail. This is especially true within 5 miles of the urban core where rail should be good enough that one wouldn’t even need an automobile to travel within this area. Sadly, I’m pessimistic that Nashville can pull it off, given that Atlanta, a very progressive city, can’t pull it off. That said, I believe that there should be not only spokes of rail going to the urban core, there would also be concentric circles. The spokes should go from Hermitage or Mt. Juliet to Bellevue, Hickory Hollow area to Bordeaux, Cool Springs to Hendersonville, Green Hills-Lipscomb to near HCA’s hospital on Dickerson Pike, and maybe one more down Charlotte pike to East Nashville. The first concentric circle should go around Downtown Nashville, connecting the convention center, the gulch, state government, Nissan field, and the like. The second concentric circle should start at Skyline hospital, course on over toward Madison, loop on down to Opryland and Opry Mills, head on over to the airport, and the course its way to Hundred Oaks or even as far as Lipscomb – Green Hills. This way, a direct train from the Airport to Downtown can hook onto the Hermitage route or the Hickory Hollow route and the concentric circle can connect the airport to Green Hills, Madison, Opryland, and the like. Finally, to unclog the Interstates which are filling up because common folks who work in Nashville can’t afford to live in Nashville anymore, there must be some way of providing bus service to the new rail system or to the urban core from key parts of outlying cities, such as Murfreesboro, Franklin, Gallatin, Dickson, and the like. This service has to be regular and reliable.

    • Lauren says

      I agree with James. I lived in Phoenix and watched while it struggled with the same issues. Urban Sprawl is real and must be addressed sooner rather than later. Later makes the ‘construction hassle’ just that much worse. James lays out a good structure that will allow and encourage people to switch to public transit. Light rail is a must! Also, for those living on the north side of the lake, there needs to be more options to get over the lake. Adding a light rail bridge will strengthen the draw of getting people to make the switch and leave their cars at home.

    • Tyler says

      I wonder too if Nashvillians will adopt the mass transit vibe. I ride the shuttle fairly often, and hardly anyone else is on it. Most colleagues and friends I come in contact with would not ride mass transit no matter how convenient. This is what keeps Nashville.., Nashville. Some do not want Nashville to be big city, where they have to ride mass transit to get to work, and in 25 years; most jobs will be able to work from home anyway. Personally, I do not feel comfortable spending $7billion on this plan. I like the idea of improved short term solutions, more buses, more stops, and I agree Nashville has a traffic problem – but 7billion for this plan does not sit well well with me. This looks like a plan that will take up more roads, cause more closings due to contruction and add to the traffic problems in Nashville far greater than improve them. I’d rather consider helicopter rides – can we create a Lyft app for helicopter rides!?

  78. ErLeClaire says

    There is an economic side to this dilemma. People with higher income live outside of the near urban core, while lower income workers live in the more dense areas. As Nashville goes vertical and concentrates the center city, the volume of workers will increase. However, the housing in the center city and adjoining areas are less affordable to the middle class with families. Expansion and relocation of centers needs to be in the plan.

  79. ErLeClaire says

    The first thing to do is “not to repeat the same tired actions that other metro areas have implemented!” Poor planning of the metro area leaves it a victim to chaotic expansion and a continuous inability to meet the traffic jams generated. If rail is an option then stepping out to light rail and perhaps combination vehicles that can ride the rails, and at various points enter the roadway on rubber wheels for local disbursement makes sense. The bottom line is if you want someone to abandon their car to come into Nashville, it will have to be economical, convenient, and sensible. Stinky, sweaty buses, dirty trains, and unreliable scheduling of conveyances would accomplish nothing more than what Chicago, LA, and New York have already shown to be massively expensive failure.

    • Peter Malone says

      The Loop works for Chicago, the T works for Boston and the NYC Subway system works very well for NY. Not having mass transit in the aforementioned cities isn’t remotely an option. Big Labor certainly has made these systems very expensive to run but the alternative of not having them is ludicrous. I left LA out because it’s really not a city in the sense of a Chicago or a NY or even Boston, probably more in line with Atlanta which is one of the most poorly designed cities in America!

  80. James Snyder says

    Nashville is headed to be another Atlanta or Houston. Charlotte is headed there too. The growth is inevitable. After sleep walking for over 100 years Middle Tennessee is in a growth pattern.

    Nashville must get started now or traffic will be a nightmare going forward. The Metropolitan Planning Organization and the Regional Transit Authority has done a good job outlining what needs to be done.

    Sadly I fear that our local politicians lack the courage to get the job done. Finding good people with the political will won’t be easy.

  81. says

    I work in Donelson and most of my co-workers including myself live near the Nashville Star line (most in Mt. Juliet and Lebanon) but none of us take the Star regularly. Why? Because the hours make no sense! First, last train runs at a ridiculously early 5:45pm!! Who gets to leave work consistently by this time? Second, where is the weekend schedule?? If you don’t work downtown you are more likely to need the train on the weekend. These are the two main reasons people on the rail line state that they and their spouse do not use the line (many spouses work downtown).

    Your short term plan should include expanding the Star schedule to at least 7pm on weekdays and a few trains on Saturday ASAP. I cross the rail everyday multiple times a day and I’ve only seen one freight train on the Star rail once in 3 years – i.e. you should be able to get the expanded schedule approved by the Rail company. Please do this soon!! We were so excited to get the Nashville Star and it was heartbreaking to find out we couldn’t use it because the schedule is so bad. Fix this and ridership will increase dramatically.

    • Scott says

      As a very frequent rider of the Music City Star I agree that expanding the Star would be helpful during the week and weekend. We are fortunate to have this means of transportation on this side of the city, but it is under utilized as is. With just modest improvements (wi-fi and more scheduling options), it could become a great asset to the east side.

  82. John Harkey says

    I’d like to support Malcolm Getz’s congestion pricing approaches (for interstates) mentioned in the comments below.

    I also support the idea of bringing public transit to Nashville in a big way (light rail; dedicated bus lines; late night service; commuter rail). The cost is a bargain ($225 per year or so) compared to the cost of owning and driving a car ($8,000 or more per year) and benefits people who use the service (better service) and those who don’t (every new transit rider represents about .9 cars removed from the road).

  83. John Harkey says

    Since I was on the advisory committee, I have been asked by a neighbor to share her thoughts.
    1. As a low hanging fruit, increase the number of bus pull-off areas (such as in front of the Hillsboro High gym) so that cars can move forward while the bus loads passengers.
    2. Consider using the river for transportation and not just freight. Introduce water buses coming into downtown from various park and boat locations around the Cumberland.

  84. Laura Mullet says

    I am angered by this entire plan because N Motion, the Tennessee Legislature, the Metro Council, and Mayor Barry have yet to address the problem at hand! The problem of transit is moot if these officials refuse to make PLANS for the overgrowth and unresolved issues of developers who are allowed to build any project, anytime, at all costs to Nashvillians. Surely these officials remember who we are. We are the payers of taxes, the one’s, Mayor Barry, you courted for votes on the premise that Nashville’s community and it’s good-neighbor feelings could not fall to change while we voted for Nashville citizens to find construction jobs to benefit this city and a citizen’s pocket. And oh yes, our Legislature who has never met a public project they would fund, were stealthily waiting to privatize everything they have power over as they nullified our laws that stated real humans in Nashville could have some of the jobs that huge businesses from Texas and Atlanta now own! Finally, we are disgruntled, Mayor Barry, and most of us could fashion good and pointy pitch forks if needed. Why is no one held responsible or making one plan to look and implement measures whereby developers are held at bay from building over the top of all of us? My query includes the pitiful ,now four prong , band of the blind, the aforementioned officials, that do not know you can put light rail , heavy rail, busses on steroids, and any other transit types that have been identified as viable methods to rush mass persons through Nashville and surrounding counties, and not know these will fail because developers will be allowed to continue ,The Burning of Nashville! We will keep on building these plans of transit while we steer this city from the rear end of those busses and trains. We will never catch up. It must be a great day when a business is given no rules to follow, no consequences, and nothing to hold them back from tearing down every historical home, decimate any neighborhood/s they want using the lack of rules and nonexistent laws to do as they wish; such as, encroach upon neighborhood properties taking what they want. And what is worst of all, we do not have one legislator, council member, or Mayor Barry to step into the fray and STOP the construction of 37 thousand more condos placed on two-way streets leaving we the people with no place to go because we will become stuck in those condos forever. N Motion, your survey was one step ahead of the point, in my opinion. We were told we could have access and opinions concerning over growth and the traffic problems that now exist. Never was there a box to tick that let us take charge of some elusive hope to curb the influx and over crowding of ourselves. Were our ideas going to be toxic? This survey never spoke about growth gone wild instead it leaped over us and landed on the premise that, Well we can’t do anything about this, so let’s plan for traffic that will send us to our respective COPD clinics that we will then call home. Your survey, N Motion, excludes our opinions to plan our city’s growth. Why did everyone decide Nashville was expendable! Well, since it is to be destroyed, let’s think about traffic and forget about the condos that blight our city. Too many developers in too many pockets or can you higher ups stop drooling over taxes long enough to save my home? It is your home also. Oops, I forgot, you all have drivers and you can always shut down traffic. Nice gig if you can get it! Stop the unregulated building of Nashville, then implement traffic measures all day long! Laura M.

    • says

      Completely agree! The density on my street (Rosebank Ave) has doubled yet we have gotten zero infrastructure maintenance much less improvement – heck we can’t even get consistent brush pick-up!! One developer agreed to install sidewalks around their development, the development is going up and instead of sidewalks we are getting curbing?? My part of Rosebank is CM Anthony Davis’ district – he approved the development of 32 homes on 3 acres right next to a spring and power station with ZERO infrastructure improvements. Great negotiation skills! Just what you want in a politician but typical of Metro government (and I’m a Democrat!).

  85. Desira Fuqua says

    i just wish this plan had dates tied to it. If we are hoping to accomplish brt to murfreesboro, what year might that be? or if this is something that still needs passed/approved, approval date+ how long? we’re desperate for a solution.

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  87. Richard Brown says

    RAIL RAIL RAIL ! Its the only way to solve the movement of the masses, and get participants. We need to be above the plan, and have lifted tracks running the same paths the interstates do and transfers. Schedules make or break the concept. I have been to Europe multiple times, and it could not be easier, faster, perfectly timed / predictable, and excellent multi-scheduling. We dont need a plan 15 yrs out. We have built the complexes and the crowding is obvious everywhere you turn. I just came from Charlotte / I40 W at 3:05 and it was a parking lot on I-440. I-65 from Brentwood going NORTH looked like Atlanta. Everyday we drag employees from as far away from their homes to Brentwood and they go back. Every road is slow for 3 hrs everyday. We are wasting fuel, adding years to our lives, and unneeded stress. RAIL will make it work right, and it needs to be NOW without STUDY after STUDY. This should have been proposed in 1990. We are ALREADY late and must ACT now.

  88. A. D. Lawrence says

    I agree we abxolutely need above ground light rail/monorail. Adding buses and taking away lanes for cars would likely jam the roads. It needs to be fast, or is useless. Southerners like their cars for the independece it offers.
    We need fast transportation across as well as to downtown. Roads like Old Hickory, as well as back roads, such as Cloverland Drive, to Brentwood are totally blocked during peak travel times. These folks coming from Smyrna/Antioch, LaVergne, Murfreesboro, to Maryland Farms don’t want to ride a bus downtown and back out. It would be too slow. Don’t waste the time and money on buses. Get that fast rail going.

    • ErLeClaire says

      Having been locked up in traffic jams around the country and Europe, one thing is common among them all. They all are a matter of poor future planning and lack remedies that make sense. Buses, turn family neighborhoods into ghettos, trains and subways foster criminal activity, as does all mass transit that lacks personal space, privacy, and safety. Time to think outside the box, or move away!

  89. Ilex says

    25 years is to long. 5 years just to change bus routes??? We need for this plan to cut out all the political craziness and bring it down to a 10-15 year plan. How many studies do we need just so we can say we need another study because the one we have is too old??? The only ones that wins in this 25 year plan is the politician and the engineer firm. We need someone who is willing to work hard for us and make this happen fast.

      • Laura Mullet says

        I agree with both of you. If our overgrown city is not planned to protect us from unwanted over building of our city and outlying neighborhoods, while transit plans stall, there is an answer. It is as easy as pulling a lever or pushing that large top of the page button that says VOTE. This legislature has done just about everything possible to hinder public projects voting in favor of privatizing businesses and schools while pandering to big-business interests. Their public policies are non-existent. This city suffers each day from neglect from the Legislature’s vehement attitude towards helping their constituents! There has been no financial help for anything that values or helps the public. There has been no building projects, schools, and infrastructure changes that benefits all of us citizens in our existing cracked at the seams democracy. One party, super majority states are not built to last because they become off balanced showing regard for the one party never to include a second party’s opinions. So, now we wait for this legislature to drop the counting of all of our cash, the cash fiscal hoarders have cried for years did not exist until this year when all of a sudden we were 6 billion plus in good ink. Now, start using our tax money and protect this city and START building transit infrastructure! Vote, everyone and keep the letters to all agencies rolling in. I am somewhat apologetic for introducing my opinions as political facts into this discussion about over growth and transit solutions. Yet, when is it right for me or anyone to say what they believe is hindering the progress of this town, burying us in their partisan rhetoric and paralysis towards our future. Well, must be time for the Legislature to pass yet another negative and restrictive law to curb my speech while they carry on shaking the hands of anyone with fat pockets. My opinion alone. Laura M.

    • ErLeClaire says

      It is already too late. However, taking the same old approaches to mass transit guarantee that it will be a failure. The BART in San Francisco runs efficiently, but is often empty – Why? Chicago rail is a thrill, especially when you get to the street and face a mugger or pan handler. And the D.C. Metro has its fun time as people are packed at time so tightly that the sweat of the person next to you leaves a wet mark. Time to think outside of the box. And to come up with a solution that pays for itself, and as well builds towards smart growth.

  90. Malcolm Getz says

    With global temperatures surging, the MTA plan should report on its emissions and carbon footprint. It should consider estimate the emissions and carbon footprints of alternatives. Cities that have implemented congestion pricing of roads have observed improve air quality. Cars that move at speed use less fuel and pollute less than cars stalled in congestion.

  91. Malcolm Getz says

    Digital car and van services operate with less fuel and lower cost than transit buses. The independent car and van services can provide crosstown service and service in low density areas more economically than the transit service. Traditional transit service is only economic on heavily travelled routes. The MTA plan should assess the relative costs of its own service relative to alternatives. Choosing less expensive service will allow public dollars to buy more service.

  92. Malcolm Getz says

    Dynamic tolled lanes generate revenue to pay for themselves. Vehicles who use the lanes at peak times get most of the value and pay most of the cost. Tow truck drivers and plumbers particularly value the express lanes because they can complete more calls per day.

  93. Malcolm Getz says

    Buses and vans can use the tolled express lanes to move at design speeds. Express buses can move with cars at 60 mphs. With express lanes in use, the case for building railroads and dedicated lanes for buses becomes weak. This fall, Denver opened express lanes for traffic that allows buses to move at design speeds.

    • ErLeClaire says

      And how is that working? Unless the mass transit is moved off the existing roads, then traffic will not be reduced. And as we know real estate is the biggest cost of transit.

  94. Malcolm Getz says

    California has 20 years of success with time-of-day pricing of express lanes. Texas and Florida also have success with time-of-day pricing of express lanes. Georgia has converted HOV lanes on I-85 to dynamically priced lanes. All traffic in the tolled lanes move at design speeds.

  95. Malcolm Getz says

    Converting HOV lanes to express lanes with tolls that vary by time-of-day allows traffic to flow at design speeds at rush hour. A lane of traffic moving at design speeds can allow three times as many people to complete their trips per hour as similar lanes stalled with heavy congestion. Everyone can leave later and arrive sooner with dynamic pricing of express lanes.

  96. Malcolm Getz says

    The nMotion plan recognized that a train from Clarksville to Nashville’s Farmers Market will attract too few riders to be justified. Nevertheless, the transit planner have spent $1 million on Phase I planning for this project. The previous head of the MTA said that adding more frequent service on the Star line to Lebanon could not be justified, yet the nMotion plan proposes a major investment in this line.

  97. Malcolm Getz says

    Railroads are more expensive than bus service both to build and to operate. The MTA should reports its costs for the Star rail service in comparison to its bus services. With high cost, railroads will go to relatively few places and require transfer to other vehicles to complete trips. Transfer are inconvenient and discourage use.

  98. Malcolm Getz says

    Removing lanes for traffic from major arteries in order to devote the space to buses and rails will increase traffic congestion. Both businesses and residents will move away from the area where transit reduces automobile access, tending to reduce property values.

  99. Malcolm Getz says

    Better transit will bring more people to use the service. The number of trips by automobile, however, will remain unchanged. Better transit will have little or no effect in reducing traffic congestion. Atlanta is a good example of a city with a one-cent local sales devoted to transit. Atlanta spent $50 billion in today’s dollars to build a major rail service. The effect on traffic congestion is nil.

    • ErLeClaire says

      Having lived in Atlanta I can testify to the nightmare! I still have terror in my dreams, seeing SUV’s and cars stacked up crumpled and burning on I-285…. And God help you if your bus breaks down in certain parts of the city.

    • Laura Mullet says

      Malcome Getz, you seem to be answering the call to think outside of the box. Your plan seems workable and has been logically laid out and thought through. I lived in a major Florida city in my youth and there were toll bridges up and down the river that flowed through the city. A person could have taken a non-tolled bridge but it took you longer to get to your destination. I hope tolls would be offered on a sliding scale. Thanks, Malcome for your insight. laura M.

      • Laura Mullet says

        Upon leaving Florida, I frequented Atlanta because every one in my family hails from around the satellite neighborhoods of Atlanta. MARTA, Metro Atlanta rapid transit Authority, is now not being used except for a few. I believe this once superior plan connecting far out of Atlanta neighborhoods landing dead in what planners thought was the city center is poorly used at best. The center of town moved miles away form the original sites, Underground Atlanta, the Coke museum, etc…! The major parts of the city splintered into 3 to 5 major mid-city conglomerates. Trains go to some areas but few use them . These folks are the upper-upper middle class wealthy and they drive or are driven to their destinations. The people using the bus are inner-city folks, they are great, mind you, but commuters are scattered to the winds. I took my 10ish year old on Marta to find the center of a town which I knew was different but I was foolish enough for me to take a child and go without someone with us. It was not a ride without trepidation. There were inner-city youth on the cars in the middle of the day, school was out, so I completely befriended a young woman who seemed nice but was altered in her state of mind. I worked with persons such as her and she was amazing, I was shaking at the beginning of this challenge , when finished she walked with us to a policeman and bid her goodbyes. I hugged this good woman! Two fold lessen for me and anyone who reads this: 1. Where will this get us and who truly will ride this rail as we all complain about not having cars to drive to lunch? Hopefully this rail will be of such great service, we will get to lunch and back unscathed. 2. Never judge people for their place of residence, skin colors-we are all colors, and always be able to change on a dime and make a friend for life. Sermon over, sorry, tried to be less sanctimonious, just informative. And all who build unwisely forgetting the monkey on our backs is breaking us into pitch fork happy citizens as we grow more weary and very impatient for you legislative Idiots to move one finger to help! PLAN this city first. Stop these Robber-Barren Developers from making Billions on the Backs of our Neighbors! Vote wisely, Nashville and beyond! Laura M.

  100. Malcolm Getz says

    The development of better transit attract more transit riders and increase rents downtown and on the outer end of each line. People who gain increased access will see much of the advantage lost in higher rents. The benefits of better transit go mostly to landowners, not to people who ride the transit.

  101. Charles L. Miller says

    I appreciate the time and research put into the plan…very logical and well thought out, but I feel too cautious in the implementation schedule. I’m a fan of light rail. I think that’s the best way to provide the consistent and timely service required to attract passengers and relieve traffic congestion. May I suggest three basic routes…Bellevue to Mt. Juliet ( with spurs to Opryland /Music Valley areas and to the airport ), Goodlettsville to Brentwood, and Lavergne to Joelton. Further growth and enhancements will come in time including possible extension of lines to surrounding county seats in the metro area. I think planners need to anticipate future growth in the Nashville area and get out in front of the complications that will bring by acting now rather than phasing light rail in over 25 years. This approach carries some risk,but the more cautious approach has risk as well in terms of possible diminished area growth and quality of life. Building the interstate highway system, Bridgestone Arena, Nissan Stadium, and the Music City Center were all risky endeavors, but they have all provided great returns and have proven worth the cost of investment. I’ve used public transport ( bus, subway, and light rail ) in several other cities such as Calgary, Montreal, Munich, Chicago, and Atlanta, and in every case the experience was positive and made getting around so much more convenient. Let’s get started!

  102. John Harkey says

    Excellent overall plan with a reasonable staging of different phases. Nashville is a growing city with increasing density, and needs this plan to be implemented. At the estimated cost it is a bargain.

  103. Chris says

    I am in full support of this plan and have completed research on unique funding mechanisms that I believe could be effectively leveraged for this plan. For example, a hotel room and/or rental car tax which would primarily effect visitors to the area. Pittsburgh has a tax on poured liquor, which makes sense because those drinking liquor shouldn’t be driving, they should be utilizing transit or other means of transportation. I would really like there to be a discussion of unique and dedicated funding mechanisms like these in order to garner additional support for the plan and to ensure that it is funded quickly. There are many streams of funding we can tap into if we think creatively, and they don’t have to come directly out of the pocket of every citizen

  104. Aaron says

    I believe bus rapid transit (BRT) can be a great solution — but only if the buses had dedicated lanes (as you see in places like Israel and Colombia). If buses get stuck in the same traffic as cars, it won’t be any faster and no one will want to ride them.

    Bike paths and pedestrian connections are also great options.

    Rail is fantastic, but it’s expensive both to build and maintain. I lived in NYC for 10 years and even though the subway system is very effective, it’s also constantly in an awful state of disrepair, very outdated and runs an enormous deficit. http://qns.com/story/2016/08/03/queens-sbs-routes-wi-fi-and-lower-fare-hike-projected-in-mtas-preliminary-2017-budget/

    Whatever we build now, we should do so with an eye toward future maintenance. Bike paths are much less costly to build and maintain than rail — and have the added benefit of making the population healthier by encouraging physical activity. BRT and streetcars are also probably a lot less expensive to build and maintain than light rail.

    • ErLeClaire says

      Right on, we should walk more, and it looks like that is what we will be doing in the not so far future!

  105. Naaman Stillwell says

    I am 95% in support of the proposed plan. It makes me even more excited about the future of the city.

    Currently, I live in Hermitage and am a contributor to the traffic problem by driving to work instead of using the Music City Star which is $5) deters me from using the service. I only use the system when my car is needing to be left for maintenance, and drive to Donelson for that specific reason. The times I have used the Star, my commute has been must less stressful, just not quite as economic. I would like to see a logical alteration to the cost of use of commuter lines according to location.

    Also, I feel that the bus routes to longer distances (especially Williamson County), even if it will be rapid transit, is a waste of time and money. Residents will rather ride in a car on their own than be squeezed in a bus for that amount of time and distance. As bad as this is, the culture of the city views using the bus as a “lesser” mode of travel. Putting the light rail system or more commuter lines into play would gain much more user traffic than rapid bus lines.

    Finally, in my opinion the cost of the project is in reality the least of our troubles. I would propose that the governing body strategize an efficient way to tax items and services which would specifically take advantage of the tourism in the city. While local businesses benefit greatly from the tourism, this would give people who view the massive tourist numbers as a negative a new perspective on the subject. With the countless conventions, concerts, events, and bachelor/bachelorette parties that Nashville hosts, those are the best areas which Nashville could take advantage of what it already has going for it, and making the city all around better!

    I am originally from the Chattanooga area, been living in the Nashville area since I came for college in 2010, and am so proud to be in such a progressive and forward thinking part of the country. Nashville is the prime location, culture, and mindset to set the standard for how great cities in this country can truly be. The diversity and collaboration of minds can only make this area even better!

    • Naaman Stillwell says

      I apologize, it looks like part of my post in the 2nd paragraph was deleted.

      **I meant to state that I do not use the Star though I live less that 5 miles away. My employer pays for my parking, so it is more economic for me to drive than take the train especially with the jump from $2 at Donelson to >$5 at Hermitage. That is why even when I use the start, I drive to Donelson instead of the Hermitage station just down the road.

  106. Randall Putala says

    The proposed bus lanes from Williamson and Maury Counties will never be popular and will go largely unused. Better to do nothing than to remove current lane space for buses. If you asked 1,000 drivers on I-65 if they would be willing to take a bus to work, 998 would say “no” and maybe 2 would say “yes” (because they can’t afford to repair their car; otherwise they’d say “no.”)

    The ONLY mass transit solution that makes real sense, not only from Williamson and Maury but from ALL outlying counties, is light rail alongside the highway. There are many, many miles of open land to the sides of our highways that could be used for surface-grade light rail. This option will require either fly-overs or tunnels, both costly options, to go over or under major street intersections. But it is the only way to provide true RAPID transit that is not obstructed by car and truck traffic.

    Plus, we will need EXPRESS tracks and LOCAL tracks in both directions. If people can’t cut their transit time significantly, the system won’t be used. New York City learned this lesson over 100 years ago, and their mass transit has continued to be effective even as their population has soared.

    We don’t need more band-aids; we need true high-speed rail. And we don’t need to re-invent the wheel. There are plenty of vendors around the globe who have perfected these systems. And there are plenty of options for building fly-over bridges and digging tunnels. Yes, even in Tennessee bedrock.

  107. Nolan Huizenga says

    I like what’s in the plan, though I’d like to see much more aggressive timelines for light rail (especially to BNA) and streetcar service. Somehow the political will has to be harnessed to get this done.

    I have lived in several cities with established mass transit systems (Portland, OR and Boston, MA are among the best) and the overall quality of life is dramatically improved when mass transit is a daily, nearby option. If I could leave my car at home and get to work in a timely fashion, I’d do it gladly. And being able to reach the airport by train would be a huge leap forward in convenience.

    I’m also very happy to see pedestrian upgrades (walkable access to transit) as part of the plan. I remain stunned at the huge lawns that extend all the way to the so many Nashville streets, leaving people on foot to risk their lives in car traffic. Whatever the city planners were (not) thinking back then, we have a lot of work to do to make walking easy and safe in Nashville.

    Thank you for the chance to comment. Let’s move this forward together!

  108. says

    I was born in Nashville (Thompson Lane area) in 1986 and grew up for 24 years in the same house in the Franklin area and in the last 15 years the growth and need for additional or alternate transit options is impeccable. Whether it’s above ground rail underground rail or a massive increase of bus coverage around the city that operates around the clock, I believe everyone will benefit from it in the big picture

  109. Nina Tackett says

    I am a transplant to Nashville and love it passionately; we need an above-ground rail, preferably a monorail, from all outlying counties and Nashville suburbs to downtown. Please do not add more lanes for cars, buses and trucks. We already have too little parking downtown and too much surface traffic.

    Please look to the future and start building there.

  110. Steve says

    We have lived here only 3 1/2 years and have certainly seen traffic get worse. We support the bold plan. Mass transit must be more than 40 people on a bus. It should also be efficient and quicker than automobiles and often times buses are not. The sooner action is taken the better as waiting an additional 3 years will mean people will look for alternatives in other cities that offer convenience. Growth is good and we all benefit, but it should come with a means of offering transportation options to take advantage of all that Nashville has to offer.

  111. Diane says

    I am so happy that Nashville and the surrounding communities are finally looking at the future and the infrastructure that is needed to ensure its financial stability. We can not keep putting up buildings and apartments with no regard to how people are going to get to work. Each of us will benefit with a plan in place. I would hope that some of the easy fixes will happen right away to sell folks on the bigger scope! Yes, it will cost money but doing nothing will cost us more.

  112. Ellery says

    My barrier to using the public transit system now is it’s speed, convenience, and reliability. Creating a mobile source for payment, schedules, and even real-time tracking would allow easier and more use. I think most people in my generation would agree.

    I also fully support the bold steps outlined. It will be expensive, but it is necessary to keep mobility in the region and prevent us from becoming Atlanta. The investment is definitely worth it and I fully support it. At the very least we need commuter rail with many departure times from Clarksville, Murfreesboro, Mount Juliet/Lebanon, and Brentwood/Franklin/Spring Hill.

    • Diane says

      We absolutely need to increase the commuter rail that is already in place, i.e., Mount Juliet/Lebanon etc. All of these towns keep putting up apartments without any thought of how these folks are going to get to work. The current schedules are too limited and don’t run on the weekends! Lets fix this right away. DK

  113. Bill Dobbins says

    I have read the new transit plan and find it to be very thorough and very exciting. Despite the stated challenges for developing a mass transit rail line from Nashville to Murfreesboro, I believe there will be enough interest and demand from the people in this corridor for this service that it will spur the inclusion of such service in the final plan. I recommend that Nashvillians and the people in the surrounding region support this plan and work towards its immediate implementation.

  114. Brian says

    I’m very glad to see that the recommendation was made to pursue the most ambitious transit plan. The rail systems will be the most useful options available and I hope the rail system will continue to grow after this plan is enacted. I was hoping to see a faster implementation timeline as traffic is horrible now and I fear the current proposed timeline will not make an impact fast enough. I would suggest a more ambitious implementation timeline to get the rail systems up and running as soon as possible as they will produce the greatest impact upon traffic.

  115. Arvis Wright says

    Hope to attend the MTA/RTA event on 8/27/16 (11am-1pm) at EAST Park. If I do not, this comment is written with a HOPE that the following underscores (or overstates) a HUGE issue with the goals that MTA/RTA are working on. TO THE POINT: There was NO reference to what metro transit bus line goes to the EAST park facility. NEXT: Returned to live in my home town (here) a few decades ago. Had lived in NY city, Connecticut (Conrail/Amtrak transit lines) as well as a few Midwest towns. Did not have interest in driving an automobile until I was 26, i.e., went across this country without learning how to drive an automobile. Cost of owning a car seemed impractical and illogical. However, relevance is that in most communities I lived without reliance upon an automobile, most facilities were able to give me directions to get to their place by mass transit (or trains). In most cases, there was little need to ‘ask’ for the directions because that was a routine response, i.e., there was NO assumption that I would rely upon an automobile to get to a facility. Upon relocating back home (Nashville) as an adult and NOT having access to my own automobile, I often had to request instructions (along with questions why I did not ‘just’ drive to a facility). NOTE: Example is that most schools in communities I lived were located close to bus routes or walking distance (lucky me?) and even held a job at a local school in North Haven, CT for a while taking a bus. Whereas, noted that as a adult upon returning to Nashville, that many Metro schools are not near a bus line. Anyway, I hope to attend the 11 am event today. I have learned how to read bus schedules in this region (and others), although the online mapping programs these days allows more clarity as to where to get off for short walks to facilities. Just saying: this event is about mass transit improvements/suggestions. However, the invitation only put a link to a map program I can use to 1. drive to the facility; 2. work out a plan from the MTA bus maps and/or map program in my desktop (again – lucky me); and/or 3. not go and just respond via computer generated comments. Irony that the MTA seeks to create a transit program that site maps but has no reference to the bus line/route to the location of an event. However, a major part of this – from my experiences of a few decades using mass transit across this country – is that mass transit programs promote their services either with spelling out HOW and WHERE the services are going/coming from. You guys missed this one – just hope that this promotion venue is incorporated in the improvement package under consideration. FYI: I am a strong advocate of mass transit (avoidance of reliance upon automobiles) to get around in a community I live.

    • says

      Thank you for your comments. We do try to include bus route information in all of our promotional materials for public meetings. Unfortunately, in this case, since we were coordinating the “transit triathlon” with a group start at Music City Central, the only route information included was for those participating in the “triathlon” portion of the event. We apologize for the oversight. We hope that when you arrived at East Park the schedule information we provided there and the representatives present, were able to help you plan your return trip. If you prefer not to use platforms such as google maps that allow you to plan your trips with real-time information online, you can always call us. We have customer care representatives available to answer questions and help you plan your trip Customer Care Call Center – (615) 862-5950
      6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. — Monday-Friday
      8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. — Saturday
      10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. — Sunday

  116. al morin says

    Plan helps Nashville get the ball rolling. Must start to do something infrastructure wise now or city will not be a pleasant place to live in near future.
    Also, do not understand substituting uber, lyft and autonomous vehicles for vehicles with driver. Would seem to be the same problem regardless of who/what is driving. I am a fan of light rail. Yes, it is expensive but so is a subway. Committed bus lanes and faster routes don’t really help the problem much. Just delay the inevitable.
    Lets do something now to get started.

  117. Diane Myers says

    I use Acces Ride frequently and it has been invaluable to me since I cannot drive due to low vision. I live right on the border of Davidson and Williamson Counties and many places like groceries, YMCA, Dentist, pharmacies are closer to me in Williamson county. Also Dad is in nursing home in Brentwood. It would REALLY help me if there was an expanded service into Brentwood. I cannot afford to use UBER and LYFT often. I so hope a broader area will become available through ACCESS RIDE! That would be WONDERFUL. So ISOLATED!!!!!

  118. Kevin Haas says

    I fully support all efforts that make improving public transportation a major initiative. The report identifies intown and downtown traffic congestion as a critical area that needs improvement. I feel that more resources need to be directed toward intown light rail development with more lines than the five currently proposed. It is great that there is a proposal to for a rail line to connect the airport to downtown, but unless more intown neighborhoods are also connected to downtown, there will not be much benefit to intown residents.

  119. William R Huffman says

    I BELIEVE LIGHT RAIL TO AREAS SUCH AS:
    BRENTWOOD/FRANKLIN
    DONELSON/LEBANON
    HENDERSONVILLE/GALLATIN
    ANTIOCH/SMYRNA
    IS CRUCIAL. THE RAIL LINES ARE THERE-JUST NEEDS UPDATE. I WOULD BE MUCH MORE INCLINED TO USE THIS VS. BUSES.

    • ErLeClaire says

      The problem with rail is real estate. Rail (Steel rail) is the most efficient to operate, particularly when it is electric. All other forms of travel fall short and are polluting. Monorail is as yet short of the technical break through economically, but is coming in the years ahead. Light rail operating on the median of highways over long distances is the best option. And having electric movers in the city could as well be an option, .. Think Skyways!

  120. Christine Watt says

    I think the plan looks very good. It doesn’t include a couple of things I would like to see – namely increased commuter rail due to CSX issues and more direct routing from the southeast corner of the county to the northwest area – but it provides a good, comprehensive plan to improve transit. Thank you for all the hard work put into this! It looks like an outstanding start.

  121. David Gilmore says

    The longer we wait to do something, the more it will cost and the more difficult it becomes. This plan is a good one but only if it somehow comes to fruition. Let’s act now while the economic conditions are still favorable. The wind could leave our sails once we hit critical mass.

  122. Pete says

    Love this idea ,we moved here to be close to and enjoy Nashville but it has been so crowded with new construction and traffic.I wish their was a way to connect to the star central from Murfreesboro now .It would benefit a lot of people while we wait for the full plan to be implemented

  123. April Moore says

    It’s apparent from some of these comments that the posters did not read all of the document. I am no expert, but I did read the entire thing and zoomed in on the map to look at it in detail. Many things were covered in this strategic plan and I feel like they did a good job, overall. Of course, this is not supposed to be a super detailed plan on *how* this will all be done, but it gives the general strategy and direction. Which I feel is a good one.

    To address some of the comments:
    – $6 Billion is not at all an unreasonable sum for what they proposed. Boston’s “Big Dig” cost $14.6 billion. From Wikipedia, “A survey of North American light rail projects[35] shows that costs of most LRT systems range from $15 million to over $100 million per mile” and Seattle’s Light Rail system cost $179 million per mile to construct.

    – The problem with “constructing light rail tomorrow,” to paraphrase several posters, is in part one of obtaining easements. You have to purchase the land to build it from the many, many property lines you cross. Imagine if you wanted to build a bike lane through your neighbor’s backyards on your street. How long do you think it would take to convince them to let you do it and how much do you think it would cost you to buy that section of their land?

    In Metro’s case, they might be able to invoke “eminent domain,” but that entails weeks, months or even years of litigation with all of the property owners who contest it.

    What would you do tomorrow if they came to you and said, “we’re taking half of your backyard for a light rail. Sure, it will be noisy and you won’t have much of a yard left, but it’s for the greater good.” This is not a “we can do it next year” kind of endeavor. (And just for the record, I would love to have more light rail options for commuting. But in reality it is far more complicated than you may realize.)

    – As Sheila just surmised above (and rightly so), the geology of Nashville makes building a subway impractical. Also bear in mind that it would have to cross under (or perhaps over, though that is also problematic in some ways, too, due to the changes in elevation) the river and two lakes. It is our geography here that makes many of the usual options extremely difficult (and costly) to execute.

    – I agree, it would have been nice if Nashville could have addressed these concerns earlier. I’ve lamented for years that we allowed the rail easements to lapse twenty years ago. But you have to understand that this recent growth boom is, well, recent. Congestion on the Interstates has been increasing slowly for a while now, but the sudden influx of new residents only really got started after the 2010 flood. Since 2013 these problems have come to a head very quickly, but that’s still only 3 years ago.

    – Residents successfully defeated the further expansion of the 840 corridor. Moreover, the strategic plan states that many of those who filled out the survey stated that “Nashville doesn’t want to be another Atlanta.” That is because many people – and many engineers – feel that the beltways circling Atlanta is one of the major factors that has resulted in their traffic problems.

    There is quite a lot of scholarly work around whether or not beltways improve traffic congestion or make it worse. While there is still debate in some circles, the general opinion held by many transportation engineers now – fueled by computer simulations as well as numerous real-world examples – is that building more highways simply contributes to more urban sprawl while encouraging more driving, whereas light rail contributes to greater urban density, i.e., more people occupying less land.

    Personally, I’m very happy we still have a bit of green space left around the edges of Nashville.

    – As for “making” CSX do anything, I’m not sure what the options are. They are a major employer and their services are what delivers the products we all use to our stores. Nashville is a major shipping hub due to its location. There’s a reason FedEX is based in the state. Our central location near rivers and rail means we are within a couple of hours of the lion’s share of the U.S. population. So I don’t think they are going away anytime soon. We need to find a way to work with them. Somehow.

    Anyway, my .03 (.o1 for transportation taxes 😉 ) cents.

    • Toni Gant says

      Very well thought out and clearly stated. Thank you and I too, am glad that we are having this discussion. Thanks Mayor Berry.

    • Christina says

      Well said! To other commenters I say: don’t denigrate riding MTA buses if you haven’t tried it. I rode MTA buses to & from work in downtown Nashville (despite owning a car) and it was a pleasant experience. Nashville has a surprising # of xenophobes. Wake up folks! Lots of cities have improved mass transit options that are popular and heavily used. Thank you to everyone who is s working to make this happen here.

  124. Oliver says

    Hi I’m in full support of this plan. I understand it’s not perfect and will never please everyone. It’s a well-researched plan that addresses as many issues as it can in an aggressive manner to contend with Nashville and Middle Tennessee’s explosive growth in the next few years.

    Please get started on this ASAP! Thank you for all you do.

  125. says

    Spending $6B as a tribute to obsolete transit solutions isn’t a super idea. Even the most passive business observer will notice that capital investments in automotive technology innovations by Google, Apple, Tesla and most other major car manufacturers will lead to a complete transformation of how we use cars in just a few short years. It is this coming-up generation’s Internet. Our kids will not need or want driver’s licenses.

    Focus on basic infrastructure solutions that are proven, modest investments in economic and community growth -more and larger sidewalks, bike lanes, greenways, smart parking meters, on-street parking, traffic calming, more trees.

  126. George Gruhn says

    Today’s Tennessean has an excellent article about self driving vehicles on page 4B. While this technology is not yet fully developed, it clearly will be an option in many areas within a decade or less. Uber is already testing 100 self driving cars in Pittsburgh. Self driving vehicles have the advantage of far greater route flexibility than light rail or buses. Whereas it is very difficult for public planners to come to agreement as to which routes are best to serve any city, self driving vehicles owned by municipal governments or private companies such as Uber can pick up passengers along any route and adjust instantly according to public demand. Self driving vehicles are vastly less expensive than setting up light rail and given dedicated lanes or fully dedicated roads can carry far greater capacity than any other mode of public tansportation available today.

  127. Michael Bednarcyk says

    I am a licensed Structural Engineer and, while I do not practice Transportation Engineering, I am technically a civil engineer and I had to learn a good deal about transportation planning in school. While I agree with some of the comments about urban density, I believe they are fundamentally flawed for this conversation. Transportation is planned in long term increments rather than the short term and this is indicated within the plan. Limiting your sight to current population trends can be misleading since Nashville continues to grow at a more rapid rate than many other areas of the country. I support the light rail initiative but I think it is far from adequate to solve the Nashville traffic problem. Nashville has actually been streamlining intersections over the past few years so they work better during rush hour, but a complete overhaul would not alleviate traffic for the long term without a major infrastructure overhaul similar to what Chattanooga did for the car assembly plants. I think the major problems Nashville faces are three fold: a lack of direct path on the interstate from one side of Nashville to the other, a lack of bridges that cross the Cumberland River, and terrain.

    If you want to stay on I-24, I-65, or I-40 through town, you have to fight the interchanges. They force you to cut across multiple lanes within a very short distance and that will always create a pinch point under high volume. An option for a more direct route through Nashville is needed, especially for truck traffic, even if that possible solution includes tunnels to bypass downtown.

    There are very few bridges that cross the Cumberland within Nashville so it’s naturally forcing everyone to bottleneck at certain points. A few more bridges would open up the arterials as an alternate route to interstates and ease the volume in those areas.

    Nashville is a little more of a unique city than people think. Not only do we have 3 major interstates that intersect (rather poorly) in city limits, we also have two rather large man made lakes and a major river. We also have to contend with some pretty severe hills throughout the metro area. This terrain limits the amount of direct routes to and from Nashville. The arterial are not direct enough and the population growth was so fast, that widening the arterial now just isn’t practical. Because of this, I strongly agree withat the idea of encouraging businesses tof locate outside of the downtown area.

    In summary, I agree with the light rail proposal. It can produce alternate routes in the long term and could function to relieve some traffic, but there needs to be other proposals in addition to this one.

    A bit off topic but since paying for this was brought up in other comments I will bring this up. The gas tax really needs to be raised and overhauled. It is critical to paying and funding the National Transportation Fund and it hasn’t been raised in decades. Simply raising it to account for modern inflation would open up the funding rather than leaving tax payers to pay for the majority of projects. That is also true for public-private partnerships but that is for another discussion.

    • ErLeClaire says

      Light rail that reaches out may help. There is a flow of traffic from Huntsville up I65, Atlanta on I24, as well as heavy rural traffic that needs to be addressed. Inner city problems require a certain set of remedies, and long distance commute and through traffic another set of resolutions. Nashville lacks metropolitan planning, let alone a state and adjoining state plan that is effective. The Twin Cities (Mpls/StP) now stretch across a 100 miles and is suffering from unchecked expansion. The businesses moved out in ever increasing rings, leaving behind a cluster of now aging infrastructure. Nashville is well along the same path.

  128. Tom Olin says

    Mass transit is cost-prohibitive. It is also only useful to the people who live near it.

    I suggest that system costs be paid by the riders. If this will not accomplish it, then alternatives should be reconsidered.

    Wade Sims (above) makes a very astute argument that I have cut and pasted here:

    There is simply no way to make light rail work given Nashville’s (lack of) urban density. For those spans, we’re talking anywhere between 50 and 70 miles minimum of rail track. The only systems in the U.S. that have that length are Dallas, Los Angeles, Portland, and San Diego. Denver and St. Louis come close. In Europe, comparable cities include Moscow, Vienna, Prague, Berlin, Brussels, and a few others.

    Taking a look at the urban population density data of those cities:
    Dallas: 4,652 people/km^2
    Los Angeles: 9,331 people/km^2
    Portland: 4,321 people/km^2
    San Diego: 1,572 people/km^2
    Denver: 1,543 people/km^2
    St. Louis: 1,991 people/km^2
    Moscow: 4,900 people/km^2
    Vienna: 3,400 people/km^2
    Prague: 2,490 people/km^2
    Berlin: 3,940 people/km^2
    Brussels: 7,030 people/km^2

    And Nashville? 480 people/km^2. Three digits. Literally an order of magnitude in difference from these cities where light rail operates. For the same distance paved, you are serving roughly 1/10th the population that cities where light rail is working (and in many cases not profitably).

    If you want to solve the Nashville traffic problem, (1) synchronize the lights to eliminate the obvious rush hour choke points that bottleneck the whole system; (2) promote ridesharing systems, carpooling, and current public transit options; and (3) encourage business growth outside of downtown (such as by promoting Google Fiber expansion to the greater metropolitan area), thereby reducing the directional traffic.

    He is right.

    • Traffic Bill says

      Tom, you have hit the nail on the head. Nowhere in the analysis do I read anything about tax incentives for businesses willing to work towards virtual offices either on full or part time. This report is treating the symptoms and not the problem. The problem is why do so many people travel into the CBD? Answer: that is where their job is. Solution? Work from home. You are spot on with Google and AT&T fighting out the fiber war. Adding buses, rails, lanes,etc… is not the answer. Nashville is a middle-upper middle class town. WE DON’T RIDE BUSES. The majority of people do not ride bikes on Hillsboro Rd and Woodmont Blvd so please stop using a possible dual purpose car lane (Woodland street bridge has used successfully for 40 plus yrs.) for a handful of people, not to mention the money on 10 Bike Lane signs in a quarter mile stretch. Lastly, we have to complete 840 and control the amount of truck traffic allowed in the county during rush hours. This along with a 5% daily WFH(“Work from home”) will solve most of the problems. In 5 years if you are not working for a company that promotes WFH, you need to find one that does. Leave the roads to the people that really need to be on site like hospital workers.

        • John Harkey says

          Yours is a recommendation for more sprawl, more traffic traveling further on the commute, more pollution, and a less desirable life style.

    • says

      Thanks Tom. You are right, the current density in Davidson County would not support light rail. In order for the 4 corridors recommended to receive light rail in the plan to succeed, there would need to be a significant amount of development. The nMotion plan is a 25-year plan that took future growth into account. We believe it is likely that growth will continue and densities along those corridors will change. As a next step to nMotion, we will be doing further technical study, what is called an alternatives analysis, that will look at this in more detail.

  129. April says

    As a resident of East Nashville, I’m excited about the opportunity to have easy access to other areas of town and a mass transit system that actually works. I have some real concern, however, about the routes chosen for the rapid East Nashville line. Currently that line will run on N 16th. North 16th is a main corridor, but it also is very residential–homes face 16th and residents not only have kids and dogs playing in their front yards, but also rely on street parking in front of their homes. The bus currently has to navigate the street parking, so instead of navigating it, typically speeds down the center of both lanes on 16th–making it difficult for residents to drive and unsafe to pedestrians, who also use 16th as a main corridor. 14th–only two streets away does not have street parking, and does not have homes actually facing the street, and would have been a much better option for a rapid line that will run from 5am-1pm according to the plan. Despite attending several community meetings about the plan and voicing this concern to multiple MTA representatives working on the plan, nothing has been considered and no one has even reached out to discuss the concern. It’s clear that whoever chose that corridor was simply looking at a map and was not part of the community this bus line will serve. What good is presenting the plan multiple times to the public if no one responds to or listens to the public feedback? Is it simply to check a box saying that you’ve had so many “touches” with the public? Again, I am very FOR mass transit, but it has to make sense, it has to work within residential communities it serves, and MTA actually needs to really consider and respond to resident feedback to best serve each individual community in addition to Nashville as a whole.

    • says

      April, we certainly hear and have heard your concerns. While we have made every effort to listen and respond to feedback throughout this process, it is possible that our recommendations, based on our technical studies and our knowledge of the community might not jive with the opinions of everyone in that community. We appreciate your participation and will take these comments under advisement as we work to finalize the plan.

  130. Gina says

    Would you add drivers education, such as zipper merges and passing practices? Also, maybe something about talking to large employers about staggering the times of days that their employees begin and end shifts?

    • Michael Bednarcyk says

      Gina, you bring up some very good points. The way people are driving around town is getting out of control. There needs to be better driver education so people know how to pass and merge properly. Maybe a push for more stay at home work is needed similar to what Atlanta does.

  131. Darrell Mayberry says

    This is a great detailed Plan to get Middle Tennessee in the 21st Century of Mass Transit.Funding could be a problem because it cannot just depend on federal funding alone.Rural Legislators will oppose any regional tax to fund Mass Transit for Nashville and the nearby Suburban Counties so a great sales job and a concrete funding proposal is needed for this great plan to be put to practice.

  132. Tracy Miller says

    You need to focus on connecting our airport to public transit and building a light rail infrastructure that can be incorporated into our existing transportation infrastructure. People want to come to Music City, and they’ll keep coming. Our roads and interstates can’t handle that kind of capacity. That’s where public transit comes in. Bus lanes and express buses will only get us so far. We need rail and rail infrastructure and connections to well outside of the city if we want it to be successful. I’d much rather take a train than drive if given the option; however, that is extremely limited right now.

  133. George Gruhn says

    Although self driving vehicles are mentioned on page 10 of the report, the true potential of these vehicles was not clearly explained.

    Self driving cars are fundamentally different in their capabilities from human driven vehicles. Self driving cars are set up with cameras providing 360° panoramic vision with no blind spots, their response time is nanoseconds rather than as much as 3/4 of a second for human drivers, and they need no sleep, do not get tired, never experience road rage, don’t do drugs, text, or get distracted. Unlike human drivers, they can be virtually telepathic with each other by wireless transmissions so traffic flow can be regulated far more efficiently. Due to their inter-connectedness and virtually instantaneous response time, they can drive on a highway at interstate speeds spaced as little as 4 feet apart from each other, whereas a human driver requires well over 200 feet of separation between vehicles to have any safety margin on the highway.

    A road dedicated to self driving vehicles would need no traffic lights. Vehicles would not be stuck at a red light waiting when there is no oncoming traffic. If our present roads were reconfigured in the future for self driving vehicles, they could easily handle between 4 and 6 times as much traffic volume has our roads do at present, however, due to their vastly different capabilities, human drivers would be unable to share a road dedicated to self driving vehicles. The transition from roads devoted to cars driven by humans to roads dedicated to self driving vehicles will undoubtedly present challenges.

    While self driving cars are not yet available to the general public or to public transportation systems, Uber is currently starting a test of 100 such vehicles in Pittsburgh and numerous manufacturers and technology firms are working to introduce these vehicles. There is no doubt that in the coming 5 years several companies will have either introduced such vehicles or be in the advanced testing phases. While it is clear that self driving vehicles are not the answer to our immediate needs, it should also be clear that we will not solve the transportation needs of the coming 25 years using technology which is 20 years old today.

    • says

      Thanks George. While what you outline is one possible future scenario for autonomous vehicles there are many others. We will continue to monitor developments in this technology.

  134. Robert Early says

    Good plan. Don’t know what the immediate priorities are but I think the sooner we can have cross town bus routes the better, eg. West End to East Nashville without having to change buses downtown (a pain).

    One other thing: we have to come to the realization as a city that must we do this, and everyone/area may have to sacrifice a little. No NIMBY allowed!

  135. Enoch Gunter says

    I am totally in favor of this plan. We need to get this started yesterday. Everyday we wait we are getting behind this major problem to our community! Please start this plan immediately! Thank you very much!

  136. Chris says

    While all ideas are good and address the need, we can do some common sense things to make the situation better now. More attention paid to construction areas that block streets. Presently these areas are not monitored aggressively as they should be. It seems they do what they want when they want. Downtown, planning should have a say on what you can close and when. Just ask the bus drivers. And having a policeman on the corner on their phone while traffic stops and horns honk…isn’t the answer. Even action has a reaction, so, lets start by helping the transportation we have now function as we implement new ideas. Also new construction must have a traffic plan as part of approval as do events around the city. A little common sense instead of an attitude of indifference would help…really. I drive as little as possible and now there are areas of the city core that you sometimes can’t even walk to.

  137. Al Cocke says

    It all seems perfectly- reasonable. Clearly, these steps will make some difference- eventually.
    However, I must say that there is nothing in it I find exciting, and it all seems very foggy as to when I will see any real improvement that affects me or my neighborhood. My experience with things is that it takes decades just to get a sidewalk on the list to be considered, much less built. Will there be a covered bus stop near me any time soon? Who knows? Will the buses be comfortable and inspire ridership, or be the same boring designs of the last 50 years? Dedicated lanes? Good luck after the amp experience without years of battling every neighborhood and business that fears losing a traffic lane. Light rail? Are we going to demand the use of the local rails? How long will that discussion take? Will there ever be any concessions on that?
    Commuter rail sometime in the next 25 years to Clarksville? I probably won’t be around by then. Sorry but we need it next week to Gallatin, Franklin, and Murfressboro– and the airport.
    Sorry to be negative, but I wish I could see a clearer vision for the very near future that included some ideas that made me say Wow! But I see very little that will keep up with the traffic demands of the million plus people moving into the neighborhood in the next 20 years, and very little sense of the urgency to build awe-inspiring transportation of the future (like monorails or els, for instance) that will really get people out of their dependency on cars ( even self-driven ones.)
    I want to say Wow! Instead I can just muster a Meh.

  138. says

    Great plan – let’s get this rolling. As a Realtor I see first hand how lack of strong mass transit impacts this city. I was recently in Chattanooga where they have a regular shuttle throughout downtown. it shows up every 5-10 minutes. no need for schedule coordinating, just show up at the spot and get the bus. It saved us a ton of money and was very convenient. These improvements will greatly enhance the Middle TN area and cement our place as a leading city!

    Let’s get mass transit rolling!

    • says

      Thanks Jacob. We currently run the Music City Circuit that circulates downtown and you can ride for free. We encourage you to ride it some time soon!

  139. Eric Melcher says

    This is a solid plan. However, taking 25 years to accomplish this seems too late to solve the challenges we are already facing. We need to move much more aggressively in the time frame.

  140. Mackey Luffman says

    I’m grateful that the plan reflects community feedback and clearly shows a long-term approach to the issues facing folks’ journeys around middle TN. I hope that the plan can move forward with a frank and honest discussion of the financing options and that we can build a consensus that implementing this plan requires shared sacrifices to make these improvements happen.

  141. Sue Kauflie says

    More stops/runs on the Music City Star for starters – look at major cities like New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia- they all have convenient transit for their citizens, since they foresaw the mess that it would create without it. You will see thousands of people taking advantage of the transit!

  142. John Hart says

    An airport to downtown rapid train with future stops added but limited to start would be incredible.

  143. Robert J. Stewart says

    BRT has not been successful across the US for many reasons. Williamson County is growing very fast and needs mass transit.
    The CSX line through Franklin has about 2 freight trains/day with a 100 ft right-of-way–plenty of room for expansion and a mass transit line. Nashville region needs to get moving now–look at other cities for success stories: Portland, Salt Lake City, Dallas, Denver, Charlotte.
    Bob Stewart: Franklin resident and with National Association of Railroad Passengers.

  144. Judy Hoskins says

    I would love to see our bus stops improved by the addition of seats. For some reason, most of the shiny new bus stops I see around town don’t seem to have any…?

  145. Jason knight says

    I drive from gallatin to the Martha train station 3 times a week and take the music city star into downtown. Not only do I not pay my employer to park but I no longer have the tn -386 and I-65 mess to deal with. I save on wear to my truck and less fuel used. It more than washes out paying for the train. We need more rail. I’d love to see a gallatin station so I’d drive even less. I have 11 miles each way so less is better. This study is at a great time also as the music city star celebrates 10 years

    • Michael Bednarcyk says

      That’s awesome, Jason. Your situation proves that this plan has potential but more work is needed. I would gladly take a 15 minute longer commute to save on gas and parking and the Vietnam Vets mess.

  146. Christy says

    I am grateful that Megan Barry is taking up this cause! I feel heard!

    I certainly want to get behind this – would love to see mass transit implemented sooner and am in favor of elevated rails in key areas. I would use the bus system to get around on Gallatin Pike now if it was more streamlined and felt safer (how many broken stops have I seen within the last year?), especially with kids.

  147. Jacob Rainey says

    I think that this is a great opportunity for Clarksville. We have the chance to either move forward or stay in the past. By adopting this plan we would not only be linking ourselves to Nashville, but the rest of the world. The effects this could have on carbon and other emissions would be huge. Not only would we be letting our kids and grandkids know that we care about them having access to schools and jobs in one of the fastest growing cities in the nation, but that we care that they don’t have to get there at the behest of their planet. Please adopt this plan.

  148. says

    Some comments on p 13.

    I feel the pride of ownership to the idea of Through-City Routes. Thank-you very much! Maybe it is more obvious than I recognize.

    I think nMotion has slighted Bellevue and Goodlettsville unjustly. (I understand the data you see but I also live here.) I would take 23B Dickerson out to Goodlettsville and Rivergate, operating as a RapidBus past Skyline. Instead of 3B I would do a 5B to Bellevue operating as a RapidBus past White Bridge. White Bridge itself could be served by overlapping clockface collectors and 16C Woodmont. There would be no use for a Route 3. I would then pair route 23B and 5B as a Through-City Route. Cogitate on it.

    Through-City Routes and Crosstown Routes are two important strategies for creating a transit NETWORK (that word again) which distributes transfers throughout the city. If every single bus HAS to go downtown than Music City Central takes on an unnecessarily outsized role. Look at all of the boardings! People must love it! No we don’t.

    The tone of the Plan suggests a certain defeatism to dealing with downtown. We do have to play the hand we were dealt but I am not ready to concede. The Plan suggest a total of four transit hubs; I caution against doing so prematurely until you have your downtown circulation figured out. It sounds like there is a Downtown Circulation Study coming up so hopefully we get it right. Downtown Circulation would be a third strategy to distributing transfers and boardings away from MCC.

    So, having been defeated on the downtown problem, nMotion only made a half-baked stab at crosstown routes. (I think.) Some lines were drawn on some map. (I think.) Moving around the county remains problematical unless you go downtown and transfer.

    The consultant that revised the Houston transit system made their route network into a grid: long and straight routes that crossed at right angles. The MTA State of the System report has route profiles in the appendix that grades routes on whether they are straight (good) or circuitous (bad). Unfortunately, Nashville doesn’t have a grid; we are laid out as a hub and spoke system with a river running though the middle. Did nMotion find a crosstown route that crossed the six spokes at right angles? No. I did.

    The crosstown routes are too short. The crosstown route from the airport only goes to Opryland. If I live in Madison there is no crosstown route that goes to the airport. (Someday LRT will be a fix.) No crosstown route goes very far, hopefully the whole bus is going to Green Hills mall because that is the end of the line.

    There needs to be at least one very long crosstown route, a spiral works great. No one would ride the entire spiral, it should work like Bocephus’s hot tub. It should also take people to where they want to go once they that the arterial to the right midtown distance.

    Consider this hodgepodge of nMotion routes:

    9R MetroCenter (R = most frequent, all day, limited stops);
    31R Hospitals (R = same);
    25R Edgehill (R = same);
    16C Woodmont (C = Local 30 All Day);
    13C Harding (C = Local 30 Peak);
    49 Airport (no word on frequency);
    34R Lebanon (R = most frequent, all day, limited stops).

    Of these 9R is great, gets you to TSU but it is not accessible from Charlotte or West End. 31R is the failed 21 University upgraded to frequent, all day service but it does take you from West End and Charlotte to TSU. (TSU is the end of the line for many routes.) 31st/28th Avenue would be more direct. And so on.

    These routes can be combined into one Crosstown Connector that allows the rider to decide we he gets on and off with only one transfer. There would be fewer routes, therefore fewer ends of the line forcing a transfer. (My suggestion)

    • arvis wright says

      WOW-Sir – did not read this before but you are spot on – saying what I attempted to post. Hope someone is listening!

    • says

      One additional comment on Through-City Routes. I prefer that the four LRT routes be constructed as two Through-City Routes. MTA could easily ignore this possibility as they adhere to the view that everyone want to transfer or originate downtown.

      The rail lines needn’t cross as that would introduce complications; they could simply be brought alongside the transfer station.

      Next, recalling that RapidBus and LRT provide the same service in everything that matters except for the dedicated lane: why not have Through-City Routes for the RapidBus routes while we are waiting for LRT?

      I mention this only because what seems obvious for a rail line somehow seems inapplicable for a RapidBus route for no good reason.

  149. Sarah says

    We need ACTION!!! We can not afford to wait 3-5 more years before we start implementing something. We need someone leading this who is ready to act not push it down the road for another person to deal with when they are gone.

    Buses are not the answer longterm.

    We need to have REAL conversations with CSX. CSX is part of the traffic problem in current state. It makes zero sense for all the freight to pass thru downtown (during rush hour) and only add to the congestion. What if there were people riding on those tracks while routing all the freight around the outside of the city. It may cost money in the shot term, but the longterm benefits are priceless.

    Is there a faster option to get rail into the Nashville metro area?

  150. Jessica says

    As long as it gets more cars off the road and/or eventually creates transportation with dedicated lanes or trains or at least something faster than sitting in traffic all day. I’m lucky enough to have a bus that runs from my apartment to downtown for work but I rarely take it because even with limited stops it’s still slow. It has to take 24 whereas I take 65 when I drive and there’s a huge difference in traffic.

    • Christina VanRegenmorter says

      What do you think about the idea to have buses take the freeway shoulder? If that goes through, then perhaps it would be quicker?

  151. says

    Here is a big issue that I do not want to wait for 25 years to see resolved:

    In the original Light Rail discussion paper it says: “Effective LRT services should be well connected to other transit services and the surrounding environment. Major LRT lines become a transit system’s backbone with connections to other routes. In most cases, with the implementation of light rail, existing local bus routes are either discontinued or converted to feeder routes.”

    In the Scenarios document there was a text box in the maps that said “A comprehensive network of local routes was not shown.” Unless you were talking about Scenario 3 then you would get minor upgrades.

    Here’s the issue: If MTA gets Light Rail then they would be smart about creating a NETWORK. If we have only RapidBus (a.k.a. BRT-Lite) then no network, everybody changes downtown. What happens if RapidBus is the transition mode for 25 years until the Light Rail is online? Will it be Stupid? or Network?

    The present implementation of BRT-Lite has always puzzled me. What is 26 Gallatin supposed to do? Go downtown like every other bus? Provide local service for folks who think the BRT stop is too far away? Serve as a collector for 56 Gallatin BRT?

    What happens when we get 56L Gallatin? Does 26 Gallatin continue to serve its same function? I think nMotion says it goes away for the part covered by LRT. Is that because the LRT stops are much closer than the BRT stops?

    Look at what MTA did with 52 & 12 Nolensville. The now so-called BRT-Lite route serves as its own collector and provider of local service. Is it still fast? Is that the model for Light Rail?

    Both RapidBus and Light Rail are supposed to provide high capacity, high speed, frequent service to and from downtown. RapidBus and LRT are exactly the same in everything that matters except that LRT has a dedicated lane. They need to be augmented by a NETWORK of local service, clockface collectors that bring people to the RapidBus/LRT and overlap to provide the necessary high frequency local service in dense areas without slowing high speed service with a lot of stops.

    I think that when MTA is thinking Light Rail that they start to “get it” though there was no discussion of travel speed or number of stops. (The map in the Plan has roughly BRT spacing for 56L Gallatin and much fewer stops than present for 52L Nolensville.

    My point is: are we waiting 25 years until MTA “gets it” or if RapidBus is the transitional mode of service until LRT can we begin to act like it is a high-speed, high frequency, high capacity part of the transit NETWORK? Even RapidBus can be served by clockface collectors instead of trying to do both high speed and local service.

    I only have my intuition, not the optimizations available to MTA and their consultant. I would make 26 go out and bring people to 56 plus other local service along Gallatin Pike and the neighborhoods on either side. Same for 56L Light Rail. Don’t be fooled by the shiny and new; they are just tools, a part of the network.

    • says

      Roy, we appreciate all your thoughtful comments throughout the nMotion process. They have been very helpful. We’ll be looking into your recent suggestions as we finalize the plan.

  152. says

    All that time and money to develop recommendations and not a single mention of the primary innovation to impact transportation in the next decade: self-driving hybrid or electric vehicles replacing taxis, personal vehicles, public transit, and even commercial trucking. Given the choice between public transit that takes twice as long and point-to-point transit that is quick, safe, affordable, and facilitates time shifting (reading while riding for example), the transition to self-driving transit is obvious and should call into question the interests of anybody who recommends or approves public transit development that involves trains or buses. In the self-driving transit era, the main initial issue to resolve is how to reduce traffic during rush hour periods. Possible solutions include encouraging employees to use shared ride self-driving services that will be similar to UberPool and Lyft Line, working with employers to create more flexible start and stop times for employees, and transitioning more employees to work from home scenarios (either full time or at least some days at home). A secondary issue will be determining what to do with all the non-self-driving vehicles that will be used less and less as consumers realize how much they could be saving by using self-driving transit.

  153. says

    The State of the System report is over a year old now. I would like to see this updated annually, especially the Appendix: Route Profiles. The front part of the report should be an update of service data, peers, propensity for transit data PLUS the current state of the 25 year plan.

    Perpetual peeve: Never, EVER (that means don’t do it) use JPEGs for maps within a .pdf document. You were told during the course of the nMotion process. Call Charlotte CATS and ask them how they do their maps. The maps in their .pdf are lovely and they seem to be using the same map-making program. Yours look like ___ (not good).

    On Table 1 on p 11: I suggest moving Frequent All Day from the Local Service section to the Frequent Network section. You may then consider making Frequent All Day run until 1am.

    On the same Table 1: move Regional RapidBus from the Frequent Transit Network (obviously someone got quite confused as to what the terms mean) to the Regional Routes section.

    I already said to eliminate Streetcar from Table 1 if there are no streetcars.

    We never got a full and frank discussion of the costs of elements of the plan. How much does the commuter rail to Clarksville cost? How much do 10 Buses-on-Shoulder to Clarksville cost? I know everything is free; I want to know how much it costs. This is already at $6B giving nothing to the most important surrounding counties but Montgomery County scores big-time in this Plan. You know they are not fourth in regional traffic; are they even fifth or sixth?

  154. Liz says

    Why no light rail all the way to Old Hickory Blvd/Bell Rd??? It’s just as crowded down there….

  155. George Grayson says

    I have read the plan, and could not be more in favor of the approach.

    1. I love the idea of multiple approaches. There is no “silver bullet”. The idea of multiple solutions is needed

    2. The idea of crosstown options is much better than the current situation. I think there needs to be thought of way that people travel around the city.

    3. When looking at other cities, understand that Nashville is behind the eight ball. We know that growth has outgrown the transit situation, and is going to get much worse, before it gets better. The 5 year plan is great, but I think wee need to think 1yr, 2yr, 3yr, and 5yr. In 5yrs, we are going to be impacted by business that will not relocate because of traffic woes.

    4. I am moving, like others, to different parts of the city to avoid traffic. Yes, it is that bad.

    5. I would suggest multiple community committees become involved and different phases to ensure buy in from the city.

    Again, the comprehensive plan is better than lack of planning. It is late, and the sooner the better.

  156. Sally Anne Harrell says

    I am so happy! Born and raised in Nashville but seeing how other cities do things, it’s nice to finally see Nashville step up its game. 1st, with the BRT, please contact Roaring Fork Valley Transit (the bus system in Aspen, CO to Glenwood Springs, CO) they set up a new BRT system for the 45+mile commute and it is great.
    I please ask for better bus stops. Especially in The Bellevue area. Covered, seating, well lit, and even an up to date sign on bus arrival times. Also, any buses more than a 30 min commute should offer free wifi, so their travelers can stay entertained. I am so excited for this new plan! Way to go and keep up the great work.

  157. says

    You should give me the $6Billion transpo budget! I will build 25-30 “Gravtrans” structures (US Patent 8322943) and sell them (less easements for the pathways) for $12Billion! Then I’ll give you your $6Billion back! (You can get the patent licensing fees from the feds)

  158. Frank Lyles says

    Also: this is a great way to cut down on drunk driving. In a city with as much night life as ours, it would be great to be able to get places and see shows and have a good time, and make it back home via public transit late at night. Extended evening and weekend service is a must!

  159. Frank Lyles says

    YES YES YES. This is an incredibly well designed plan. I’ve used MTA for years and this is exactly the right direction to guide Nashville’s transit in future. I cannot emphasize enough how much I support Megan Barry’s plan. My whole family (all of voting age, haha) feels the same way. Thank you Mayor Barry for showing leadership! Our city needs this!

  160. Arvis Wright says

    There is such a conflict going on with this plan. This is a reflection of Metro transit AND Regional planning. What I see is a quest to incorporate regional planning with mass transit planning. They are NOT, in my view, logical to link. Metro transit would be about improving services and accommodations for those who are within the city/county lines. It is NOT solely about bus routes. For instance, when one gets into the ‘hub’ downtown, there are NO adjoining facilities to go to, such as places to go with children and family as one waits for a bus. There are NO vendors nor shops. AND there are not enough charge spots for the intense use that one can see is occurring – if you just sit in the waiting rooms for even an hour. It is solely a place to wait, assuming the bus schedules are linked. Example: if you take a bus that more than one time schedule in an hour but your bus comes hourly, the link to use one bus to another means a long wait. Example: Take Rt 3/5 which runs 15 minutes apart. However, if you take a bus that is hourly, you wait. There is only a waiting room to go to – no eatery or even convenience stores to get milk. This is not the way city transit works in other STATES. And, then there are the demands to go into downtown to link with a bus that is about 1/2 mile parallel to the bus you take. Example: Gallatin Road and Bordeaux buses. When all you want to do is go from on Trinity lane from one side of town to the other – you have to go into town. Point: if you put in scheduling for transit going out further but still demand links to parallel busses as transfer downtown, you extend the ride. Regarding regional. Have you been in the ‘hub’ when the regional buses are loading. The folks stand there for long periods of time – where are the places to go if they want to pick up things, like milk, which they can do if they just get into their car and drive in. AND, the rail system. Not focused upon the increase to fund this as much as aware that insurance liability is a fact – rail service has such a high rate of accidents as well as clog up ‘lines’ when one breaks down. So, how about the hiring and training of individuals who can drive rail services – huge expense in HR terms. I have done the rail and bus transit lifestyle and pray you will focus upon linking folks within the inner city before appeasing a handful of folks who declare they will spend a long time commuting from the outskirts of Davidson. Get folks out of cars in the inner city (total commute in mass transit) as opposed to giving folks a parking lot to put their cars to perhaps get out of their car, if they do not have to stop off for simple stuff, like milk, bread, etc. Or, have you noticed cars that have two or more ‘devices’ charging in their cars, which they actually use to talk, study and/or do business with. Where are the charging set ups for regional transit commuters to be placed on lengthy rides? In the train? At the station – where and what about security at these ‘stations’? FINALLY, how about fixing up the places where inner city folks wait for mass transit before paving parking lots for folks who want to park their cars in borderline city limits. Fix? Lights and solid pavement to get in and out of mass transit – instead of dirt and grassy exist/entrances to board the bus. You guys are trying to work on two different types of mass transit needs. This is not urban oriented – it is a maze of compromises. Mass transit or Regional transit – plz stop trying to combine these two different systems. AND, trains within urban Metro – check the history on how that worked when there were fewer living here. There is a history – check out history of Union station would be a good start.

  161. Don says

    Are we considering running public transportation late at night or 24/7? What happens if I use it to the airport, then get back late at night? What about returning from events downtown late at night?

    • Christina VanRegenmorter says

      The plan says 5am to 1am for most service lines. I think 2am flights will still need a cab. :) However, 5am to 1am is a HUGE improvement to what we have now, and it fits within the 80/20 rule for me!

  162. Andrew Price says

    No one wants to take three different means of transportation to get where they want to go. This plan excludes major population centers, like Hermitage, and is not really scallable in the long term. We need to stop thinking in stop gap measures and implement bold strokes to offer a transit solution that keeps with Nashville being an IT city. This plan seems only good for people trying to get from outside of the downtown to in to downtown. However, it does not offer any workable solution to getting from Madison to Antioch in an efficient way.

    Do not rely on the CSX rail lines. Build new, energy efficient, rail lines that serve population centers, not freight. We could do something like the El in Chicago which would involve minimal digging or disruption to existing infrastructure and industry. We need to decide if we are going to think in the long term, with ambition in our hearts, or settle for a common place solution that will leave us wanting in the long run. We say we do not want to be the next Atlanta, but this solution looks a lot like the MARTA system.

    • Liz says

      That’s exactly what I’ve been saying!!! No space to go wide…. But building UP like an Elevated Train… Much smaller space.

  163. Gail Dwyer says

    We need train service yesterday just like every other big city in America in order to handle the population growth. This would accommodate residents as well as tourists. It is the only way to get people out of their cars to commute. 440 needs to be demolished and expanded to rail and 6 lanes each direction at the least. It is a disgrace! The berm down the center has been a 25+ year death trap. Plus, it is an eyesore. I would love to sell my car and take a train everywhere I need to go. Nashville’s small town days are long gone. Leadership needs to quit talking and get us walking to the train station.

  164. Sher Powers says

    This has been exciting to watch as each layer of need and community input has developed a plan attempting to resolve current and future transit issues and open a community dialogue on best ways to accomplish that. Innovation and creative problem solving along with energy conservation are attractive to me, and I’d like to encourage more of that in this plan.
    For example: the Chinese have created a transit model for up to 1200 passengers – Transit Elevated Bus – a bus that rides ABOVE two lanes of passenger vehicle traffic. This concept has been through six years of assessments and evaluation at various institutes and universities in China and many iterations to arrive at the current proposed design and integration format. If approved, this new system could be ready for operation in one year’s time, at a cost estimated at $4.5 million each, or 1/16th the cost of a subway train option for them. The lanes the buses ride in would limit passenger vehicle height to 7.2 ft and would have guard rails to deflect accidents/passenger vehicles from damaging the buses or blocking their progress. Goals include utilizing solar power for some of the energy used, retrofitting with existing bridge systems, creating access points/stations for passengers. These buses are capable of turning corners, and could ride next to other kinds of buses and taller trucks. Though we have the luxury of waiting to see how the system works for China, and what the real costs are, along with actual energy savings utilizing solar, this intrigues me and I’d like to see us have an evaluation of this system planned after a two year period, to determine if this is an alternative that could retrofit our own existing streets/freeways and manage large numbers of commuters. It’s worth considering and watching how this system works for Chinese traffic, and perhaps, following their lead.

  165. Roger says

    As a current user of the RTA system to work in Nashville ( final destination being the Metro Center Area) coming in each day from Murfreesboro, I want to add my two cents. I have participated in the surveys conducted and want to add two items. With the lose of most of the park and ride locations around Murfreesboro and the expansion of residential growth in Rutherford county, new park and rides are needed and their locations should consider the movement away from central downtown locations. Lots near the interstate as proposed or South of I-24 need to be considered. It seems kind of foolish to require commuters to drive long distances and cross the interstates each morning to catch a RTA bus that is going to retrace most of the individual commuters route to go back to I-24. Locations near and accessible to the interstate are good ideas but as a rule may not be easily ” donated” by churches. Maybe the local agencies can help out as the commuters are customers and are out of the lots by dark usually. We certainly need more park and rides and the need to safely egress is critical!

  166. Caroline says

    This looks like a good, comprehensive plan to meet the needs of Nashville and surrounding areas. My concern is how fast these changes can be implemented. I’d ride the bus daily if the service was more convenient. There is a bus stop one block from my house but getting to work from that bus stop is a different story. I could walk to work faster. We need changes sooner than later.

  167. Judith Larson says

    YES! Nashville needs all this ‘yesterday’! If nothing is done, Nashville will go by the wayside. Wish there were more plans for Bellevue and HW100, but the I-40 W corridor is definitely needed. Please, please do something!

  168. Molly says

    We need to keep the process moving forward with more options/ better routes/buses and rails that run more often and in more places bc Nashville is expanding by the day with more people and buisnesses being built

  169. SJM says

    While the plan for some sort of mass transit may be needed, I did not appreciate the underhanded way this was introduced in to the local communities (via a new tax). This is another big ticket, government run program with a big price tag that you plan to have local residents pay for via a new tax.

    If and when that time comes I will be fighting it tooth and nail.

  170. Shirley Grauberger says

    The plan sounds fine, although vague on the details. Myself and my fellow area travelers have simple needs. Some kind of public transportation for the Music Row Area. There is none.

  171. Anthony Birmingham says

    While I appreciate peoples frustrations with traffic, rail transit is not a “now” solution. I am uncertain how many people the Music City Star takes off the I-40 corridor, but it isn’t enough to have a serious impact. Light rail may be a solution, but expense and acquisition of right of way is problematic. I think that the planners are right to emphasize what can be done in the next 1-5 years to improve existing service while planning for the long term with brt and rail.

    • Jason Deiter says

      I agree the Music City Star’s current schedule is not adequate. As a 2nd shift worker, I would be more than happy to commute daily from Lebanon, but the schedule is quite prohibitive. Why not expand the service to the already existing infrastructure to accomdate work schedules that are not 9-5.

  172. Alan Clayton says

    Maybe I am not seeing it, but is there a plan to create an outer belt to allow big rigs to skip Nashville’s interior? We need to reduce congestion and allowing those who are just passing through to “go around” would be a big help.

    Is there any plan to considering reversible lanes going in and out of the 24/40/65 corridors? More lanes coming in for the AM commute and more lanes going out on the PM commute would really help.

    This plan seems like it is putting most of the eggs into one basket. I would like to see a more well balanced plan, and if the bucket contains $6 billion dollars, I would think we could provide more options.

    • Anthony Birmingham says

      That is what 840 was designed for, but I don’t think a lot of traffic is diverted. E – W I-40 thru traffic can use the completed part of 840 now.

      • BCA says

        840 doesn’t do what Mr. Clayton is stating. It only goes around the southern half the city which only helps east/west traffic. It does nothing for north/south traffic.

        • Anthony Birmingham says

          To BCA, that is what I said in my reply to Mr. Clayton. Mr. Clayton had asked if there was a “go around” and even though incomplete, that is the design intent of 840.

  173. Taylor says

    I love this new plan and think it’s incredibly thought out EXCEPT for the fact that is will take 25 years to execute! That’s already 50 years too late Nashville should have planned for this a long time ago! Would love to hear options on moving this process along faster, with the same efficiency.

    • Jack Payne says

      Quit planning, beg for more federal money, start laying rail and cut the time frame in half?

  174. says

    It is especially important for Nashville to enhance our mass transit options. As the road pattern (interstate and secondary arteries) are designed as concentric circles with spokes eminating from downtown, elevated light rail could be used to complement the existing design. I’d love to see elevated light rail above the major arteries (Murfressboro Rd, Nolensville Rd, Lebanon Rd, West End, Gallatin Rd, Dickerson Pike, etc.). These “spokes” can be connected with concentric loops close to the downtown interstate loop, Briley Pkwy, and Old Hickory Blvd. Large parking areas can be accommodated near these areas for riders who don’t live close enough to walk or bike to the rail stations.

    Obviously, bus service will need to be more reliable as well. More routes (which support the light rail) and more frequent service on those routes is required. The use of technology will be important so riders understand the expected wait time between buses (and can plan alternate routes if needed).

  175. says

    I’m a big supporter of this plan, and as a homeowner in Davidson county, I assume I’d be among those hit hardest by any tax increases. But, that doesn’t bother me a bit.

    I want to see this city keep growing, and I think this is the only way to accomplish that. Band-aid plans and kicking the can down the road will only result in a market collapse once we hit a certain threshold of people that can’t get around town.

  176. Matt says

    We can’t wait 25 years for train access. we need some sort of high-speed line in from cities like murfreesboro, franklin, dickson, etc. NOW. So appreciative that this is being worked on, but traffic is a disaster today. We need options that get people off of the interstates.

  177. Chris T. says

    25 years is a lot of time! I come to Nashville frequently for business, but traffic is getting worse and worse, making it less attractive to do business here. I’d love to leave my car and take a train into town. This city needs rail NOW! Not in 25 years. I hate buses and frankly rather drive than take a bus, especially since it sits in traffic anyway. Trains would make me leave my car at the station, though. It would make the city look nicer, too!

  178. Jack Dinker says

    “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” – Henry Ford

    I read the nMotion transit report and didn’t see the word “automation” used once. If you are going to spend 6 billion in tax payer money over 25 years you should account for the explosive growth of machine learning and automated vehicles we will see over the next 2 decades.

    The majority of vehicle manufactures plan to have fully autonomous cars by 2025. These vehicles will use artificial intelligence to “learn” through experience how to become better drivers. More than likely, these vehicles will communicate with each other in order to optimize the flow of traffic, reducing interstate congestion and the need to build out more transportation infrastructure.

    Some other things of note:

    -Uber and Carnegie Mellon University started testing a 100 automated cars in Pittsburgh this month. The CEO of Uber predicts that the price of a ride will fall so low that the per-mile cost of travel, even for long trips in rural areas, will be cheaper in a driverless Uber than owning a car.

    -As economies of scale bring down the cost of automated vehicles, people will be able to add their cars to a sharing fleet in order to make money for the ride sharer. This will drive down the cost of transportation for the those who wish to forego owning a car and use someone else’s vehicle. This could create more supply than demand and possibly reduce the dependency and cost of public transportation.

    -Tesla and Mercedes are investing billions in automated buses. As Tesla moves to part 2 of its master plan, the CEO of Tesla Elon Musk states,

    “With the advent of autonomy, it will probably make sense to shrink the size of buses and transition the role of bus driver to that of fleet manager. [The bus] would also take people all the way to their destination. Fixed summon buttons at existing bus stops would serve those who don’t have a phone. Design accommodates wheelchairs, strollers and bikes.”

    To quote a blog post from caranddriver.com:

    “People are moving toward the urban cores of our cities in record numbers. And while cities are pushing inward, it’s becoming harder than ever to have a car—or multiple cars—in a household. Meanwhile, new subways and rail lines require deep pockets and often controversial funding sources. The solution, as some see it, is the automated (or semi-automated) city bus. A bus ticket is hardly an aspirational purchase for middle-class American consumers, yet two aspirational brands—Mercedes-Benz and Tesla—both recently mentioned bus projects intended to address the urban mass-transit dilemma. It makes sense. Moving people on buses networked with the traffic signals might ease gridlock without making other (far costlier) changes such as building new subways or light-rail lines, or adding politically loaded policies like urban-area tolling for private vehicles.”

    http://blog.caranddriver.com/with-electric-powertrains-self-driving-modes-mercedes-benz-and-tesla-see-future-in-buses/

    -Google has created established Side Walks lab to help with urban transportation problems.

    https://www.sidewalklabs.com/

    Automated transportation is real. Companies are spending tens of billions to accelerate changes to an automated transportation infrastructure and they are probably looking for partners. In order to keep pace with this change and avoid spending unnecessary tax payer dollars, it would benefit the city to start engaging these companies to save money and avoid building unnecessary infrastructure.

  179. says

    YES,YES Light rail/ commuter Rail Is a Necessity , I have said and I know ALOT of people who say ” I will not go to Nashville because of the traffic “!! It’s a nightmare, if there was a Rail system Id go every weekend and to special events but I avoid Nashville at all cost ! ( from Murfreesboro area) Id even work there if they had a rail system….

  180. Dan the Man says

    You lost me with the word BUS. Nobody is riding a bus unless its their only option or they’re just outside of downtown and traveling to the inner city. Employers should be paying for bus services just like Silicon Valley. You want access to Middle Tennessee cheap resources then pony up. You need a light rail and heavy rail transit system to connect the overall metro, and you also need express toll roads that run along or above all major corridors, similar to Tampa. People whine about tolls but at the end of the day, they always pay because $2 bucks a business day in order to gain an hour and a half of your day back is worth its weight in gold. Buses are never the solution. They don’t work in suburban sprawl metropolitans (period). You should not be focusing on immediate short term needs, as your just throwing money away. Pony up, partner with CSX, Local Businesses, or dare I say talk to the Federal Government and make sure Middle Tennessee is included within this huge infrastructure deal that’s going down no matter who is the next President. You know Nissan is in Franklin. Ever think about autonomous car services? Talk to Google, Tesla, Ford, Volvo, Nissan, Uber, etc…..make a pitch that Nashville can be the world’s first autonomous car metro transit system. Go big or go home. You lost me at the word Bus. NOBODY rides a bus unless they have to. Buses don’t solve the issue for commuters. It’s only a solution within the inner city.

    • gayla says

      I was in silicon valley in ’83; bus fare in was still 25 cents–the same as it was in the 60’s when I grew up in Calif (it includes transfers). You could go all day from one end of the state to the other for a quarter. There is a state that knows it can’t afford to build more highways and maintain them–busing is the answer. Big cities know you need land for buildings, not waste it on more highways and parking lots.

    • BCA says

      I have to agree with Dan. Buses will never work. It is a total waste of money. And 25 years is to long to wait for a solution. There is an over traffic transit carrier that the prototype has already been built. It carries large amounts of people on existing roadways and does not require extra bus lanes to be built and used causing even more congestion.

    • Christian Niemeyer says

      I agree, buses are not attractive for many. In New York City or any big city I’d rather take a taxi than ride a bus. Or use the subway. Especially in the downtown, dedicated bus lanes only take space, are inflexible, and restrict expansion and growth. They become expensive barriers. A trolley system is a better alternative. The beginnings can be lean, but as time goes by, the system can expand in all directions as needed. Or else, start building the subway system.

    • Arvis Wright says

      Many ride and have been riding BUSES for decades. Like, if you are from here you know that maids took buses. So – please do not discount bus rides. They are used and the pollution generated from cars are horrific – take the bus. There are some really nice folks (and drivers) on buses. This city was NOT always so car oriented – and folks are moving BACK into town. Let folks take the bus and/or walk instead of encouraging use of cars to get necessities. You are wrong – I grew up on buses (and subways) and like buses that I can get off and back on, without trying to find a parking space. Get out of your car – ride the bus. The experience can be very enjoyable!

      • Arvis Wright says

        AND, my family and folks they knew have been taking buses for decades – like I am a native with roots going back to the 1870s – hearing my grandmother talk about her taking a trolley in the 1920s. Get out of your cars – and consider preventing the smog problem of many cities that are car oriented. TAKE A BUS.

  181. Ubergirl says

    Truck drivers are under Federal rules, called Hours of Service. Once they start driving, they have 14 hours to work (a mix of driving, other work, and mandated rest). No trucks during rush hour, am and pm, is not an option. You end up needing twice as many trucks to do the work in the time allowed. All those restaurants and coffeeshops need deliveries….

    the new mass transit options sound nice – be sure to allow room for security lines so we can all get screened before boarding.

  182. says

    My first read; detailed comments later. MTA has a charming way of producing lousy proposals and then practical improvements. This plan is an improvement on Scenario 1.

    This sentence did not make sense to me:

    “To further explore the potential for this type of solution.”

    p21. bottom of blue box. I suspect it was print to fit.

    p11 mentions Streetcar in the table on Frequent Transit Network. The only other mention of Streetcar is to say LRT is not Streetcar. I suspect that Streetcar has been eliminated from the Plan and can be dropped in the table on p11.

    I still think that Goodlettsville and Bellevue were slighted, more on that later.

    Roy

  183. Steve Catania says

    Who’s going to be paying for all of this? If Davidson County is footing the bill, largely through increasing our property taxes, I sure hope they intend to turn I-24, for instance, into a toll road? Why should the out of county commuters get a free ride?

  184. JC Norris says

    Think really long term and consider sub-ways for Nashville. Going under ground will help relieve surface streets more than anything else that can be done. Expensive yes, but more effective and efficient in long term.

    Also explain how buses are going to use shoulders on the interstate. That looks like a very dangerous situation. A 50,000 lb bus going 70 mph next to slow moving cars?

    The overall approach is much better than the previously ill conceived AMP, a good start but think really big and think long term.

  185. Wilbur Sensing says

    I left my suggestions at the joint meeting of MTA and RTA yesterday. I just believe that the CSX Railroad should be included in this planning. There cooperation could save millions if not billions of dollars! My father commuted from Dickson to Nashville to attend MBA and Vanderbilt in 1918-1921. If this was possible then, it certainly should be possible and practicable 98 years later! Let’s organize a committee to visit the CEO of CSX and investigate such a partnership!

      • Mr. Common Sense says

        If Nashville can give HUNDREDS of MILLIONS of dollars for companies to move downtown, it only makes sense to plan for those workers to get downtown. Plus, all the tourists and residents who live nearby. It seems the current mentality is “we built it and hope they can figure out how to get there.” Subsidizing CSX moving only makes (common) sense.

  186. Christienne Miller says

    Having lived in San Francisco and Los Angeles for 18 years before coming to Murfreesboro for family reasons, I have two observations:

    If you want to cut down on traffic now, bring more white-collar, technology, and corporate headquarters to Murfreesboro. Did you know that almost 80% of the population in Rutherford County commute to Nashville, Franklin, and Brentwood every day? The commute reminds me of the traffic endured by those who live in Los Angeles.

    With public transit, my commute on transit within the city of San Francisco and to the East Bay allowed me to read and catch up on work and not worry about car accidents from overcrowding of vehicles and also allow my family to have one car – cutting down on both traffic and pollution.

    I will be publishing a video on key points about the Murfreesboro area that should be attractive to many corporations. It’s great that all these jobs are coming to the Nashville, Franklin, and Brentwood areas, but the vast majority of the workforce in those cities come from Murfreesboro and beyond.

    We’re supposed to be a family-centric area and used to be the capital of Tennessee. How is it family-centric to have local jobs paying less that $8/hr with bad benefits forcing our residents to drive and be 1 hour to 1 1/2 away from our children. This is NO LONGER just a college town. AND our graduates are moving away because a college degree is supposed to bring opportunity for graduates. Not here.

    Robust public transportation is vital to ensure the Greater Nashville area doesn’t become like Los Angeles (I used to work 12 miles from where I lived and if I didn’t hit my travel time just right, it would take me 1 1/2 to get to work). More than 30,875 moved to the Greater Nashville from 2000 – 2015. You think traffic is bad now? Just wait.

  187. Rob says

    When is the committee going to release actual details on the downtown frequent bus grid, especially about the need to let routes run through and not just to Music City Central? The “Transit Emphasis Corridors” on Charlotte, Broadway, 4th, and 5th should be given bus-only lanes to actualize the “emphasis” on transit, and so that bus speeds can be improved to sustain the multiple routes travelling on the corridors. Look at Chicago’s Loop Link for an instructive example.

  188. Melissa says

    I moved to Nashville from Chicago back in 2012 and all I can say is, Hallelujah! It’s about time! I am sure all of us Damn Yankee’s would be encouraged to go back, but in the long run,..this will help everyone!
    A lot of us cannot afford to live where we work and drive long distances to make a living wage with benefits. While, everyone is up in arms about where the money is going to come from, why not think about where the money CAN come from. There are multiple ways of paying for this. Monthly commuter tickets and monthly parking will be a requirement for most of us. For those who only want a limited number of “rides” the cost would increase a bit. I don’t want to suggest toll roads, because that is a bogus but effective way to handle revenue building for transit. Unfortunately, like Chicago, those revenue streams never go away – they always find something else to “use” the money for. I left Chicago for a reason…taxes and misappropriation of funds was definitely a motivator. The bottom line is – this proposal is wonderful. Looks like kind of a spaghetti monster (I hope who ever is working on this isn’t the same guy who worked on the highway system here…they sucked.)
    Nashville is growing. New people will still come. I read a post earlier about retirees and how they don’t want to be responsible for the cost. I can appreciate that. This may be a good way to recoup some expenses without dipping into their pocket.
    I am looking forward to any other option than driving. I come from Pulaski to near the Airport everyday. That’s 3 hours of my life that could be better spent with my children.

  189. Leon Hauge says

    Don’t believe for one second that this plan will reduce traffic and shorten commute times, people! Look at the cities that have tried this method and failed to produce any real, positive results. I can tell you, first hand, that it has failed, in Minneapolis/St.Paul. Mass transit is nice and it looks great on a politicians resume! But, it won’t, sufficiently, address the real problem. We’re already WAY behind the eight-ball, with the capacity of our roads, in relationship to traffic volume. We need to aggressively and immediately increase the capacity of our roads and take steps to improve traffic FLOW. Buses on the shoulder will take a few buses out of the way. Great.
    Take heavy trucks off the road, during commute times and watch the traffic sail along! Tractor trailers are more numerous than ever and I believe they are a much bigger part of the problem than anyone wants to think about, or do anything about. If Nashville wants to portray itself, as this awesome, progressive city, then lets do something progressive. Lots of cities have learned, the hard way, that mass transit does little, or nothing to address traffic congestion.
    Let’s be innovators, not imitators. Especially when most of us know we won’t get the results we’re after, given the proposed state of affairs. All we’ll get is a big, fat bill for $6 billion, that could have been spent in a much better way.

    • Spencer says

      I agree with this. While mass transit would certainly be nice (having seen the way workers rely on the El in Chicago), I think Nashville needs to be an innovator in the transportation space, starting with the existing problem… the ROADS.

      A fix that is underway for many years will not help the transportation problems of TODAY. Additionally, the roads will only get worse by that time and become a much harder problem to fix.

      Focus on fixing these existing issues, then work on preventative measures (in this case – light rail, etc.). Once traffic flow is eased, cities can be connected by light rail, neighborhoods by BRT, downtown by streetcar, what have you…

      Also – 25 years? I hope my grandkids enjoy Nashville sans exhausting traffic!

  190. Steve Catania says

    Nashville needs true commuter rail like the L. I. R. R. from all four directions the interstates corridors run.

  191. Danita says

    All interstates which include 24, 40, 65, & 840 should be considered and in all directions. It was scary when they announced that Music City Star was going to share same tracks with CXS. Not sure that was good idea. I have rode BART in northern CA, the monorail in Atlanta, and the one in St. Louis and enjoyed the convenience. The commute to Nashville to Gallatin use to take 20 minutes back in the 80’s. But now when leaving work in the city it takes 1 hr and 10 minutes to reach Gallatin. I think all the areas, north, south, east, & west need to be considered in the planning. It would be nice to see light rail come to the area to serve not only metro but all the areas within 30-35 mile radius at least in all directions of the city. Not only for the commuters but to extend options for those living within the metro area that would use this not only to get around in the city but have opportunity to get to the other communities as well. I drive 100 miles round trip to work and back into Nashville and have for the last 11 years. It gets old.

  192. Mary Short says

    Leave retired citizens out of the cost of the plan–pass it along as a surcharge on property tax for the 400 people (or whatever the number) moving to Nashville every day–it’s time that those of us who’ve lived and worked here for 65+ years stop supporting those who now want to work and raise their families here–they need to support their total lifestyle, as we have already done–it’s time to leave us alone!

    • Dan the Man says

      What a naïve comment. You’ve obviously earned substantial appreciation on property values due to the influx of new growth. So you want to reap that reward but then add a surcharge to those who attributed to it? Furthermore, your logic is flawed. You haven’t supported any new people. Everyone has their own mill rates based on their county, and everyone pays sales tax based upon their own personal consumption. You may have seen increases over 65 years but again your asset gains (appreciation) far outweigh any mill rate increases. If anything the influx of people and money has supported you, as your assets have not only grown but avoided stagnation or depreciation similar to people who lived in New Orleans, Mobile, or Huntsville over the past sixty five years. You’re Welcome. Regarding purchasing power due to growth and retired fix income, that’s where you consume the appreciation to offset the difference. Again, you’re welcome. When your house in Brentwood sells for 1 million after you bought it for 200k twenty years ago, let me know and I’ll stop by for my portion of your appreciation. Then we’ll be square.

  193. Tony says

    This should have been planed over ten years ago. The immediate issue for I24 from Nashville to Murfreesboro is commercial vehicle traffic during the rush hours. There have been states that have made laws to alleviate the amount of big trucks just idling on thei roads. That could be another consideration.

    • Mr. Common Sense says

      YES!!! Restrict or re-route semi-trucks from the Nashville loop and major during rush hour traffic. This eliminates a lot of traffic issues at a drastically reduced cost. Even better, create a bus lane shared with semi-trucks. How often will a bus use a dedicated lane? Once every 10-15 minutes?? Have semis use this lane also and avoid blocking merging traffic. Problem solved.

  194. Kathy B. says

    Since there is no shopping downtown could a bus route be developed to go directly from Harding Pk./White Bridge to Green Hills. It seems a pretty direct route along Woodmont and it would eliminate a trip downtown to transfer and it would save money.
    Also, free transfer would be ideal, as in other cities.

    • Sheila says

      Yes, connector routes would cut travel times. There used to be a Route 11 that ran from 100 Oaks along Harding, Donelson Pike, end up at Opry Mills, connecting a few shopping centers and the airport. They stopped it because of low ridership. It only ran daytime M-F. When do people who work daytime M-F shop? Nights and weekends. That bus would have had more riders if it ran later in the evening and 7 days a week.

    • arvis wright says

      Applaud you for your suggestion about cross down on Woodmont. There are some serious issues with widening the single lane on Woodmont for cars. More buses in the Woodmont area is logical but has a long history of controversy, like “not in my back/front yard.” Thus, taking time to express appreciation for the effort the Mayor is making, with the constraints for considering cross town through certain areas of Metro Nashville-Davidson County. If it happens, I will be jumping up with gleeeeeeee. As a bus-car-bus rider to and from Green Hills, I am just overjoyed that there are more sidewalks on the main roads surrounding Green Hills.

  195. Antioch Homeowner says

    Overall, I think the proposed plan will positively impact our growing city; however, there is not much outlined for the Southeast Area of Davidson County. I live in Antioch and utilize MTA for daily travel to and from downtown. My ride times take more than an hour both ways; sometimes two hours in the evening. I would like to see the Freeway BRT option being utilized for stops in Antioch too. Based on the plan, Lavergne, Smyrna and Murfreesboro are the only cities being looked at it. Antioch is one of the most affordable places to live in Davidson county, and continues to see growth by way of new subdivisions and apartment complexes. This plan must take the city of Antioch into account because of its continued growth.

    • says

      There are two light rail lines on M’boro Pike and Nolensville Pike and RapidBus (hour to Global Crossing in pm) until then. 96X to Bell Road, colored Freeway BRT on the map. More service levels.

      I think you’re going to get served.

  196. Love says

    Full steam ahead on this plan. Run the Music City Star on weekends and for special events (like Sounds Games). Also, expand hours sobit runs all day, not just am and pm.

  197. Aaron says

    Install commuter train service parrallel to all major interstates in the area: 65, 40, 24.

    Leverage the existing rail lines to do so.

    I have particular passion for installing such a line along the 65S corridor: Run it from Columbia to the Gulch (Union Station). Some possible stops could be: South Nashville, Fairgrounds, Armory, Forest Hills, Brentwood, Cool Springs, Downtown Franklin, Thompson’s Station, Spring Hill, Columbia.

    This would promote economic development along the entire route, unleashing employment locations downtown, and throughout the route, with fewer cars on the road.

    The best part is: THE TRAIN LINES ALREADY EXIST! USE THEM!

  198. Doug Trovinger says

    Good evening. I have a few comments to make living in cities big and small and now the city that I love – Nashville.

    As far as alternate transportation options, a light rail OR monorail would probably be the best route to go. Though the cost per mile can get very expensive for the monorail option, it is one that should be looked at quickly and efficiently. For the light rail option, look at Charlotte. That has connected the suburbs for years there into the heart of downtown.

    Now for a monorail type system, look to a small city in West Virginia named Morgantown. Home to West Virginia University (and where I’ve lived about 1/2 of my life), they have a rapid transit system called the PRT (or Personal Rapid Transit). This is an AUTOMATED system that has to go through elements of extreme temperature and moisture and has been running for more than 40 years!

    Anyway, back to the point, one thing that I find surprising that is not in the plan is to finish the loop of TN-840 (which is now I-840). Why wasn’t that put in there? That could alleviate a lot of truck traffic out of the urban core. Though the southern end is already built, a lot of traffic can be diverted onto that stretch out of downtown and have economic developments there – especially in manufacturing on the northeastern side of a loop.

    In short to not go on and on, kudos for the report and though it is a $6 billion price tag over 25 years, I say that things need to start happening no earlier than Jan. 2017. The longer you wait, the more traffic will be a pain in the rear.

    Thanks.

  199. Sheila says

    I’ve been preaching connector routs between corridors since 1984! About time someone’s listening! LOL

  200. Mark says

    The local light rail is a good idea in anticipation of the population boom. The Clarksville train though? I agree with previous posters that Mboro needs it much, much more (and I live in Brentwood).

  201. Tony Wolfe says

    I applaud the idea that we must build the infrastructure now to accommodate future growth. I think a rail option in the future from surrounding areas would be great. Maybe a monorail. Giving us mass transit options for those coming into Nashville for events would be nice. Murfreesboro has been not been prepared for the growth. The people keep coming and then they are scrambling to alleviate traffic issues.

  202. Polly Gregory says

    This plan doesn’t address the gridlock that has existed on I-24 from Murfreesboro to Nashville for years. The roads have been widened, widened again, and HOV lanes added. Imagine our surprise when the Music City Star was launched, but no where near us! Mt. Juliet has traffic issues, I’m sure, but wouldn’t it have been more feasible to test run the MCS in a high-traffic area? Right now, it’s more a sight-seeing vehicle than mass transit.

    Now, years later, another commuter rail is proposed, but to Clarksviile? To Gallatin? On traffic reports each afternoon, we see the travel times from various points. 35 – 45 minutes out to Clarksville, but 1.5 hours to Murfreesboro?

    We are one of a very few municipal areas that very structured, very reliable mass transit service. It boggles the mind that we are the tourist attraction we are, we have the population we have, and the traffic congestion and still are years behind other cities in this area.

    We have been talking, studying and proposing for years. It’s time to do something, already, and it shouldn’t take 25 years, either! My grandchildren, at least, might have reliable transportation, but anybody driving to work now will never see the improvements.

    Could all this be just more lip service?

  203. Harold says

    I assume this is a joke. I would think for 6 billion we could build an entire sub-way system. I think I get it. Whoever is putting this plan together is getting paid millions to tell us to run busses on the shoulders of the highways, run the system 24-7, and purchase a new train to run from Clarksville to Nashville that will go empty 95% of the time.

    Use the 6B to build a sub-way system that will have use instead of busses and trains that very few use now and will not use anytime soon or in the future.

    • Laura says

      I was thinking the same thing! Why spend billions on something that already exists but no one uses. Subway system is a better alternative for which people might actually use. Also this should not have to take 25 years. Stop the politicizing, wasteful spending, time wasting, and build something that will actually work.

      • Mr. Common Sense says

        I agree 100%!!! In fact, why does AMP still have an office space…are we paying for that?!

        Harold and Laura: Let’s get a shovel and start digging ourselves. Seems it would get done faster.

    • Tom Olin says

      Totally agree with Harold …

      The busses are empty now … and a light rail system would be so far under capacity that it could never be justified financially.

  204. R.Harvey says

    I lived in the southern part of Miami Florida (kendall area to be spicific) and Dade County and they have an elevated electric rail system that is very effecient only because as the comment I have heard here in Nashville “If it does not get me from home to work quicker than my car,Im not interested”. Also there has to be a secondary form of transportation at the different stops the transit system makes for getting the riders to their point of interest. If these factors or any factors they don’t make transit system convenient to the public,you will not get cars off the street,as everyone loves their cars,and rapid transit has to be efficient and as as convient to get from one place to the other or your lans are sure to fail and good money put into a bad situation.People today want convience or what ever is planned for getting cars off the road will not work.One other recommendation I can make is the monorail system at walt disney world it is a true pleasure to use and most of all they make sure its conveient that you get to where you are going.Thanks for listening.

  205. Michelle Ayotte says

    I’m excited to see that the consensus was the large long range plan. This is the plan I voted for. I look forward to seeing the revenue plan to go with this. I really hope there will be a large push and focus on having businesses help support this growth. If businesses are part of the funding then they will encourage and provide incentive for their employees to use the service which can only help go and expand the services that are already in dire need here. My only negative comment is that we do not have 25 years to wait for this entire plan to exist. We have 10-15 years max before we outgrow this plan. Nashville has a bad habit of starting a construction project that is outdated before it is complete. I’m hoping with this large scale plan that updates and necessary changes will be allowed during the build out. As our city grows more than is predicted this plan needs to be flexible and allow for needed expansions. This is a great start! I’m praying the sticker shock doesn’t shut it down!

  206. Amber says

    Seems like a whole lot of money to get nothing but a bunch more headaches! Nashvilles highways can not handle the amount of traffic they have already being the crossroads of the nation and without having Atlanta type rapid transit lanes buses are worthless. Besides that people whom live out of Nashville but drive in are not going to take buses for the most part. Downtown is so congested I can not envision more buses they keep insisting on putting more and more into a 6-8 block radius with no where near enough parking meanwhile they are making it so the people of Tennessee avoid the Downtown area like the plague because of it. I also notice most of the meetings and surveys have been in poor underserved areas and much of this is for them while we whom live out of Nashville are going to be the ones footing the bill with our taxes. Perhaps if Nashville were not trying to become the South’s Las Vegas strip and concentrated more on the actual people who live and work here it would help.

  207. Nancy McFadden says

    I think you are doing good work. I will probably not be able to
    use most of it, since I have a bad back, degenerative disk disease.
    Walking from my house to 21sr is seven blocks. The West End
    bus is also quite a distance. I also do not drive.

    For now, I use Lyft, paying for it ourselves. If Lyft or its
    competitor, Uber, cease running here, I am in trouble.

    I know there is access ride, which if money gets tight,
    might be my next choice. Because of my back, I do
    not always know the day before if I will be functioning
    without a lot of pain. Chronic pain is horrible.

    I will keep reading about this, and wish you well.

  208. Rick Fox says

    The longer we wait, it will only continue to be more difficult to accomplish and more costly. Let’s start today!

  209. Stephen McClure says

    I think it’s great that Nashville is thinking big about transit. I, too, wish it had started earlier. But, at least we are having the conversation before any more time passes. If you are a proponent, as am I, please join me in using the bus system more frequently. Now. Not just later when the system has more to offer.

    • Polly Gregory says

      We have been talking about it for years. And re-visiting it for years. Riding the bus (to places that are not even near where we need to go ) isn’t going to change the fact that it shouldn’t take 25 years to have something in place. To ride the bus from Murfreesboro to Nashville, my husband would have to leave our house at 5:30a.m., drive 10 miles to the nearest bus stop, and ride for an hour. After getting to Nashville, he’d have to walk 20 minutes to get to work.

      No chance, when he could just drive in his comfortable car, straight there. He still has to allow a full hour to drive the 30 miles to work, which is ridiculous. But at least he’s as safe and comfortable as possible under the circumstances.

  210. Amy P says

    I am all for improving transportation, but my house backs up to the Music City Star train, as do many others. With the suggestion of additional trains and rails will there also be a sound barrier put up? These additions will cause significant decrease in property value for those of us that live along the lines, not to mention cause traffic disruptions as there will train crossings stopping cars every hour.

    • Michelle Ayotte says

      You are thinking about this the wrong way. A subdivision was built out past Martha with a train station as an incentive to live there. Their property value is higher because they have access to a railway. I live in MJ and use the Star everyday. MJ does have rules about when they can blow the whistle but no one near the train has seen any loss of property value. It’s just the opposite and the growth of MJ proves it.

  211. Megan S. says

    Just some observatons of my part:

    -The HOV Lanes on 65 and 40 do not help at all, since they are not enforced, and half of the people driving in them during the specified hours are single car drivers anyway. There is just as much traffic in the HOV lanes during rush to and from work as there is in the other lanes.

    -The bus routes need to be extended a bit. For instance, the bus on Nolensville road only goes as far as Lenox Village, and thats only in the morning and late afternoons. There have been many times I have been without a car and would loved to have taken the bus up to the grocery store about 2 miles from my house, but the service is not offered. Having the route go all the way to the end of Davidson County on Nolensville Pike, and more than twice a day, would be very beneficial.

    • Sheila says

      I’m assuming you’re referring to the 33x bus? I’m happy with the new #52 Nolensville BRT buses. I live a couple blocks from the Old Hickory/Nolensville Rd intersection & work downtown. The 52A buses stop near Dollar General and sit there for 10 to 30 minutes, 3 stops short of my home bus stop. so I often get off there and walk home. If I want to go to Walmart after work, I ride the 33x bus from work to Walmart, then buy what I can carry & walk home. Rather than have those 52A buses sit in front of Dollar General for up to 30 minutes, why not extend the route to Walmart? The Charlotte and Gallatin Road BRTs end their routes at a Walmart.

  212. Bill says

    This should have been started 30+ years ago but the politicians were too busy being politicians.

    Personally, I think they need to reorder things some. Help with the longer commutes first to cut down on rush hour traffic and then improve the local lines. Quit adding lanes to the interstates and put those funds in to the regional options. Make the BRT type routes more efficient and quicker. I have used regular bus service and BRT lite service. The only real difference is the number of stops. The amount of time is exactly the same. BRT should be a quicker option.

  213. Wade Sims says

    There is simply no way to make light rail work given Nashville’s (lack of) urban density. For those spans, we’re talking anywhere between 50 and 70 miles minimum of rail track. The only systems in the U.S. that have that length are Dallas, Los Angeles, Portland, and San Diego. Denver and St. Louis come close. In Europe, comparable cities include Moscow, Vienna, Prague, Berlin, Brussels, and a few others.

    Taking a look at the urban population density data of those cities:
    Dallas: 4,652 people/km^2
    Los Angeles: 9,331 people/km^2
    Portland: 4,321 people/km^2
    San Diego: 1,572 people/km^2
    Denver: 1,543 people/km^2
    St. Louis: 1,991 people/km^2
    Moscow: 4,900 people/km^2
    Vienna: 3,400 people/km^2
    Prague: 2,490 people/km^2
    Berlin: 3,940 people/km^2
    Brussels: 7,030 people/km^2

    And Nashville? 480 people/km^2. Three digits. Literally an order of magnitude in difference from these cities where light rail operates. For the same distance paved, you are serving roughly 1/10th the population that cities where light rail is working (and in many cases not profitably).

    If you want to solve the Nashville traffic problem, (1) synchronize the lights to eliminate the obvious rush hour choke points that bottleneck the whole system; (2) promote ridesharing systems, carpooling, and current public transit options; and (3) encourage business growth outside of downtown (such as by promoting Google Fiber expansion to the greater metropolitan area), thereby reducing the directional traffic.

    • Bill says

      If you’re referring to what Dean attempted to West End, that was not a good option. Multiple reasons why.

    • Sheila says

      I love your sarcasm! Beaman isn’t into public transportation because he wants to sell cars. He won’t be seeling any to me, though, because I’m legally blind.
      Question regarding light rail on Nolensville Road: Where would they put the rails?
      Someone mentioned subways. That would be nice, although I think I heatd some discussion about the underground rock formationmaking that difficult!
      All that said, I think a monorail would be ideal. I am familiar with the monorail system in Miami, mentioned above. I’ve ridden it. I visit family in West Palm Beach for the holidays, and I’ve gone down to Moami a few times. Tri-Rail in South Florida is nice. They use existing rail, which I think is shared with CSX? So what’s the problem with CSX here?

      • Dave says

        Beaman lost all of my future business. I was ” on the fence ” when it came to the AMP,but his interference using money from his vast coffers,to void the AMP, is inexcusable. As always in Nashville… Money Talks !!

        There will be no Mass Transit future for Nashville. Not now or 25 years from now. The Powers that Be will make sure of that. Until they find a way of lining pockets,it will never happen. Consultants are the only ones benefitting from all of this. One study after another,it’s endless. Remember Bredesen and his Maglev grants.That was just the start..

  214. John says

    With the amount of money being mentioned in this plan is there another way. Could we work with CSX to build a rail line that follows 840 from I-40 to I-24. They could have a new railyard near the Spring Hill vehicle plant. Metro Nashville then in turn buys/acquires all rail lines through the metro area. Now we would have mass transit to Franklin, Murfreesboro, and all other surrounding areas. The current CSX lines are already running through downtown. Huge railyard in the Gulch for downtown service.

    • Cheryl says

      Brilliant idea to expand existing passages to provide light rail services. Echo this thought for the I-24 route northwest to Clarksville, Paducah, and beyond! Expanded access and connections across the region will only serve to benefit Nashville and the entire area.

  215. Chamelle says

    It’s about time! Traffic is horrible. Will cut back on pollution. I’d love to catch the train to work.

  216. Bruce says

    Set up a new Music City Star (MCS) terminus station in Nashville. having to reroute passengers and buses every time there is a festival or event in the downtown area is why I have stopped using the MCS. Too much traffic with these downtown events make it nearly impossible to keep schedules between shuttles and the MCS. The drivers do the best they can but because of the single track and the dense traffic around River Front station create inflexible timetables. River Front Station is fine to use for Titan’s game service and Independence day service but is not a good home terminus for daily commuters, particularly for the special event seasons of March-October.

      • Sheila says

        I’m wondering when someone on a pedal tavern is going to have “one too mamy” and fall off their stool onto the street! That won’t be pretty!

    • Rob says

      This is true. The Union Station corridor is still the best place to let trains run the length across downtown Nashville and not just at Broadway, and it would allow for reliable transfer stations at Charlotte, Broadway, and 8th Ave. Even with adjoining development, there is still space available to reroute the CSX tracks to allow for passenger-dedicated tracks. Connection from the current Lebanon line would require reactivation of unused connecting tracks or an elevated line above I-40. The short-turn service planned for the Clarkesville line could then be through-run through the Gulch and South Nashville to Hermitage, providing a high-frequency crosstown rail line for less money than a new light rail line.

  217. Danna Bass says

    Well developed plan and desperately needed. Let it happen sooner rather than later.
    Total support.

    • Lori Bean says

      That would help a lot. Right now it’s like driving a dirt-packed, rutted wagon trail. My brother and I rode down it recently and literally couldn’t hear each other due to the bouncing and jouncing. Once we pulled onto Nolensville my brother remarked, “It would be nice if they’d put a road there.” 440 is useful as cross-town access, which keeps a lot of traffic off secondary roads, but if they don’t maintain it better it’s going to become useless soon.

    • m shay says

      440 is a disaster, the surface that was applied after we had an ice storm was only a temporary measure which has deteriorated and is no longer safe to drive, has anyone hit a hole which could take out a tire or tires? It is time for a long lasting surface. Have you tried using 440 in even early afternoon going toward I-65? Looks like a PARKING LOT!!!
      Since we have an influx of new people moving into Nashville to work, let all citizens except retirees pay for any transportation changes!!!!!!!!!!!