NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Five years ago, about 62% of voters said “no” to a new transit plan in Nashville. Now, the call for transportation and infrastructure funding is renewed.
On Monday morning, the Transit Alliance of Middle Tennessee was joined by about 10 community organizations, all asking for the city to develop a dedicated funding plan.
A representative from Young Professionals in Transportation said the best time to invest would have been five years ago, but the second best time is right now.
Jessica Dauphin, president and CEO of the Transit Alliance of Middle Tennessee, said there has been a lot of progress made since 2018, but more needs to be done as Nashville falls behind its sister cities.
Back in 2018, the “Lets Move Nashville” plan included building an underground tunnel downtown, a 26-mile light rail system, and adding more rapid buses. It was proposed to be paid for through a half-cent sales tax hike and surcharge on the business, hotel and rental tax.
Now, Dauphin said the transportation plan is up to the people and the Alliance is gathering information from residents about the mobility challenges they face.
“What the transit alliance believes in and wants to see happen is dedicated funding for transportation infrastructure that the communities want and need,” said Dauphin.
With Nashville being the second most car dependent city, Dauphin said they’re not asking for residents to give up their cars, but said there’s needs to be more, inclusive options for transportation.
“People do understand the value that transportation and mobility brings to their lives,” said Dauphin. “Individual freedoms are directly tied to mobility. We have to get this right.”
As the city heads into a mayoral election, the Dauphin said the Transit Alliance wants to hear how a potential new mayor will answer the community’s needs.
“We really want to know what a potential new mayor is thinking in terms of our transportation system including public transit,” said Dauphin.
They have put together a mayoral candidate transportation questionnaire. The answers will be available online on a rolling basis.